What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a state of awareness in the present moment. You aren’t thinking about the past or worrying about what’s to come. It is acknowledging what is happening around you and accepting your feelings about it without judgment.
Why is it important?
Increases feelings of gratitude
Decreases negative thinking
Prioritizes your time
Supports better eating choices
Enhances your sleep.
Check out these great tips about how to be mindful, thanks to TriHealth, CPS’ wellness partner:
How do I start?
Mindfulness is a skill. The more you practice, the better you will become at being mindful in your daily life. Just a few minutes a day can help you feel calmer, focused and patient.
Breathing techniques are designed to bring the body into a state of deep relaxation. The 4-7-8 technique forces the mind and body to focus on regulating the breath to have more control over the mind. These simple steps can help you fall asleep faster and soothe a racing heart or calm frazzled nerves.
Find a place to sit or lie down comfortably.
Let your lips part. Make a whooshing sound, exhaling completely through your mouth.
Close your lips and inhale silently through your nose as you count to four in your head.
Hold your breath for seven seconds.
Make another whooshing exhale from your mouth for eight seconds.
Practice this pattern for four full breaths.
Am I Hungry?
To break out of the pattern of eating on autopilot, get in the habit of asking yourself, “Am I hungry?” every time you feel like eating. This simple but powerful question will help you recognize the difference between an urge to eat caused by the physical need for food from an urge to eat caused by head .
Try these tips to be more mindful while enjoying food:
Check in with yourself in a non-judgmental way before eating a meal or snack. Reflect on how you are feeling, think about your hunger level and consider expressing gratitude for the food you’re about to eat.
Slow down while eating. If you’re a fast eater, try putting down your utensil or taking a sip of water in between bites.
Bring your focus back to your food every so often if you are working through lunch. Ask yourself if you are still enjoying it and how you are feeling.
Avoid distraction while eating, especially when the activity or task doesn’t slow down your pace of eating, like when doing hands-free activities like watching TV.
Pre-portion your food and check in with yourself every so often if you do choose to eat in front of the TV or a device.
As the Center for Mindful Eating states: There is no right or wrong way to eat, simply varying degrees of awareness surrounding the experience of food. Make your experience positive by practicing mindfulness and creating a positive relationship with the food you eat.
Meditation is a great tool to use to become more mindful. One type of meditation involves relaxation techniques. Breathing deeply, doing a body scan or listening to a guided visualization are all effective ways to meditate.
Elevator to the Beach
This 9-minute guided imagery meditation will take you down to a beach for a brief interlude that will focus on warming the hands and feet to increase relaxation in the body.
Forest Walk Meditation
This 8-minute guided imagery mediation will provide you with a relaxing walk in the woods to reduce stress.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation Exercise
This 8-minute meditation will provide you with an opportunity to decrease tension in your body and calm your mind.