Guest Author - Tracy Webb
Stress seems to be the curse of the modern world. It is no wonder that Mindfulness Meditation has gained in popularity, with many people looking for a more productive way to live their life.
Mindfulness means to be aware of what is happening around you, and staying alert in the present moment. By staying in the present moment you are more available to what is happening, rather than being lost in thoughts and in reactionary to circumstances.
Bringing awareness into your day can be challenging, especially if you tend to be lost in your thoughts, which seems to be the case for most of us. So it will take time and effort to break your old patterns and become mindful in daily activities.
Do not be put off, the effort is worth it. When you start to feel more relaxed, happier, less reactionary and more peaceful, you will be glad you took the time. See it as a gift to yourself and an undoing of past unhelpful behaviors that no longer serve you.
Here are a couple of suggestions to help you bring full attention to everything that you are doing.
More often than not we have eaten our food and not really relished or enjoyed it. Eating can seem like a race to see how fast you can clear your plate and move on to the next thing. Try these simple steps:
Chew every mouthful thoroughly
Put your cutlery down between mouthfuls
Have no distractions television, laptops
Eat in a designated place
Stop eating when you are full
By eating in this way you will reduce the amount of food you eat, enjoy your food, taste your food and you may even lose weight.
Having to walk anywhere can be seen as an inconvenience. We tend to rush from one place to the next unconsciously, without really being aware of our self or our surroundings. We can be lost in thoughts and our breathing may be erratic which adds to our stress levels.
Walking mindfully is a totally different experience.
Breath evenly and naturally
Focus on each step you are taking
Feel the different parts of the foot move as you are walking
Notice how you feel and your surroundings
Use walking as an opportunity to ground yourself and necessary to keep your body functioning healthily
When you walk in this way you will feel more relaxed, calmer and have more clarity of mind.
It is easy to bring awareness into your day. All it requires is that your slow your mind down, and bring your full attention to whatever it is you are doing. I am sure you will feel the release of stress fairly quickly once you adopt mindfulness practices into your life.