How to Embrace Mindfulness
Letting Go of Our Need to Multitask (at least a few times a day)
Last week we discussed the benefits of mindfulness. I think we can all agree at this point that a little mindfulness in our lives will go a long way. So how do we make it happen?
“When we get too caught up in the busyness of the world, we lose connection with one another – and ourselves.” ~Jack Kornfield
This week we’ll look at ways to become more accepting of mindfulness.
Mindfulness is like weight loss. We’re not looking for a “quick fix,” we’re looking for lifestyle changes. You’ll need to establish new habits and train your mind to be quiet. You’ll need to practice, and the more you practice the more natural it becomes.
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Practice a few mindfulness exercises this week. It should make you more aware of what you aren’t mindful of. Set aside some time for them, so you don’t get too busy. Mindfulness can be pure awareness or practiced meditation. It could be that you’re participating in some mindful activities and you don’t even label it as that.
- Seeing things with new eyes. It’s fun watching babies react to objects we take for granted. They respond with new excitement and original perceptions of things that we look at every day and no longer react to. Find a window and look outside. Pay attention to movement, variation in color, shape, and texture. The idea is to look at the world as if you’ve never seen it before. Don’t make judgments, just be observant and aware.
- Look into their eyes. Next time you’re talking to someone, whether it’s your child, spouse, friend, relative, or customer, look into their eyes and listen carefully to what they have to say. Without judgment, think about the meaning of what they’re saying and understand them.
- Focused breathing. Lay down and relax someplace quiet. Feel your breath move in and move out. Pay attention to your nose as the air comes in, notice your belly expanding and collapsing with each breath. Don’t judge the way you breathe, naturally become aware.
You don’t have to start out with 2-hour meditations, as a matter of fact, that’s probably not a good idea. Simple steps to get started can help you to appreciate mindfulness, and you can grow gradually.
The world is a busy place. There always seems to be something there to pull our attention in another direction. When you’re first starting out, you might want to take advantage of some of the tools available, like videos, podcasts, apps, CDs and even classes, that help us to improve our abilities.
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I have my hands full with the food changes and stress relief. I am going to commit to making gradual changes to the list of 5 above. I will make more of a committed effort next year. I believe that it is a mistake to take on more than what we can reasonably handle.
Now that a vegan/raw lifestyle is comfortable and natural, my main goal is to eliminate stress. I will continue to add one new recipe a week to my cache and learn from all my new sources. My main focus will be to relieve stress with the following:
- Pinpoint the things that cause stress in my life
bydaily journaling and then going back and highlighting anything stressful in my day.
- Continuing daily exercise of 30-60 minutes of HIIT cardio and 45 min. 3 times a week strength training.
- Praying and spending a minimum of 30 minutes daily quietly with God.
- Practicing biofeedback and other
stress reducingactivities. (I am signed up for 10 yoga sessions, we will see how that goes).
- 30 minutes minimum daily learning, reading and growing spiritually.
- Very limited political news.
- Very limited television.
- 1/2 hour daily reading and talking time with my granddaughter.
- 2 rounds of golf a week with my husband.
- Nightly walk with my husband after dinner.
- Community contribution and involvement through my church and other fitness organization.
- Steps to reduce stress in my business by eliminating stressful associations and relying more on trusted and reliable people.
- Eliminating superfluous household items, furniture, people in my life.
I know that I have a lot on my list.