Mind Full vs. Mindful

You have probably heard one of the biggest buzz words lately: Mindfulness. Every single day, there are endless opportunities to practice mindfulness and often they go unnoticed due to our busy-ness.

Bringing mindfulness into our daily lives helps us be more present, less reactive, and at peace more often. And not to forget, it increases compassion and productivity, is beneficial for our digestion and immune system.

Practicing mindfulness can alleviate anxiety, stress, sadness, frustration, and anger. So, why don’t we practice it regularly? Probably we haven’t been taught, maybe we feel we don’t have time, or we simply don’t think of it. The following suggestions are perfect for use here and there or to establish a routine. As always, change starts with awareness.

So, next time you find yourself feeling stressed, anxious, upset, etc. take a moment to breathe, to really breathe deeply and slowly, then inwardly step back from the situation. Let it go. Shift your focus to something completely different and be present. Look at something and take in every detail while still breathing deeply. Remember to let go of whatever just bothered you.

Mealtime is a perfect time for mindfulness. Practiced then, it enhances digestion, prevents overeating, and lets you savor the flavors. This is a challenging one to many; we have gotten into the habit of multi-tasking even when we eat. Put down the book, phone, turn off the TV and appreciate the food in front of you. Smell its deliciousness, pay attention to the texture in your mouth, chew thoroughly and ‘see’ the nutrients nourishing your body as you swallow.

Mindfulness can literally be practiced in every moment of time: doing dishes and feeling the suds and warm water on your hands and wrists, brushing your teeth and feeling the toothbrush glide over your gums, listening to music and totally paying attention to the instruments and voices, and on and on.

The key is to be present. To take it all in. To use all your senses: taste, touch, feel, see and hear what is happening around you. Start with just a minute and work yourself up to longer times several times a day. You may be surprised by how your perception of day-to-day happenings changes and how your life becomes peaceful.

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