Mindfulness. Basically, being in the present moment. Enjoying mono-tasking. Living, feeling, breathing, seeing, and hearing the NOW.
Our world is busy. Crowded roads, endless technology, social media, unending news, and increased multitasking demands have cluttered our minds and decreased focus. When we are overworked, overstimulated and overtired, our physical and mental health take a beating. We find ourselves having no time to cook a meal. We find ourselves being too tired to workout. We decide to mindlessly scroll social media rather than engage with those around us. We send emails and text messages rather than meeting face to face. We don’t engage with our children. We instead give them a phone to occupy their time. We decide it’s too hot, too cold, or too windy to enjoy the outdoors. Because we must be constantly elsewhere, we listen to headphones while shopping. We eat while we are driving because our schedules are so full. We make mistakes. We lose inspiration. We gain weight. We get sick. We get tired. We lose personal connections. We forget how to perform a task without an app. We forget how to read a map. We forget to stop and smell the roses.
I cannot stress enough the importance of being mindful. I am not going to pretend that it is always easy. Our lives are busy and responsibilities are high. What I can tell you is that when I do practice mindfulness I feel better. I am more creative. I work smarter. I feel more connected to my true self. I eat better. I live fuller.
Mindfulness is free. Free of cost. Free of worry. Free of stress. Free of negative side effects.
Feel free to give these tips a try as a means to bring mindfulness to everyday life. Don’t be afraid to come up with your own as well. Perform mindfulness in a way that aligns with who you are.
1. Put away your cell phone and talk with people without distraction
2. Go for a walk in a park with a friend of family member
3. Canoe with a friend or family member
4. Eat dinner at the table with your family (without phone or TV)
5. Send a family member or friend a hand written letter
1. Eat without scrolling social media and without watching TV
2. Don’t eat in your car or while rushed. Sit down and be present with your meal
3. Eat foods with varying textures and flavors. Notice the textures, colors and flavors while enjoying your meal. Eat with your hands. Scoop, mash, and cut food. Maybe try chopsticks!
4. Check in with how you are feeling. Do you feel satisfied but not full? This is a good time to stop eating. Do you feel bloated, full and uncomfortable? If so, probably ate too much. The goal is not to under feed yourself, the goal is to nourish your body while enjoying your food.
5. Keep a food journal. Document types, amounts and the way YOU FEEL after eating. This can be a really good source to find out what foods best suit you. It’s also a great way to double check that you are eating a variety of foods and notice any food sensitivity patterns.
1. Make a to-do list so you can release the worry that you will forget to do a task.
2. Practice yoga or other form of exercise that requires you to be “in the moment”. One that encourages you to focus.
3. Take regular walks outside and take notice of the sounds, colors, and textures of your environment. Take out a kayak, hike, run, or even just sit outdoors. The power of connection with nature is great for inspiring awe and brining you in the moment.
4. Read a book
5. Take a bath and really allow yourself to relax with a clear and present mind
6. Listen to your favorite album
7. Practice meditation. There are many different types of meditation. I find that guided meditation is helpful for when I have a really busy mind and can’t release the thoughts easily
8. Take a class. This class could be geared towards fitness or for personal/educational growth
9. Attend a church service or other spiritual practice center that aligns with your beliefs. Listen to the messages and lessons then reflect.