Mindfulness: The Ultimate life tool! What, why, how…
What is Mindfulness?
Well basically mindfulness is simply been aware, been present in each moment, taking time to observe and connecting your mind and body.
It really is that simple; awareness is such a profound thing to bring into your life in every aspect, when you eat, when you work, when you’re waiting in line at the supermarket, when you’re walking your dog, when you’re stuck in traffic (that’s a tough one!)
It gives you the power to not be controlled by your feelings but instead experience your feelings (because feelings & emotions are beautiful human things just can get a little much sometimes), to observe them and eventually understand them so you can learn how best to deal with them in a positive & productive way.
Why practice mindfulness?
Mindfulness is this beautiful simple gift that in our fast paced, wonderfully busy, sometimes stressful society we forget we have. Having the ability to step back and genuinely be present in the moment can bring you so many more moments of happiness & contentment, for example eating a decadent ice cream mindfully will make that ice cream taste so much better, last so much longer and be so much more enjoyable, seriously who doesn’t want that!?
The thing I love about this simple tool is just that, it really is simple! It’s not some out there hippie thing that sounds great but really you think “oh cool but I’ll never actually do it” you can start right now 😉
How to practice mindfulness?
Well there actually is no right or wrong way to do it! You simply start consciously and actively been aware of yourself, of your behavior, your thoughts, reactions, feelings & emotions, habits…everything!
But you don’t need to be mindful all the time, you can choose one area of your life you want to change or improve and focus your awareness there and gradually move on to other areas.
It is the type of thing that once you open your mind to it you will never truly loose it, I mean you absolutely won’t be mindful, present & aware in everything you do but you might be aware that you aren’t been mindful and that in itself is practicing mindfulness 😉 see it is a win-win!
For example say you want to be less reactive when you get stuck in traffic (no more road rage haha) The next time you hit a traffic jam just be aware of what feelings come up, anger, frustration, stress and then instead of yelling, beeping or simply allowing yourself to get lost in the anger take a deep breath, acknowledge that you feel bloody pissed off and then let it go, easier said than done I know but slowly you will be able to really let it go & not be consumed by all the frustration!
So to break it down…
- Take a breath
- Be aware
- Be present
- Do this as often as possible
- Don’t be hard on yourself & have fun!
Mindfulness & Diet!
This is absolutely, hands down the best tool for all people when it comes to diet, weight loss, health etc! Think about it, how often do you eat something without actually paying attention to it, how often do you eat because its lunch time not because you’re hungry, how often do you make food choices because of an emotion??? We all do those things and that is totally fine but it is something we can definitely do a little less using mindfulness. Things like truly been present when we are eating, noticing each bite, observing how we feel during & after the meal, listening to our body & waiting to make the decision before our mind rushes to tell us get the fries can significantly change your eating habits and therefore improve your diet, your relationship with food and even your relationship to yourself! The possibilities are endless, all you need to do is pause, open you mind and be aware.
Most importantly remember there is no wrong or right way to start to be mindful, don’t be hard on yourself enjoy the journey and keep us posted on your experiences!