Mind your Mindfulness
When someone says “be mindful” what does that mean to you? It’s almost a buzzword these days as it’s been attached to everything from eating to parenting to exercise to beer (yes, beer)
It’s not a complicated concept. I think it’s a bit overused (see mindful beer above) and like any other trend, it’s often talked about without a lot context. For me, being mindful is simply being present in your current task/activity and being aware of what you are doing, saying, creating, being, etc. It means focusing on what I’m doing at any given moment and taking the time to slow down a bit to think, appreciate, and listen. Mindfulness is the ability to stop multi-tasking.
There are no shortage of mindfulness resources out there…apps, magazines, books, web sites, Facebook communities and more to help you get to that state of mindfulness. It can be overwhelming but it’s always good to know there is information to help you understand and embrace a concept.
Mindful in the context of your health and wellness means being aware of what your body is telling you and what it needs. From the food you eat to the exercise you do to the people and stress you allow into your life. It’s about slowing down and assessing your activities and actions to see if they are aligned with your real life goals.
My theme for March is going to be “cleaning up” your life and eliminating the toxic junk that’s keeping you from being your happiest and healthiest. We’ll be cleaning up our pantries and fridges, as well as our friends list and workspaces. But first, we get mindful about all the stuff we’re allowing to invade our minds, bodies and souls that doesn’t bring us joy. That’s right, we’re going to find all the crap and Marie Kondo it out of our lives.
We start this week by being more mindful and taking inventory of what might need to be cleaned up to clear the way to better health. Grab a notebook or open a black note on your phone and try these 3 mindful tasks.
- Track What you Eat and Drink. I am proud to be a broken record on this one. I require all my coaching clients to not only track their food and drinks but give me real-time access to their food journals. You may believe you eat healthy…and maybe you do! But do you know how much you’re eating, when and why? Do you see the patterns of your eating that might not be about hunger but more about emotions? Your mindful task: If you consume it, track it. And, bonus points if you add a note about how you feel after each meal (that reveals a lot about triggers).
- Slow Down to Accelerate Results. In the race to check off things on our to-do list, we often just go through the motions, which can diminish results. Take a moment to slow down in your daily routine to evaluate if you are doing things right – not just fast. This is especially important with exercise. Hurrying through a workout to just “get it done” can be as bad as not working out at all. Plus, you risk injury. Your mindful task: At the end of the week, note how you feel after exercising and ask yourself if it’s time to change things up.
- Reevaluate Relationships. I’m not suggesting you unfriend everyone or break it off with a partner. I’m encouraging you to reevaluate the relationships that consistently bring you stress or drama. You already know who these people are but really focus on identifying them this week. Take note of how you feel around certain people – especially at work, where we spend most of our waking hours. After a meeting, spend a few minutes to write down how you think it went, what caused you to be defensive or hurt, etc. Your mindful task: Be aware of the relationships that bring anxiety, stress and cause you more “work” than others. Then, set boundaries with people or devise strategies to manage them and your stress level.
The Mindful Advantage for Weight Loss
Three simple ways to be more mindful to protect your health and well-being. You don’t have to overthink it or spend hours meditating over it. Just practice being in the moment of any activity and allow yourself to feel all the feelings that come with it. Then, keep notes in a journal about the feelings and what you can do to change them, if needed.
When it comes to your nutrition and exercise – being mindful can be a game-changer for your weight loss or other goals. Small tweaks in what you eat or how you move based on your mindful observations or focus can help you break through a plateau.
Would love to hear how you are becoming more mindful in your everyday life. Join the conversation in my free Facebook group or shoot me a quick email with your thoughts, questions, comments!
Have a wonderful, mindful week!