A daily mindful practice can help reduce stress, anxiety and emotional eating, help you to remain calm, help you sleep, increase your ability to focus, improve your relationships with others and generally be happier in your life.
“Remember you can practice your mindfulness meditation daily but also try and be “mindful” with how you go about your daily life,” says registered Mindfulness Facilitator Alison Hutchens.
Mindful Eating is one of the key practices of starting your day mindfully. This means taking into account the smells, taste and texture of the food as well as being observant of how fast you are eating, how long you are chewing and how much you are eating.
“This practice involves applying simple mindfulness techniques to the process of eating. Research has shown that eating mindfully may help you to eat smaller portions and fewer calories and reduce emotional eating,” says Alison.
“Taking a more ‘mindful’ approach to eating can enhance the enjoyment of your meals, aid good digestion, reduce anxious thoughts surrounding food, and improve your overall relationship with food,” she adds.
Mindful Movement in the Morning
As well as mindful eating, you should also try some mindful movement to start your day.
“Practicing some light stretching is a gentle way to move your body forward into a new day,” advises Alison.
“Notice how your body feels. Become aware of the sensations in your body as you move. Some gentle mindful movement will help energise your body before you jump into your day.”
Establish a Meditation Routine
Research shows that if you meditate you can improve the inflammation in your body caused by stress.
An eight-week study showed that the harmful effects of stress on the body was reduced by this practice.
“Find a time during the day that suits you and do a short meditation. I find that mornings work best for me,” suggests Alison.
“A short meditation like a “breath awareness” practice for 3- 5 minutes will make a huge difference,” she says.
Be “Mindful” of Your Distractions
It’s important that you are also aware of life’s little distractions.
“While it may feel productive to answer emails the moment you get them, stopping what you’re doing every two minutes to reply to group chats, phone calls, notifications, and whatever else may come your way can distract you from what’s actually happening around you,” says Alison.
“Focusing on one activity at a time helps you tune into your senses and appreciate the experience more and we avoid becoming overwhelmed.”
Mini Mindful Breaks
It is important to schedule short mindful breaks to check in with your thoughts and feelings. “Tuning in to our thoughts and feelings help us become more aware of our patterns. We can teach ourselves to be calmer less reactive,” says Alison.