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I talk a lot with people about creating changes in their lives that they would prefer. Often times it seems that includes conversations about calming racing thoughts, putting aside ruminating, or becoming more mindful. It seems more people are thinking about focusing on living in the moment and really enjoying what their lives have to offer.
Mindfulness seems to be a real buzz-word these days. There are in increasing number of books on the subject. But what does it mean for the average person?
Mindfulness is being aware of what’s happening right now—in your body, in your mind, and in your surroundings. Many believe it’s important to be mindful so that we can enjoy what we’re doing, who we’re with, and where we are amidst the fast pace we often find ourselves living.
Living in the moment ain’t so easy, as I wrote about in a previous blog, Living in the Moment is on my To-Do List. There are times though when we catch ourselves doing just that. And the great thing is we can do some things to help ourselves do it more often. Check out other blogs I’ve written:
Have you ever taken a bite of something and had a OMG moment? You know, when you bite that piece of chocolate that lights up your taste buds in an incredible moment of ecstasy, or that delicious main course that makes you want to groan? That’s mindful eating.
As an experiment, try paying attention when you eat. Notice how the food looks. What makes it seem appealing—the colour, texture, memories it brings back, or something else? Notice how it smells as you’re about to take a bite. Once you do take a bite, pay attention to how it feels in your mouth. Is it crunchy, soft, chewy, juicy, or does it melt? What’s the dominant flavour? What about the subtler undertones?
Take your time. As you swallow, concentrate on the food travelling down your throat until it’s all cleared out of your mouth. Now do it again.
What’s it like to do that? How much does it change your experience with eating? Does it make any difference in when you feel satiated? Does it help you slow down and experience what you’re ingesting?
Sometime it can be helpful to use an object to remind you to come back to the here and now. Something that’s small and can fit in your pocket is good. It might be a rock, a piece of driftwood, a small token or gift that brings back good memories, or something else. I know someone who used a piece of metal that brought back fond memories of childhood. It can be helpful to carry this with you to remind you to be mindful when you touch it.
How about you? What do you do that helps you be in the moment? I’d love to hear your comments!
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