One Simple Activity to Improve Your Life
What is something simple I could do today to improve my life?
As a health psychologist, I recommend to keep on moving. Use every possibility to raise your body, stand up or simply walk. Slowly everybody is realising that sitting for an extended period is unhealthy and linked with obesity, type 2 diabetes, and an increased risk of death from heart disease and cancer.
There are many advices to exercise in the office, stretch your tendons or make yoga poses, but in everyday life it is hard to implement regularly. So something as simple as standing up now and then at work could help reduce the related health risks of sitting for too long. Your goal need not be to finish a triathlon, but basic movement like using the stairs instead of an escalator, finding reasons to stand up and bring something to the dust bin or fetch your print-out, visit other colleagues instead of writing an email. The goal is to reduce sedentary behavior and time spent sitting at work.
If you are looking for something more challenging and are willing to move up to the next level of health, you can try to implement the practice of “walking meditation”. It’s a concept that Jon Kabat-Zinn introduced in his Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program (MBSR). Walking meditation is a simple and universal practice for developing calm, connectedness, and embodied awareness.
Begin to walk a bit more slowly than usual. You can bring your attention to your feet and feel the contact of the foot with the floor or ground with every step. Feel the pressure on the bottoms of your feet and the other natural sensations of standing. Let yourself be present and alert. Keep your eyes soft and the gaze out in front of you, pay attention to your body. As with the breath in sitting, your attention will wander away many times. As soon as you notice this, acknowledge where it went softly, “wandering,” “thinking,” “hearing,” “planning.” Then return to feel the next step.
Use the walking meditation to calm and collect yourself, begin to be truly present, to bring your body, heart and mind together as your move through your life.
About the Professional
I am a psychologist working in a psychological counselling service of the public administration of Vienna. Our mission is to help employees and employers who are confronted with conflicts, bullying or discrimination at work. We support to find a constructive solution by individual counselling or by mediating between conflict partners. My colleagues and me perform sensibility workshops for prevention and a better working climate.
I also run a psychological office in the 6. district and since 2018 I offer online counselling. My main topics are workplace worries, stress, burnout and depression. Online counselling is a flexible way to get help from an expert, it can be used anonymously, and you can use it easily from anywhere from your Phone, tablet or PC. The clients can decide between text chat, which is mainly demanded, and audio or video chat.
As a clinical psychologist I offer a variety of established interventions and methods. I prefer the cognitive behavioral approach, in special the acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) with a mindfulness background and the use of relaxation and meditation.