U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Live Whole Health #94 – Take a breath to remember Your MAP (Mission, Aspiration and Purpose)

Imagine visiting your health care team and instead of them asking you, “What is the matter with you today?” they ask, “What matters to you today?” Whole Health helps you create a Mission, Aspiration and Purpose – or MAP – that connects your health care goals with your life goals. When you know your MAP, you can set a goal and work with your team to reach it.

If you need some direction in creating your MAP, check out the Whole Health Basics here: Whole Health Basics. You can download a copy of the Personal Health Inventory and begin to think about that big question, what matters to you.

There’s a difference sometimes between your MAP and what you need today. Your MAP may include improving your strength and flexibility so you can live independently, but maybe today you need to recover from helping your buddy move into a new apartment last weekend. Or you may be determined to lose those 20 pounds that have snuck up on you. Maybe today you are celebrating your dad’s birthday with a cake and ice cream. Perhaps you’re focused on saving for retirement. Or maybe today you want to splurge on a nice gift for your daughter to celebrate her making honor roll.

Whole Health makes us think, plan and set goals for our overall life, but for some days we just need to take care of ourselves and focus on the moment and the day. One way to take care of yourself in the present moment is to take a few minutes to practice mindful breathing.

Join Angela Johnson, Peer Support Specialist from the Central Arkansas VA Medical Center, in this 3-minute mindful breath practice. This practice will assist you in bringing awareness to your breath, while you experience a state of calmness. This practice can also help you manage stress. Mindful breathing can be done formally in a practice or informally throughout your day. Simply pause to use the breath as a cue to bring awareness back to your present experience.


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