I hope everyone’s week is going well! I’m realizing that we are already approaching the end of July-so strange! I feel like the summer is just flying by, as it tends to do.
Today I have another Soul Food post for you, this time about a really important concept that goes hand in hand with being in the moment: mindfulness.
Mindfulness is something many of us don’t think about at all. We are so used to thinking about 123487 things at once, that it takes a conscious effort to be in the moment and have our minds and bodies working together on everything we are doing. I constantly remind myself throughout the day to be “all in” in whatever I’m doing-eating, working out, having a conversation with a friend- and control my thoughts. It’s easy to always jump 3 steps ahead in your mind to what’s coming up next but it’s not great for your inner peace and balance and it’s not respecting the moment you’re in!
If you’re curious about realizing when and how to be mindful in your day, this is your read! 🙂
I feel that mindfulness is part 2 of truly being in the moment. First, you place yourself right here and now,-no looking backward or forward- and then you focus your mind on what’s in front of you and align your mind with the rest of your body and actions. There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of places that your mind could travel to in any given moment. But thinking about or being elsewhere in your mind is not being balanced.
We are balanced when we are mindful- and mindful when our mind is involved in what we are doing. There are a couple different instances that I want to point out specifically in which we can really benefit from being mindful.
Mindfulness in eating
Many of us rush through our meals, watch TV while we eat, or work while we eat-daily! I’m definitely guilty of this myself, particularly of watching TV while eating which I have been working on. Eating is such a crucial source of our health, and deserves to be honored and focused on.
When we treat meals as just “fuel” and cram it all in to get back to work, we are doing our physical body and overall balance a disservice. For starters, our digestive system doesn’t work well when things get shoved in very quickly. But maybe more importantly, the moment in which we eat should be a real break to relax a moment and respect our food and body that needs it and will process it all. It’s not just “fuel” to physically get you through the rest of your day, it’s nourishment for your body and mind.
Eating while doing other things, is not practicing mindfulness. In order to fully be in this moment and consciously involved in what we are doing, we need to take a pause while eating (and hopefully even express gratitude for our food.) 🙂
Being one with what we are doing= balance. Emotional/mental/spiritual/physical balance.
Mindfulness in exercise
Working out is another place where I think most of us (again, including myself) tend to separate our minds from our bodies. I’m not talking about yoga so much as running on the treadmill or doing the elliptical machine. A lot of people read or watch TV while doing one of these machines to help pass the time and get their workout in. Truthfully, if you are working out because you feel you have to, but your mind would rather not be there, that is not ideal for your balance or even for achieving your fitness goals.
I understand, of course, that these exercises can be monotonous, but when you’re mind is running separately from your legs, you are not fully in balance and you most-likely aren’t going to reach your goals using this method either. Workouts are much more beneficial when you are mentally involved in them and communicating/acknowledging your body.
When we breathe, focus on our bodies while working out, and are in the moment, we can really reap the benefits and be in full alignment. That’s why one of the best exercises you can do is yoga. Yoga makes it very difficult to not be present; breathing, and being fully involved in all the moves of your body.
But it’s not the only option for mindful excercise, of course. Try running with no music, or even doing one of the machines with no TV. At the very least, you could try and continually pull your focus back to what you are doing throughout your workout to involve your mind more.
Mindfulness in relationships
By relationships I mean all kinds- friends, family, lovers, and coworkers. Being present in a conversation can be difficult with all the temptations that we have to check our phones. I really try to keep my phone in my purse when I have dinner with friends or when I’m talking to people throughout the day both as a gesture of respect to other person and as another way to align my mind, body, and actions.
Fostering this control over our minds is not easy to do. It takes constant conscious reminding until it becomes habit. So start now! 🙂
I hope that this information was enlightening to you all and please let me know what you think below. <3