Practice Mindfulness in 2016

Mindfulness is this new “buzzword”.  Maybe you have heard people talk about it or have seen it written up on a Buzzfeed article.  Whether you have heard about it or not, it is out there and it is POPULAR!  Simply put, mindfulness is one’s awareness about how they are feeling, what they are doing, and taking time to accept these emotions and thoughts.  Now, this sounds fine and dandy, but in reality, life can throw some things at us that just make us busy.  I know that I do not have 1 hour a day to sit and meditate; most of us don’t!  But, since there are many benefits to practicing being mindful, here are some tips that will take minutes of your day and you may receive all the benefits!

From Instagram:@phillyfoodnatic

Create – Create something.  Draw.  Color.  Paint.  Whatever it is, let your mind wander.  Let the thoughts flow in and out and be ok with that.

Eat Slower – People eat slower for many reasons, but it is important to really enjoy meals.  Eat slower and chew your food.  Enjoy all of the flavors.  For example, try having a raisin in your mouth for more than  4 seconds.  You might realize that it is much sweeter than you ever expected.  This not only helps you eat less and control your weight, but may also help you practice being grateful for all that you eat, even if it is just one raisin.

Know When To Unplug – Get off your phones! When you are with people, enjoying a meal, reading a book, whatever it is, put that phone aside!  Phones make people anxious.  We get anxious about what to send, when we will get a response, who will text us, etc.  And as we all know, a variety of emotions can occur when we actually receive the message.  So instead of causing yourself anxiety, try to enjoy some time during the dayIMG_2989 (2) unplugged.

Gratitude Jars – This is not only mindful, but is a great daily reflections that takes minutes to complete.  Grab a jar or a box and some paper.  Before you go to bed, write one thing you are grateful for on that paper, fold it up, and through it in the jar.  This allows you to reflect on your day and no matter how bad the day may have been, there is always something to be grateful for.  If you start this early enough, by the end of the year, you can have more than 300 reminders of what you were grateful for during the year.

Take Time To Breathe – I think we forget how important breathing is.  It is literally our life source.  If you are feeling stressed, overwhelmed, upset, or any feeling that gets us a little crazy, just focus on breathing.  Even listening to yourself breathe ten times can help you calm down and feel more relaxed.  I know it sounds crazy, but you have no idea until you try!

In 2016, I urge you to try a couple of these.   Maybe you already do a couple of them and do not even realize it!  Let us know how these techniques go by writing in the comment section!  And if you use or find another technique, let us know too!  Happy 2016!

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