Meditation for many of us can conjure up an image of sitting cross-legged with eyes closed, focusing on the moment. Can we apply the concept of meditation to our everyday lives? Yes, it is possible. When we slow down we can notice the patterns of our mind, which can let us decide how we want to live our lives… rather than sprinting on autopilot.
Most of us know the feeling of eating a plate of french fries, and then thinking to ourselves why did I do that. Incorporating the following concepts can be helpful in becoming more aware of our eating habits.
1. Take a few breaths before you begin eating to allow your body and mind to settle.
2. Take a moment to acknowledge the fact that you have food on your plate. The feeling of thankfulness is at the core of meaningful mindfulness practice.
3. As you are eating if you notice your mind wandering bring your attention back to the meal. If you find yourself speeding up, try to keep your pace steady. Reading while eating is probably a distraction, as is watching T.V. during a meal.
When we take a walk some of us are apt to be preoccupied with an issue or problem we are dealing with. While walking may be a healthy way to wrestle with an issue, mindful walking can be a release from preoccupations that tend to weigh us down. Enjoying the fact that you are outside, and enjoying your surroundings can help move you back to the direct experience of life… the walk.
The moment your head hits the pillow is the time thoughts can kick into overdrive. Unfortunately, the more you try to suppress them, the more persistent they become. At some point ruminating about not being able to go to sleep occurs… creating more thoughts and tension! When you go to bed, allow yourself some time to think about your day rather than denying the thoughts. Try setting a limit on how long you dwell on them. When the mind has built up momentum, it can take some time to calm down. Remember as well that you are human, and at times we all need ways to manage our thoughts when they are working overtime!
Maybe you won’t try all the tips suggested, but incorporating some of these subtle changes can help you to calm down and change your life for the better… Prevention September 2012