Through the holiday hustle and bustle, it is often hard to focus on one thing at a time. Whether we are thinking about our latest purchase or when the family is coming to town, our minds are rarely on the present moment. This week, we encourage you to do tasks mindfully. Each time you have a conversation with someone, or sit down to eat, focus on the task at hand.

According to Berkley’s Greater Good Science Center, mindfulness is being aware of one’s thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment in the present moment, with no judgment. Current studies indicate that practicing mindfulness can have psychological, social, and physical benefits. Practicing mindfulness increases positive emotions and reduces negative emotions and stress. In addition, being more mindful can improve your relationships and promote compassion.

Meditation is one way to cultivate mindfulness. There are many different mindfulness techniques, so don’t be discouraged if meditation is not right for you. You are the only person who knows how to properly engage your mind. However you decide to engage your mind, pay attention to your thoughts and feelings without believing they are “right” or “wrong”.

Try some of the basic tips listed below to start incorporating mindfulness in your everyday life!

Did You Know?

  • Being mindful can help reduce chronic pain, lower blood pressure, and improve sleep.
  • Meditation is often used to treat mental health problems, such as depression, eating disorders and couples’ conflicts.
  • Mindfulness is NOT striving for judgment, reminiscing about the past or worrying about the future.

Tips for Mindfulness

  1. Basic Meditation: Sit quietly and focus on your breathing. Allow any thoughts or feelings to pass without judgment and return your focus on your breathing.
  2. The Body Scan: Focus your attention along your body and accept whatever you sense in your body parts. Try not to change or control these feelings.
  3. The Raisin Exercise: Use all your senses, one by one, to observe a raisin or any other food in great detail, from the way it feels in your hand to the way it tastes.
  4. Walking Meditation: Focus on the movement of your body as you walk, such as the way your feet touch and leave the ground.

Sources: The Greater Good Science Center of University of California Berkeley, www.helpguide.org, LifeWork Strategies, Adventist HealthCare. The Health Tip of the Week is for educational purposes only. For additional information, consult your physician. Please feel free to copy and distribute this health resource.