Sometimes stress can feel pretty overwhelming. After all, balancing work, family and friends, romantic relationships and everything else thrown your way during the holiday season isn't always easy. Last time, we talked about how stress can affect your beard growth during "No Shave November". But, how do you combat stress that seems to be a daily occurrence? One of the best ways is to practice mindfulness. Don't worry, if you're asking yourself, what is mindfulness, we've got you covered.
In its simplest definition, mindfulness is the process of being aware of what's going on in the present moment. Here at Zeus Beard, we compiled tips to help you practice mindfulness during "No Shave November" to keep your mental and physical health in shape.
Continue reading to find out more about mindfulness.
What is mindfulness?
The easiest way to answer, what is mindfulness, is to say that it's living in the moment.
When you practice mindfulness you aren't obsessing over past events or imagining what the future has to offer. You become immersed in the physical world around you, becoming cognizant of your senses and behaviors.
How does mindfulness affect beard growth?
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Three of the main factors when it comes to beard growth are your diet, exercise and hair care routine. Practicing mindfulness in each category will help improve your beard growth and your mental health.
Becoming mindful of your diet
Sure, food sustains life. But, how often do you stop to think about what you're putting into your body? It's easy to get lost in daily routines or get so busy you resort to snacking mindlessly throughout the day. However, over time, an intake of unhealthy foods will start wearing on your body and on your facial hair.
So, what is mindfulness in relation to food? Mindfulness in your diet relates to focusing on the sensations corresponding to what you're putting into your body.
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Instead of grabbing the first bag of chips available, focus on what you're choosing and how your body reacts to it. Naturally, your body will tell you what it needs, if you listen to it.
Tracking your diet is another great way to make yourself aware of the food patterns you procure over time. Apps like MyFitnessPal make tracking your major meals, snacks and exercise easy.
For more tips, check out this list of healthy foods that promote hair growth.
Exercise and meditation
The gym is often littered with people focusing on the wrong things. Whether it's the girl with the latest pop hit blaring from her headphones or the guy flexing at himself in the mirror, oftentimes we try to drown out the pain associated with working out.
Mindfulness during your workout is as simple as disconnecting from all the distractions. Take the time to focus on how you're positioning your body during each stretch or lift and appreciate the burn. After all, you can spend all day at the gym but if you aren't working out properly, your efforts will pretty much be for nothing.
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Another great way to practice mindfulness during your workout is to engage in yoga and meditation. Not only is yoga great for improving balance and agility, but meditation is a nice way to quietly let your stresses of the week fade away to clear and focus your mind.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, studies over the last decade show that meditation helped to aid conventional methods of pain management, reduced stress and anxiety and helped sleep habits.
Becoming aware of how you care for your hair
Lastly, it's important to apply the concept of mindfulness to your hair care routine. Instead of reaching for the seemingly convenient 12 in 1 shampoo and conditioner or the products with the flashiest packaging, make yourself aware of the ingredients you're exposing your hair and beard to.
When you do make the smart choice of going for gentle or organic materials, pay attention to the difference it makes on your dry ends and overall comfort. Many men struggle to understand why their beard is itchy or not growing. Don't be one of them.
Photo via Instagram / @zeusbeard
Instead, focus on your hair care habits. Ingredients are half the battle. However, using good products the wrong way can also stray away from your desired results.
If you're making yourself aware of your habits but are still confused, check out this list of ways you may be sabotaging your beard growth.
Mindfulness and mental healthOverall, mindfulness is a positive force for your mental health. Not only does it improve concentration, it also helps you exist in the moment and makes you happier. Mindfulness is all about taking control of your life and beginning to understand what makes you, you.
When you're mindful of your actions, this also makes self improvement more attainable. It's really as easy as slowing down and just paying attention.