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Mindful : June 2016
positive reactions, like the urge to savor and appreci- ate beautiful scenery or the impulse to play. Inevitably this builds greater personal resources. This process is what researcher Barbara Frederickson has coined “The Broaden and Build Theory.” 4 Raise your emo- tional intelligence Listen to the moment-to- moment clues your body gives you about how you’re feeling. By simply noticing these clues, you’ll gradually increase your emotional intelligence—which is your ability to understand and manage your emotions. → Often we get so caught up in planning and daydreaming and constructing stories that we forget we even have a body. What’s happening in our bodies is as here-and- now as it gets, so take some time to check in and notice your body. It’ll help you pop out of autopilot, develop more awareness, and make better choices. 1 Know your body A simple body scan is a great way to tap into the power of your body. Lay down, close your eyes, and get curious about the sensa- tions you’re feeling—like tingling, warmth, cool- ness, tension—and become intimate with them as they shift and change from your feet to your head. 2 Cut stress with regular check-ins Throughout the day our bodies tend to accumulate stress. Do hourly check- ins, taking a deep breath and noticing where tension Love Your Body, Free Your Mind arises—maybe in the brow, jaw, shoulders, or abdomen. Allow the tense places to soften as you breathe, then stretch and adjust your posture. 3 Savor the good We often feel our emotions, both positive and negative, in our bodies. The next time you feel good, notice how this manifests physi- cally. Does your body feel relaxed? Is there warmth in your chest, or a slight smile across your face? Becoming aware of posi- tive emotions allows us to broaden our momentary perspective and spark 11 ways to tap into the power of your body By Elisha and Stefanie Goldstein how to live a mindful life 26 mindful June 2016 Illustration by Colleen MacIsaac