Being Mindful and Present This Summer
Monday June 1, 2020
It’s June and many of us are now entering the third month of staying at home as COVID-19 continues to upend our lives. As I have met with clients, both remotely and, just recently, in person, I have heard a common theme of feeling unsettled, blocked, or “stuck”.
One way to help combat these feelings is to dedicate yourself to being mindful and present in the current moment and focusing on the things that you are grateful for and which bring you joy.
Here are three tools you can use to help you find more peace in your life:
The cornerstone to a healthy lifestyle is choosing clean, wholesome and nutritious foods as the foundation of your daily routine. While it can be challenging to always choose the healthiest of foods, it is made worse if we then beat ourselves up over an occasional “treat” or comfort food. In addition to the actual nutrients we receive from the food we eat, our mindset about food impacts how our body is nourished. There are a number of ways we can improve our relationship with food and be more mindful as we eat.
While grocery shopping, prepping, and cooking, utilize all of your senses. Try to notice the little details about how the food looks, smells, and feels. We need to enjoy the colors, symmetry, and beauty of fresh produce. Appreciate the people who have worked to grow, harvest, and transport the food which will nourish your body, mind, and spirit. While this is a lofty prospect, trying to do this can help us stay in the present and feel grateful for all we have.
Slow down and create a peaceful space when you eat a meal. Take your time savoring each bite so you can truly appreciate the food. Try to pause between bites and notice the subtle details of how the food smells, tastes and feels in your mouth. Healthy eating is not just about what you eat—it’s also about how you eat.
Pay close attention to your emotions when you eat. If you’re stressed and eating to help compensate for those feelings, take the time to process the emotions you are feeling and the possible reasons you are eating at this particular time or this particular food.
Another way to be more present is with mindfulness meditation. This practice of meditation involves paying attention to the present moment and is proven to stimulate the Vagus Nerve. The Vagus Nerve is intimately connected to the parasympathetic nervous system and controls many of our body’s major functions such as breathing, digestion, and heart rate along with many other functions connected to the “rest and digest” state. Many people in today’s busy society find themselves constantly in the sympathetic nervous system also known as the “fight, flight or freeze” response.
While many people have found success in establishing a consistent 30-plus minute mindfulness meditation practice, it really can be an “anywhere, anytime” activity.
Ideally, we can start our meditation by finding a comfortable space to be alone and quiet. While meditating, pay special attention to your breathing. Breathe in through your nose fully so that your chest and stomach rise and expand. Then, exhale through your mouth and release all of your tensions with the breath. Pay attention to every small detail you notice, a sound, the temperature, any sensation within your body, the texture of the chair, or anything else you notice. If you find your thoughts drifting toward chores you need to complete or activities from the past or in the future, allow yourself grace and then redirect your thoughts to the present moment. I have found the phone app “Insight Timer” to be helpful in allowing me to practice mindfulness meditation. The programs can be sorted in time order, allowing me to fit a session into the available time I have to re-center and move forward.
Mindfulness can also be accentuated by taking a yoga class or creating our own yoga practices at home. Similar to mindfulness meditation, yoga emphasizes a focus on our breath and breathing to improve the awareness of our own bodies and emotions.
Taking part in a yoga program has many potential benefits. These include physical health such as improvements to our immune systems, allowing us to ward off diseases, as well as a reduction in blood pressure and pain levels. It also helps with mental acuity such as memory and concentration. Additionally, it can help improve our emotional state and give us the ability to minimize the negative impact of stress, anxiety, and depression.
At Shakti Whole Health, you can take your yoga practice to an entirely new level by scheduling a Yoga Therapy session with Kat Partch. As a trained Yoga Instructor as well as a Psychotherapist, Kat integrates the practice of yoga to help you connect fully with your body to release tension and stress that can be stored at a cellular level.
Don’t put your life on hold any longer!
Utilize the EVOX MindSet MakeOver program to stop wasting energy feeling blocked and start focusing on blossoming in the areas that make your spirit sing, like your family, friends, relationships, career, and life purpose.
Are you ready to finally break free? Learn more about our program.