Beyond the Buzz: How Mindfulness Improves Your Life
28 February 2020
While the thought of mindfulness may conjure images of meditation and New Age mantras, the practice comes down to a basic premise: placing a focus on the present. It is a simple idea that is driven (and continues to drive) people from all walks of life to look deeper into ways to bring mindfulness into homes, offices, schools and, yes, vacations. From therapies to a daily snack, here are five ways to bring mindful living into your life.
WALK TOWARDS A MINDFUL LIFE
Taking a page from the ancient Latin phrase “Solvitur ambulando,” or “It is solved by walking,” getting out and disconnecting can be a powerful way to calm the brain and feel a greater connection to the present. In fact, the British Journal of Sports Medicine published a 2013 study that “showed evidence of lower frustration, engagement and arousal, and higher meditation when moving into the green space zone; and higher engagement when moving out of it.”
While traditional meditative practices may not be for everyone, there are ways to get to a deeper mental state while engaging in activities that feel meditative to you. If you have ever lost track of time while baking, decorating, drawing or showering, this is something mindfulness experts call “your flow.” Quieting your brain does not necessarily mean being quiet.
When it comes to a mindful life, starting your day with intent may just be one of the easiest and most useful practices. Setting an intention for the day (or week, or month) can help the mind focus on making words and actions more compassionate and mindful. Try a simple exercise such as taking three deep breaths after waking up, closing your eyes and set a specific intention for the day, whether it be kindness, generosity, joy or perseverance. Then, remember to check in with yourself throughout the process, keeping your intention at top of mind.
While everyone is not wired to enjoy food in the same way, the ability to find a mindful spirit when it comes to eating can be beneficial to more than just your brain. Mindfulness experts often suggest that you listen to your body when it comes to eating. Focus less on when and what you recently ate and more on what your body is telling you at that specific time. Once you gauge your hunger, it is important to stop and breathe while eating. Focus on tastes and flavors and allow the body to digest before moving on to the next bite.
In the midst of your daily routine, the best rule of thumb when it comes to mindfulness is to enjoy each experience. If you find you are not, stop and reassess. To live mindfully is to live in wellness.