Mindfulness Strategies

Mindful Eating

This involves nothing more than eating a meal. This will prove to be a challenge. Put down your electronic devices, turn off the TV, put away any books or newspaper and only concentrate on the food in front of you.

Eat slowly. Mindful eating means paying full attention to each piece of food you pick to eat, how it looks, how it smells, how you cut the food, the muscles you use to raise it to your mouth, the texture and taste of the food as you chew it slowly. Be completely immersed in the experience.

You will be amazed at how much more enjoyable food can be when eaten in this way and how much more fulfilling a meal can be. Eating this way also happens to be very good for your digestion.

Remember, the purpose of mindfulness is to bring you into the present moment, and to quiet your mind. The whole point of mindful eating is to devote your attention to the experience of eating, leaving no room for mental chatter. Yes, something this simple can be considered a form of meditation because you are completely in the present moment. That present moment consists of you eating a meal and NOTHING else. If your mind begins to wander while you are eating just bring your attention back to your meal. Give it a try and you will see that this simple mindfulness technique will prove to be a challenge! Keep trying!

Mindful Walking

In this mindful activity, you simply bring your full attention to the simple act of walking.

You become completely aware of your body, every characteristic and  movement while you walk.

Focus on how your feet feel as they hit the ground. How do they feel in your shoes? Is the pavement smooth? Or bumpy and uneven? Maybe you are walking barefoot in the grass. How do your toes feel as they meet each blade of grass? Look at the sky, the other walkers, trees, nature everything in that current moment. How does your breath feel? Do you feel a breeze across your face? Do not judge anything. Let all of your thoughts go and enjoy the moment.

Mindful Listening:

Wherever you are take a few minutes and just listen. If you are in your house maybe you hear the furnace running, boards creaking, your pets wandering around, children playing outside or maybe just silence. Just remain quiet and listen. You could walk outside and try it. You may hear cars driving by, birds chirping, an airplane in the sky, trees rustling or water flowing in a stream nearby…… again, just be present in the moment and concentrate on mindful listening.

Mindful Breathing:

Try this for one minute. You could sit in front of a clock or just use your watch. The only thing you will be concentrating on his your breathing. Feel the air as it comes in through your nostrils and fills your lungs and diaphragm. Feel your chest rising and falling with each breath. Feel your breath as you exhale out of your mouth.  Feel the sense of calm and peace you feel when that minute is over.

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