Mindfulness is simply paying attention to what you are doing in thepresent moment. It can be utilized to improve focus, alleviate stress, and to thoughtfully respond instead of impulsively react in any given situation. Mindfulness helps cultivate a healthy mind.
Top 4 Mindfulness Tips
Focusing on deep breathing helps disengage from unhelpful thoughts and feelings such as stress or anger. Deep abdominal breathing maximizes the diaphragm’s range of motion which in turn optimizes the trade of incoming oxygen for outgoing carbon dioxide. This can help slow the heartbeat and stabilize blood pressure.
How to mindfully breathe:
- Take a deep breath – Inhale slowly for 3 counts from your nose, bringing the air to your belly as you see your abdomen rise and expand.
- Exhale slowly for 4 counts from your nose or mouth.
- Repeat this cycle for a total of 5 breaths
Connect with Nature
Nature providesa boost to our physical and mental health and well-being. Spending time connecting with nature improves concentration, relieves stress, enhances happiness, and boosts immunity, among many other benefits.
How to mindfully connect with nature:
- Go for a ten-minute walk outside. Focus on what you see, hear, and feel around you.
- Keep a flower nearby and appreciate its colour, structure, and fragrance.
- Set a timer for two minutes a look out the window and simply observe the natural world.
The way we ingest food into our bodies greatly affects the way it is digested in our bodies. The benefits of eating slowly, calmly, and taking time to properly chew include, better hydration, improved digestion and absorption of nutrients, greater satisfaction of food, and reduction of over-eating.
How to mindfully eat slowly:
- Before beginning eating, observe the colours, textures and aroma of the food on your plate.
- Notice the flavors, textures, and temperature of each bite in your mouth.
- Notice how the food makes you feel. Tune into your stomach and notice how the food is affecting it.
Our thoughts and beliefs frame our life experience. Focusing on what we are grateful for, instead of focusing on our misfortunes, not only positively affects our health but directly affects every situation in our lives. Living in gratitude opens the door to healthier relationships, reduces anger and depression, improves sleep, increases mental strength, and enhances self-esteem.
How to mindfully use a gratittude journal:
- Set aside 5 minutes in your day to sit alone with a journal and pen.
- Take a deep breath and allow yourself to think about one thing that has positively impacted you today. Re-live that moment in your mind and feel the gratitude you have for it.
- Write down what you are grateful for. Repeat 2 more times.