It’s the Little Things…
by Tara Rayburn
Yes, we’ve all heard the phrase “it’s the little things,” but have you really taken to heart the lessons in this pearl of wisdom? Seriously, I teach Healthy Habits and how just one habit can dramatically change the course of your life… right? Well, honestly, I re-learn this lesson often.
When most people decide to change something about their life they have a tendency to focus on BIG things like the diagnosis, the cure, exercise programs, diet plans, political party, spiritual affiliation, marital status – you name it! However, It is oftentimes the seemingly insignificant habits we do most often that really pack a bigger punch when we changed. This idea is not to be confused with “baby steps.” Baby steps can be very small and have very small results, but at least get the inertia moving in the right direction. Focus on a “little thing” can be large or small, but usuallys has great impact over time.
For example, recently I injured my lower back and boy, do I have a renewed compassion for people who deal with chronic back pain. After about a week it wasn’t getting any better, but worse. So I went to visit Dr. David Hetzel, my Vegas chiropractor, and immediately went into “Well, I recently painted my kitchen…and bathroom so I must have just used muscles differently.”
In the wisdom of Dr. Hetzel’s ways he replied “Tara, this is an accumulation.” My first reaction was a sassy verbal push back, but as I opened my mouth it occurred to me that he was right and I stopped and listened. He was so right. I went home and observed my daily habits from the outside and sure enough there must have been 10 different habits that haven’t done much to support a healthy back. Here are just a few of them and the “little things” I did to change the results I was getting:
1) How I sit when I drive. I drive a lot every day and my “default position” is disengaged and slightly crooked. So I decided to no longer allow myself to sit that way (it had also contributed to a shoulder issue I had earlier in the year) and instead, sit straight, engage my stomach muscles and be sure to change positions throughout my many trips in the car.
2) Daily routine positions. For about 6 years he position of my make up mirror has been in exactly the same place… very low, and to the left side. When I use it for getting ready in the morning and cleaning my skin at night I would stand hunched over, and crooked to the left…exactly the same position. I decided to try putting my mirror on an elevated stand and stand directly in front of it. What a difference!
3) Default standing position. Default is the action/position/behavior you fall into when you aren’t being mindful. We all have them somewhere in our lives. For instance, when I’m tired, I can get very cranky without even being aware of how rude I can sound. What I realized was that when I stand for any length of time, my default is to stick my left foot out forward, then put weight on my right foot and stick my hip out…almost abnormally so. UGH! Just caught myself doing it as I stand here and type this post. So now, much like while driving, I am deciding to be mindful in all my positions. Dr. Pete Hilgartner, my friend and chiropractor in Virginia, teaches his clients to be mindful of the positions they find themselves in as they are “Sitting, Standing and Sleeping.”
While I am very aware of how my daily habits can support my health… or not, I still find myself “re-learning” this lesson all the time.
STOP: Right now! – Take a posture check! Is the position you default to while on your computer or mobile device to read online posts supportive to good physical health? If not, adjust. Even better set a timer on your phone/oven whatever device works for every 30 minutes to take your own posture check AND position change. If you have been in the same position and still have to do whatever it is you are doing, simply stand if you were sitting, sit if you were standing or better yet create circulation via stretching, leg raises, toe points and flexes be creative – I’m “dance blogging” right now and I’m my body is much happier than when I used to sit for hours at my computer writing, editing and creating.
The idea of being more mindful of the “little things” can be very supportive to your health… or not. If you tend to focus on the negative and dwell on the downers in life, then decide to change that habit as soon as possible. A longterm negative focus can do more to damage your health than just about any physical habit. Resolve to seek the “gifts” in even the darkest of issues and the world will be better simply for your intentional shift in focus.
- Determine what goal/challenge/symptom is priority
- Decide to gently and honestly observe yourself through out the day with vision specific to that goal/challenge/symptom
- Write down your observation daily for one week. (a week gives you a great picture of your life’s routine and what may or may not be supporting your health.
- Resolve to change one habit to support your health in that area (brainstorm, get support from a holistic minded person you trust, go online with the intention to support your health)
- Share your results with other via your social media, word of mouth, etc. Chances are others may be dealing with similar issues and will benefit from your observations and journey!
I’m honored and blessed by you deciding to read my post and send you prayers for success and incredible well-being! Thank you for being a “Ripple of REAL Health” in this world.
For more pearl’s of wisdom and healthy habits check out Tara Rayburn’s book available at Life Science Publishing (make this a live link) For links to all Tara’s social media visit TheHealthyHabitCoach.com and Healthy Young Living Habits on Facebook.
Tara Rayburn is one of our Life Science Publishing authors. Check out 100 Easy Healthy Habits: Uplifting Habits for the Mind, Body and Soul book or Audio Coaching Series and Essential Gluten Free Recipes: Simple * Nutrient Rich * Essential Oil Infused