So what is the deal with mindfulness exercises, activities, training, eating, etc.? Is being “mindful” hype or does it have real value? Let’s start with what mindfulness is.
What is Mindfulness?
Simply put, it is focusing on the moment and forgetting about everything else. I really consider it a form of meditation. Whatever it is that you are doing focus 100% on the now. Not thinking about the future or past conversations. If you are going on a walk you are completely taking in your surroundings. Noticing the sounds of the birds or cars or kids playing in the background. Taking in the visual of the park or street or mountains. Smelling the fresh air or maybe even acknowledging a foul smell (not everything has to be pretty 😉 ). Really being aware of all of your senses.
What Are the Benefits to Mindfulness Exercises?
Research shows that being mindful can:
- Reduce stress
- Improve memory
- Create more positive emotions
- Reduce risk of heart disease
- Reduce anxiety
- Weight loss
I want to focus on the last one. Specifically because, when we are eating mindfully it helps us listen to our bodies a little better. We are less likely to overeat or binge eat and it can help us handle our cravings better too.
Mindfulness Training Tips for Weight Loss
- Slow down, pay attention and be thoughtful about the food in front of you. Taking time to enjoy the process and taking pleasure in it. I want you to noticing the colors, smells, textures, flavors & sounds of the food as you take each bite.
2. Don’t multitask while eating. Put down the phone or book/magazine. Step away from the desk. Only focus on the food you are eating, maybe the company with you if you are not alone but nothing else. If we aren’t paying attention and don’t take the time to taste our food then it doesn’t fully register that we are and it leaves us wanting more than we need.
3. Mindfulness training can take some practice and time to get used to. Start small, maybe try to have one mindful meal a day or week at first. If that is too much try to have a few mindful bites instead of a full meal. It doesn’t have to take an hour, just start by being more aware.
- Here is an example. Let’s say you are having soup for lunch. Bring a spoonful of soup up to your mouth. Before you take a sip take a deep breath and enjoy the smell and heat coming from the soup. Put the spoon in your mouth, maybe close your eyes, and pay attention to the taste and texture of the soup. Start to chew and focus on how that feels and how it feels to swallow. You just had a mindful bite.
Mindfulness exercises can happen any time and any place. It doesn’t have to be around food either. A good mindfulness activity is to take a few minutes out of your day, close your eyes, put one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach. Jut take a moment to focus on your breath. How it feels, how fast or slow it is, the rise and fall of your chest and stomach.
There are no real rules to being more mindful or mindful activities. Find what works for you to be more present and go for it.
I think you will find as you become more mindful, in your eating habits at least, you will want a prettier, more colorful plate, with less beige foods. You will discover more how foods make you feel and will naturally cut out the processed foods that leave you with low energy and feeling bloated.
I don’t believe mindfulness exercises are all hype. They have real value. I challenge you to try some of the examples I’ve given you and see if practicing these mindfulness activities can help you with your struggles.
Interested in weight loss? Check out these other posts:
- Personal Training Apps: How To Use Them With Your Weight Loss Plans
- 7-Steps to Lose Weight
- 4 Tips to Help You Master Your Healthy Habits