I have been struggling with having a mind that is full most of my adult life. I am sure you can relate to this. Do you have times where you seem to be on autopilot, and not really noticing what is going on around you? Maybe after a long hard day at work, you arrive home and recall very little about your trip home. Or you go for a walk outside with your child, and you do not notice anything about the scenery since your mind is cluttered with worries about the past and the future. You may sit down to eat your favorite healthy snack, and you hardly enjoyed the taste of a single bite.
Sound familiar to you? I sure can relate.
So what is being mindful? Mindfulness is the antidote for tuning out. Mindfulness is about noticing what is happening when it happens.
Mindfulness is paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.
Mindfulness is about being aware of the sights and sounds on the drive home, being completely present when you are walking with your child, or your child or spouse is talking to you about their day. Mindfulness is about tasting every bite of food you eat which will allow you to chew your food better and allow you to extract the maximum amout of nutrients. This is done because chewing food better increases the surface area in which your gut can extract the nutrients. Being mindful while you eat can make you slow down which may even make you feel full sooner, so you eat less.
Mindfulness is not merely a technique for coping with a specific problem, but is an opportunity to be in the wholeness of life, including suffering, joy, peace, unrest, creativity, fullness, and emptiness.
Western science has been studying mindfulness for its health benefits. Mindfulness techniques such as meditation have been around for thousands of years. Some benefits are showing a lengthening of telomeres, which is an indication of a lower risk for chronic illness and mortality.
Personally, I have been working on being more mindful throughout my day for the past few years as a way of reducing stress. Early on in my health journey, I use to downplay the importance of being mindful, but as I have become more educated on mindfulness and awareness of my own mind being full, and my stressors. I have come to appreciate the importance of being mindful in my daily life.
One of my struggles is eating in my work area so that I can keep a closer eye on my patients. Also, the break room can be quite noisy where I work, and since I can be introverted, I prefer to eat in a quiet place at work. Recently, my nursing unit has moved to a more quiet and secluded area of the hospital, and this has made it easier for me be mindful while I eat my lunch. This allows me to chew my food up slowly and extract all the nutrients from every bite. Also, this allows for me not to feel rushed or stimulated from their being four or more people in the room coversating about work while everyone is trying to eat. This lowers my stress level, and allows me to return to patient care feeling recharged and able to provide the best care possible.
To help you get started today. Use the acronym SOLAR:
- · Stop
- · Observe
- · Let it be
- · And Return
This practice involves taking pauses throughout your day to consciously notice what is going on around you – and inside you – in the present moment.
I want to leave you today with a quote from Victor Frankl:
"Between stimulus and response there is space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom."
If you are struggling with how to be more mindful in your life, then do not hesitate to contact Brian or Bethany Knight at Knight Wellness Coaching.com for your free fifteen-minute consultation. During that initial consultation, we will assess your needs and see how we can best serve you. We want your health to propel you forward with your goals in life, not hold you back from achieving them.
We hope you have a healthy week.
Coaches Brian and Bethany Knight