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Mindful Hydration: A Simple Exercise to Reduce Stress

Mindful Hydration: A Simple Exercise to Reduce Stress

In one of our previous posts, we discussed the importance of proper hydration from an athletic standpoint. While fitness is a necessary component of maintaining a healthy and well-rounded lifestyle, we should not forget that most of us spend a substantial amount of time in the workplace. When we speak about proper hydration, we tend to only focus on the things that we can do at home or at the gym.

Unfortunately, there is very little emphasis put on proper hydration in workplace environments. As a result, employees can end up being dehydrated and stressed out. What tends to be overlooked is that well-hydrated employees often yield better results at work. The good news is that proper hydration is a skill that can be easily learned through practice. The other good news is that proper hydration can also be incorporated with another skill: meditation. In this post, we discuss a new concept of hydration called "mindful hydration", which essentially involves drinking water while in a meditative state.

When to Practice Mindful Hydration

Good mental health and productivity go hand in hand in the workplace. It is easier to maintain a sense of purpose and deal with the ups and downs of your workday if you maintain good mental health. However, we all know that mental health can change with life circumstances. Accordingly, it is important to be able to recognize when something does not feel right and take remedial steps. The earlier you do, the sooner you will be able to bounce back and make the most of your potential.

When can you say that you are distressed at work? Mental distress can manifest itself in many ways. You may notice that you become tired much more easily, that you are making uncharacteristic mistakes at work, or that you are lacking motivation. You may also find it hard to arrive at work on time. In addition, you may find that you are isolating yourself from your colleagues.

Mental distress should not be the end of the road. There are many ways to pull yourself back on track. As it happens, there is a simple exercise you can easily perform at work which involves two simple things: water and meditation.

A 90-Second Exercise to Regain Peace and Calm at Work

The mindful hydration exercise provides the benefits of meditation and hydration in a single action, and it only takes 90 seconds to perform. This workplace skill was developed by Bill Howatt (President of Howatt HR Consulting and Chief Research and Development Officer of Workforce Productivity with Morneau Shepell in Toronto) and Darren Steeves (Professional Exercise Physiologist and co-founder of Vendura Wellness).

Before starting, you should first self-evaluate your workplace situation. You can complete an assessment to help you determine your stress levels. You may also need to determine your hydration levels in order to maximize the benefits of this exercise. Lastly, you will need to have a water vessel (e.g. glass or bottle) that will serve as your ‘anchor’ for the entire duration of the activity.

The mindful hydration process involves the following three step process:

  1. Find a peaceful place without distractions. Take your vessel (filled with water) with you and sit in a comfortable position. Once you are comfortably seated, take three deep breaths and slowly exhale after each breath. Place your hand on your water vessel on your third breath.
  2. After your third breath, be mindful of the water that you hold and appreciate how calm and peaceful it is. During this moment, free your mind from any thoughts and allow yourself to recognize the ‘now’ moment. It is okay if you find it hard to refocus and clear your mind of any thought – that is normal. These first two steps should take you approximately 30 seconds.
  3. It is now time to practice mindful hydration; take a mouthful of water and let it flow down your throat slowly. Take a deep breath between each mouthful and exhale. Recognize the water and appreciate this peaceful ‘now’ moment. Should you become distracted, simply shift your focus back to the water and nothing more. This last step should take you approximately 60 seconds.

Perform this exercise every day for six weeks. After the sixth week, take the assessment again to measure its impact on your well-being and gauge your improvement. You should see a significant, positive change in both your physical and mental health. You may also see a significant improvement in you hydration levels.

Using a Copper Bottle in Mindful Hydration

A copper bottle is an excellent tool to use in mindful hydration. Our copper bottles are not only beautiful works of art, but excellent for your health as well. In particular, water stored within a copper water bottle will become natural alkaline water which offers a variety of health benefits, including increased energy levels and mental clarity.

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