Mindfulness means the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something. It is also a mental state which is achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, happily acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, emotions and thoughts
Everyone must have come across the word mindfulness at some or the other point, but what does it mean?
Mindfulness means the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something. It is also a mental state which is achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, happily acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, emotions and thoughts.
We all know that life comes with a lot of obstacles which are needed for our growth. Similarly, engaging in a mindful life is not too different. Mindfulness is nothing but being present and aware of your behaviour in every waking moment. While practising mindfulness there are times when we get too tired to go on, and we consider giving up and avoiding being mindful. This could be for various reasons. However, if you take a step back and analyse this, you will see that these are not signs of failing, but sings of being mindful. They are opportunities to learn about the hindrances of life and tackle them mindfully.
Being mindful when eating is also important. Practising mindful eating means being mentally present when eating or drinking any particular food item and enjoying it thoroughly. We tend to focus on what we eat in terms of it being healthy or unhealthy, but we must focus on how we eat as that has a huge impact on our health.
Let’s see what needs to be done in order to start mindful eating:
Eat slowly and take the time to savour each and every bite. Enjoy the food you eat as that’s one of the healthiest things you can do. You are more likely to notice that when you are full, you chew your food more and hence it’ll get mixed well with the saliva and get digested easily. You will also find yourself noticing flavours which you otherwise may have missed. The body also sends its satiation signal to the brain about 20 minutes after one starts eating, which is why we often unconsciously overeat if we chew fast. On the other hand if we slow down, we can give our body a chance to catch up with the brain and hear the signals to eat the right amount and avoid overeating.
Try to keep meal time as silent time. This doesn’t mean you can’t talk to your family members, but try and keep it short. Try and avoid all gadgets, TV, phone, etc, and stay focused on the food that you are eating. This way you can connect with your food more easily without any distraction.
Try and look into your portion size. We tend to eat more when we eat directly from a packet or box of food. Take a small portion onto a plate to avoid overeating. Try and use smaller plates and spoons which will ensure that you take small bites and chew well. This way the food intake reduces and gut related issues can be avoided.
Deep breathing during meals is important to ensure the body is getting enough oxygen for the digestive system. The increased oxygen in body improves blood flow, which improves overall digestion.
Keep your phone and TV time limited as it strains one’s eyes. It is best to avoid these at night as it affects the sleep cycle.
Take at least 15 minutes of the day to meditate. Sit quietly and follow your breath, and you will observe that you are calmer and conscious. This will help you feel connected with yourself for rest of the day. We are connecting with others regularly but take out time to connect with your inner self and you’ll be at peace.
Try and stay active throughout the day, whether it is walking, yoga, exercising, pilates, etc. Being mindful of your body is important to keep your health in check.
There are many things that you can do to be mindful, but let’s focus on doing these few things and make them a part of our lifestyle.