Daily meditation is a powerful tool for managing your stress and enhancing your health. But bringing present-moment awareness to all your daily activities is important. Here are tips for being mindful from wellness expert Melissa Young, MD.
Meditate 20 minutes each day. Watch your breath as it enters and leaves your nostrils, or causes your abdomen to rise and fall. Daily meditation can relieve your stress and enhance your thinking.
Slow down, and eat mindfully. Sit down to eat each meal. Lay your fork on the table between bites. Chew slowly. Savor your food’s sight, taste and smell, so you can better enjoy and digest it.
Focus on one task at a time. Practice moment-to-moment awareness in your everyday activities. Whether you’re doing laundry, washing dishes, driving or cooking, give your full attention to each task.
Listen well — to everyone. Listen actively and mindfully to your coworkers, family members and friends. Strong relationships and broad community networks are good for your body and spirit.
Stop, and just breathe. Take frequent breaks and breathe deeply several times during your day. Diaphragmatic breathing fosters calmness and focus.
Appreciate the natural world. Take a walk. Drink in nature’s majesty. Use your senses. Take in the sights, smells and sounds surrounding you.
Feed your body well. Nourish your body — and mind — with fresh-picked, local food from farmer’s markets. Choose seasonal, colorful produce, packed with healthy phytonutrients.
Take time to be still. Allow time for silence and reflection each day. Avoid filling all your time with activities. Do a “news fast,” forgoing online and TV news, and newspapers.
Practice gratitude. Write down five things you’re grateful for at least three times a week. It’s a wonderful way to come back to the present. (It feels good, too.)
Soothe yourself at the end of the day. One hour before bed, dim the lights, and set electronics aside. Take a warm bath in lavender essential oil and Epsom salts. Enjoy an inspirational read.
Download a mindfulness app. Many free apps are available for your inspiration — and convenience. Search “mindfulness” on your smartphone or tablet.