What Is This Mindfulness Business?

Mindfulness. It’s the new buzzword these days. But what does it mean?

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, mindfulness is “the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one's thoughts, emotions or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis.”

The way we go about being mindful can be different for everyone.

When I first meet with a client, their first homework assignment is keep a food journal of everything they put in their mouths, when and how they feel when they do it. They are to record how they normally eat/drink, not to impress me, drinking 100oz of water, eating no sugar and only clean foods (unless, of course, that is how they normally do eat).

The purpose of this exercise is for clients to be mindful of everything they put in their mouths. And to think about how they feel when they do it. Are they reaching into the pantry only 15 minutes after eating lunch because they are indeed hungry? Or is it because they are bored or thirsty.

So many of us do certain things out of habit. It’s because that is how we have done it for a long period of time (ie. think eating something sweet after a meal or even the process of getting off the floor).

Recently I had a couple of my clients practice getting up from lying on the ground. All of them had a process of how they got up. One had to roll into a sitting position, then go onto her knees and use her hands to slowly stand. Another one got to kneeling and then needed to push against something, such as a chair to get up. When I asked them why they do it that way (if any of their joints hurt when getting up or if they lack the strength), they weren’t sure.

I had them try getting up a different way to break their habit. And guess what? They could do it!

By being mindful, we are able to determine things that we do simply out of habit. Once we realize that, then we can start to break those habits and implement more healthier ones.

Have you tried being mindful? What have you tried? Share your story below or on my Facebook Page

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