Healthy Living Tip #6 is to practice mindfulness throughout your day. A mindfulness practice can calm stress, increase energy, boost our immunity and enhance our joy in life. This valuable health tip may sound intimidating but actually adding a mindfulness practice to your daily life is easy, once you make it a habit.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is merely the act of being present in the moment, observing, but not trying to change your thoughts or emotions. Taking a deep breath, quieting the mind of all its incessent chatter and observing the moment without judgement can put life in perspective and help us learn to focus and appreciate what is important in our lives.
How to Practice Mindfulness?
Practicing mindfulness isn't as difficult or time consuming as you might think. It can be done at anyplace, anytime. Simply take a deep breath and focus quietly on the things around you, observing without judgement. If you are eating, turn off the television and focus on food you are eating. Chew slowly and savor the different flavors. Those who practice mindful eating tend to eat less than those who don't.
I read a story about a man who went to a fast food restaurant every day for lunch. He ordered a hamburger, fries and a coke. He bolted it down, not tasting much - and he gained weight. He decided to practice mindful eating. He observed his food, chewed slowly and tried to savor each bite. "Once I slowed down and really tasted the food, I hated it. I never ate fast food for lunch again," he said.
You can also practice mindfulness while you're doing any repetitious task such as doing dishes or other housework or when you're stopped at a red light. If you think you don't have time to practice mindfulness, think about how much time during your day that you spend doing these tasks. Next time you're doing the dishes, calm your breathing and focus on what you're doing. Don't let outside thoughts intrude, just observe. Feel the warm water on your hands, look out the window and focus on what's going on outside.
I always want a house that has a window over the kitchen sink. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, cooking or cleaning up and I enjoy looking out the window to watch the birds eating at the bird feeder or the squirrels jumping from branch to branch in the trees.
Mindfulness doesn't have to be a complicated or an involved process. Think of it as a small vacation for your mind where you shut out any negative thoughts or emotions, doubts or fears. The present moment is all any of us really have and in that moment it is our choice whether to feel calm and joy or let the energetic winds blow us where they will, without direction from us.
A mindfullness practice teaches you how to focus on the joy in life and in the act of learning to focus, you take control of your thoughts, you are choosing in that moment to let things go, to simply be. There is great power in knowing you can choose.
If you need help with practicing mindfulness, try this Guided Mindfulness Meditation
Resolve to add one healthy living tip to your life each week. Practice it until it becomes part of your daily routine. Soon you will be experiencing greater joy in life, better health, more energy and less stress.
For more healthy living tips, visit path2HealthyLiving.com