You’re not the only one that feels like life is going faster each year, that your to-do list feels bigger each week, and that your daily thoughts seem to be cycling quicker than they were yesterday. You are not alone. It’s no secret that technology advances, the influence of social media, and the desire to fill the voids within us often leads us striving to be “harder, better, faster, stronger” as the astute Kanye put it. But what does this do to our mind, our emotional capacity, our relationships, our self-esteem, and our overall well being? This way of life distracts us from our own feelings, thoughts, and desires and often leads to us sitting under an umbrella of discontentment. While the practice of Mindfulness cannot solve all our problems overnight, it can be a powerful tool to help us feel connected to our own self, day in and day out.
Mindfulness is the the ability to be fully present wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, and not overly reactive or judgmental to what’s going on inside you or around you.
Contrary to what most people think, this doesn’t have to add to the to do list and it doesn’t have to be in the form of meditation. While it CAN be practiced in a yoga session, it also can occur while you’re eating the same old breakfast you make every morning. When was the last time you sat at the counter and really tasted your food? Really thought about how it felt swallowing? Really breathed and enjoyed the nutrients you were putting in your body? Instead, are you throwing on your coat, grabbing a coffee cup to go, barely spilling it on your khaki pants, and running out the door yelling to your loved ones that you’ll talk to them later? Right? Me too. Practicing mindfulness has been proven to improve well-being, working memory, overall mood, decrease depressives symptoms, improve positive feelings of self, and shrink stress cells in the brain. Mindfulness is a practice, so get going! Try to be fully present for 5 minutes this week, without judging yourself or your situation. Try to acknowledge your feelings and thoughts and let those feelings and thoughts float by, like clouds in the sky. Acknowledge them and let them float on. Try to breathe in deep and count to five on each inhale and exhale. Slow down this week, just once, and do something that makes you feel whole in this fast-paced life we live in.
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