Diet and exercise are typically the first things that get our full throttle attention when we’re looking to improve our level of health and fitness. A less tangible but equally important pillar of our health is our overall mind-body-spirit balance. If you don’t think well or feel well, you won’t be as well as you can be. Caring for your mind-body-spirit balance supports your nervous and endocrine systems. More and more people are overstressed long before they are overweight. Having a poor stress response can also stunt your progress and rob you of enjoying optimal results from your fitness and nutritional efforts. If you’re eating clean, training hard and not seeing improvements in your physical body or feeling positive, chances are you need to consider giving your mind-body-spirit wellness some direct attention. Changing your thinking habits is the first step to having your feelings follow. Rather than letting your feelings direct your thinking and behavior, I invite you to try the following activities consistently for the next eight weeks to help nourish your mind and spirit. Trust me your body will feel the benefit! Breathe: This might seem like a no brainer, and for most people it is. To shift mindless breathing inward and make it mindful, find 5-10 minutes in your day 1-3 times per day to practice conscious, deep breathing. Search “Box Breathing” for tips and technique and don’t be surprised if you feel a little lightheaded before you feel less stressed and reenergized. Be Grateful: Gratitude is an enormous attitude adjuster. The simple act of starting or finishing your day by writing out or verbally acknowledging three things you are grateful for on a daily basis will have a phenomenally positive effect on your well being. Research suggests that implementing daily gratitude can improve your happiness health by as much as 25 percent. Meditate or Pray: The similarities found in meditation and prayers are quite revealing. For this practice of mindfulness, use whatever label you feel most comfortable with and for the next eight weeks simply monitor your thoughts and feelings without getting stuck on them. You do not have to sit in the lotus position and chant ‘Om’ all the time to practise mindfulness. Here is an effective three-step “prayer” style closely akin to mindfulness: Opening yourself to whatever it is that you are experiencing. Welcome any feelings of fear, anger, unhappiness or whatever it may be. Let go of trying to control the outcome and leave it to the universe to take care of.