Who Thought This Would Increase Health?
Do you ever find that you’re so busy it’s hard to plan, let alone think about, keeping on track with your health?
Our brains are wonderfully complex and they do so much for us. But, let’s be honest…they aren’t great multitaskers. Our brains were never designed to chronically deal with the current busy pace so many of us live.
Yet all day long, we receive notifications from social media, text messages, and phone calls. Anyone can reach us at any time. And they do!
As we set off on our commute each morning, we navigate around hundreds of cars. We make decisions all day, listen to others’ complaints, encourage and support, process, and analyze. We make mental checklists for work, home, and various activities.
Whew! I’m getting a brain cramp just thinking about it!
But there’s a way to move out of this chaos that will help your brain and your health.
It’s a practice called mindfulness.
Maybe you’ve heard of mindfulness. It’s certainly been buzzing around the health and wellness realm. And it can sound kind of “woowoo.” But it really is a useful tool on several levels.
Mindfulness is simply this: paying attention to what you’re paying attention to, without judgment. Practicing mindfulness involves engaging all of your senses in your current experience without allowing thoughts and feelings to hijack you.
It has been found to help with managing stress, anxiety, depression, PTSD, and gaining greater focus and clarity. This makes goals easier to reach, and keeps us from running to food or making unhealthy choices because we experience less overwhelm and don’t feel so out of control.
It also gives us the space to slow down, makes our experience fuller (and often more pleasurable and complete), and allows us to reconnect with God and with ourselves.
Mindfulness is the mental pause our brains need to break out of the go-go-go cycle of our everyday life.
It also changes our perspective. When we are being mindful of what we’re experiencing, we are observing our experience instead of being hijacked by it.
When we’re being mindful, we operate from a place of empowerment instead of letting our thoughts and feelings control us and have the final say.
Sounds good, right? But how do you practice mindfulness? I’m so glad you asked!
There are a lot of ways to practice mindfulness. You can practice mindfulness of thoughts, emotions, relationships, and more.
One way to start easily practicing mindfulness is to be mindful of various tasks as you go throughout your day. You can do this with cooking, driving, shopping, working in the yard, etc. I’m attaching a simple exercise I created for being more mindful with eating. You can practice it with a snack or at a meal.
Simply click here to download and print this exercise.
I would also encourage you to create a more structured practice of mindfulness. This might look like 5-10 minutes in the morning where you find a quiet place and just notice what you are experiencing. You might opt to listen to music and experience it physically in your body as well as tuning your ears to notice all of the instruments playing. You may decide to be mindful of your thoughts or emotions as you acknowledge and let them go. There are so many ways to be mindful. Find a time and practice that works for you!
I hope you experience more rest in your soul and focus in your mind as you get more mindful of your day-to-day experiences so you can feel more settled and joyful, and less overwhelmed.
P.S. I love supporting you on your health journey. Yet, I also realize my own limitations when it comes to balance and health in my life. For that reason, I will be shifting from weekly blog posts to blog posts twice a month. But, I want the content to continue to be relevant and helpful for you, so please let me know what would be most helpful to support you in your health journey!