You’ve likely heard the term mindfulness before, but may wonder exactly what this means. In the words of Jon Kabat-Zinn, originator of the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program, mindfulness is “the awareness that arises from paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally”. Research has shown that practicing mindfulness throughout your day has many benefits for health and wellness. This practice can help us to access resilience and equanimity, especially helpful in challenging times. Like exercising a muscle, your ability to be mindful grows the more you practice. Sounds great, but how can you incorporate mindfulness into your everyday life?
Try starting and/or ending your days with a quick yoga or guided imagery session. Starting your day with one of these can help keep you calm and grounded throughout the day, and ending the day with this practice can leave you feeling relaxed and full of ease for sleep. On this blog, you can find a few mindfulness scripts to follow along with. See what works for you!
Eat mindfully. Notice when you feel hungry and make sure to not eat too quickly; pay attention to the flavors and textures of your food, and eat only as much as your body wants. Slowing down to notice your experience while eating will help you to have a healthy amount while also enhancing enjoyment in your meals.
If you start to feel overwhelmed, close your eyes if you’re comfortable doing so; take three slow, deep breaths. Notice where your body touches the ground or a chair, what you can smell and hear, and what the air feels like. When you are grounded, open your eyes and resume your day, feeling calmer.
To learn more, check out these websites:
UMass Center for Mindfulness, home of the original MBSR classes:
Mindful, which has mindfulness practices for anxiety, stress, over-thinking, and isolation:
The Free Mindfulness Project, with a wealth of guided meditations, mindful breathing, body scan, movement, and mindfulness practices:
Copper Beech Institute, a center in the Greater Hartford area with a mission to help people “cultivate mindfulness, compassion, and resilience”, hosting courses, retreats, daily meditations, and MBSR:
Just including small mindful moments in your routine can impact your whole day for the better, as well as increase your health and wellness. Make the time to take care of yourself. You deserve it!