Updated: Feb 22, 2022
The Key Ingredient to Achieve Wellness
What is Mindfulness?
You have probably heard of the word “mindfulness” flying around the wellness world and in general recently, but do you know what mindfulness is? Mindfulness is the act of focusing on being aware of your emotions, senses, and your environment. The act of mindfulness can involve many practices, such as meditation, breathing methods, grounding, or anything that relaxes your mind as well as your body.
How can mindfulness benefit my life?
Our day to day lives can be stressful and anxiety-provoking more often than relaxing. Being in a state of stress for long periods of time can have negative impacts on our mind and body. Impacts of stress include:
· weakened immune system
· muscle tension
· high blood pressure
· sleep problems
· social withdrawal
· irritability or anger
· lack of motivation
· appetite changes
It is important to recognize times when we feel stressed or anxious and how it makes us feel both mentally and physically. Furthermore, it is important to know how to deal with these feelings! That is where mindfulness can come in handy. Taking a few minutes each day to breathe, treat yourself with kindness, conduct a body scan, meditate, or pay attention to the current moment, can have tremendous impacts on our health. The benefits of mindfulness include, but are not limited to:
· improved focus
· improved sleep
· improved chronic illness control
· improved appetite
· reduced stress
· reduced rumination
· improved emotional control
Mindfulness and Nutrition
As mentioned above, mindfulness can improve appetite and nutrition; this is called mindful eating or intuitive eating. Practicing mindful eating allows us to be in the moment with our food without distractions. During this process, we can really focus on all the different aspects of our meal, such as colors, textures, and flavors. This process can even help us recognize our fullness and hunger cues, therefore improving our relationship with food and appetite.
Next time you feel stressed or anxious while eating or in general, try to take some time for yourself to focus on being in the moment. Below are a few resources to help you on your mindfulness journey!
1. Can mindfulness exercises help me? Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/in-depth/mindfulness-exercises/art-20046356?reDate=13082019. Published September 15, 2020. Accessed February 10, 2022.
2. How stress affects your body and behavior. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-symptoms/art-20050987. Published March 24, 2021. Accessed February 10, 2022.
3. Davis DM. What are the benefits of mindfulness? Monitor on Psychology. https://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/07-08/ce-corner. Accessed February 10, 2022.
4. Nelson JB. Mindful Eating: The Art of Presence While You Eat. Diabetes Spectr. 2017;30(3):171-174. doi:10.2337/ds17-0015
5. Raisin meditation | practice | greater good in action. https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/raisin_meditation. Accessed February 10, 2022.