Are you feeling a million miles away, just stuck performing your daily routine day in, day out? Stop, breathe, and focus on how you feel – right now.
Do you feel stressed? Are your shoulders up by your ears from holding it all in so that the routine doesn’t fall apart? Stop, breathe deep in to fill your lungs to their full capacity, breath out with a sigh and intentionally drop your shoulders down, almost pulling them down towards the ground… How did that feel? I’m sure it didn’t feel bad – might’ve felt a little strange at first, but once you get into the habit of zooming in on your feelings, it becomes a habit that you will look forward to.
Okay, so what is this all about? Being mindful is a mental state achieved by focusing your awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations.
If I tell you that you will most likely lose weight by practising mindfulness, would that get you hooked?
Being mindful about every aspect of your life has a myriad of health benefits, mental and physical. Everything in your life is connected and hence, your diet is affected by other factors in your life as well. By eating mindfully, you increase your awareness about WHEN and HOW much you eat using internal (rather than visual or other external) signals to guide you. Eating mindfully means giving full attention to what you eat, savouring each bite, acknowledging what you like and don’t like. Not eating when preoccupied (such as while watching TV, working on the computer or driving). Approaching your diet this way will help you eat less overall, enjoy your food more and eat more good quality foods and ingredients. Research suggests that the more mindful you are, the less likely you are to overeat in response to external cues, such as food advertisements, big portions and around the clock food availability.
Starting the mindfulness quest can seem daunting and difficult to manage, but it shouldn’t be. By beginning with 5-10 minutes a day, for example on your daily commute, unless you’re driving – close your eyes, breathe deep breaths, focus on each limb of your body, one at a time and stay tuned how you feel when you move the weight off one leg and then the other, feeling each muscle working and stabilising you… Keep doing this for a week, every time you commute and you’ll begin your workday in a much calmer state.
Set up regular, daily reminders for your mindfulness sessions to get you into the habit.
Stay tuned, more to follow! www.arcticnut.com