Mindfulness – directing your full focus to the moment – can be helpful in making healthy choices and living a healthier life in general. It is an important practice to help combat stress, worry, and distraction.
Think about the last time you overindulged in unhealthy food. Were you thinking about something upsetting, had a stressful day, were you watching TV, or chatting to someone? Before you knew it, you’d eaten far more than you had intended without even really being aware of what you were doing.
So in what ways can we practice mindfulness to improve our health?
Paying attention to the burn of our muscles as we push against resistance. Being aware of our body so that we are using the correct technique to make the most of each rep and avoid injury. Being aware of that happy rush of endorphins when we find our flow. Noticing greenery around us or the way the early morning breeze feels on our face.
All of these bring us into the moment, letting us get the most enjoyment out of our workout and perform at our best distraction free.
Study after study has shown that while many of us think that the ability to multitask makes us more productive, the opposite is actually true. Bring able to focus on just one thing from start to completion is far more efficient.
Planning your meals for the week, writing out a shopping list, preparing dinner, packing your workout clothes, scheduling your workout times into your calendar. All great examples of activities that would benefit from mindfulness.
Breaking the stress cycle
The more time you spend stressed, distracted, worrying about the future, the more time you spend in a negative frame of mind. Persistent and prolonged negative emotions can actually alter your brain chemicals, making you more prone to experience anxious thoughts and further negative emotions.
Taking a few minutes here and there to pay attention to what is happening right now, what you can see, feel, taste and touch in this moment without thinking about the future can help break this cycle. Mindfulness is a lovely, gentle strategy to help ease stress and other uncomfortable emotions.
What other ways have you found where being present in the moment has helped you? We would live to hear your top tips on being more mindful!