The idea of practicing meditation can be intimidating to people who haven''t tried it but bringing mindfulness to all aspects of our lives is perhaps easier to understand and can be practiced anyplace at any time. Mindful living can literally change your life.
Mindfulness is bringing your full and complete attention to the present moment. If you are eating, concentrate on the food before you. If you are walking, enjoy the day, the feel of your body as it moves. Mindfulness is putting away the tension and cares that sometimes rush like a never-ending river through our minds. Mindfulness is taking the time to enjoy and fully participate in the present, without allowing our minds to be tugged away to think about the past or the future or the unpaid bills or tomorrow''s dentist appointment.
Turn off the TV, put away the newspaper and really see and appreciate the food on your plate. Think of the people who worked to bring it to your kitchen, think of the preparation, the smell, how it looks. Really enjoy the food before you. How does each item on your plate taste? Chew slowly and take the time to relax in the present moment.
People who are over weight probably don''t really enjoy their food like this. I heard of a man who ate fast food every day for lunch. He didn''t want to give it up so his nutritionist suggested eating it mindfully. Once the man really concentrated on the food, its taste and how it felt in his body-he could never eat another fast food hamburger and fries again!
It takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain you''ve had enough to eat and in 20 minutes you can do a lot of over-eating. Eating mindfully allows your stomach to tell your brain that you''re full before you overeat. Think of the calories you can save by eating mindfullly.
Really feel the way your body moves, enjoy the spring in your step and the feel of the street beneath your feet. Feel the breath as it flows in and out of your body. Feel your muscles support you as you move along. Look around you mindfully. What do you see? Are there flowers, other people? Feel the sun or the cool breeze as it bathes you in the present moment.
Most people spend by far too much time worrying over things that may never happen or things they can''t change anyway. They don''t "stop and smell the roses" in life. Whatever the state of your health or your life, you can learn to appreciate the small instances of joy throughout a day by bringing mindfulness to them.
It is possible to practice mindfulness wherever you are, whenever you choose. You will begin to notice many wonderful things about the world around you and, eventually, about yourself. As you concentrate on the present moment you can begin to feel your body relax and your spirit renew.
Mindfulness clears your mind of anxieties about the future and agonizing about the past. It relaxes you and takes the weight of the world off your shoulders for one small space of time. As days go by, you will feel that peace spreading to other aspects of your life.
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