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© 2020 by The Blend with Dr. C'Coop

mind·ful·ness

/ˈmīn(d)f(ə)lnəs/

noun

  1. the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.

    "their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition"

  2. a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

 

Dictionary.com

Sometimes when the hustle & bustle of the world around you causes you to tune out, it's good to have a way where you can press pause to tune back in.

Mindfulness is that PAUSE button. 

Being mindful allows you to pause and take a moment to become present.  You become fully present with where you are, what you are doing, how you are feeling and so on.  Mindfulness helps to place you in a state of awareness where you have more control and maybe even full control, over your thoughts, feelings and actions.

Mindfulness has been shown to be effective with reducing symptoms associated with anxiety, depression, stress and other concerns.  It allows individuals to gain a better understanding and acceptance of things that are triggering them.  By doing so, they are better equipped with processing through these symptoms.

3 Ways that you can practice Mindfulness: 

- Eating -

Since The Blend is about cooking and living well, of course I am going to include a relatable activity that you you can use - mindful eating.  Yes food can be involved in your daily mindful practice!

So this is how it works.  When it's time for you to sit down and partake in any meal of the day, focus on the task at hand - eating your meal.  Focus on the smell of your food, the taste of your food and how happy your tummy is while digesting the food (maybe not so much the last part but you get the idea). Be sure to put away your phones, computers, tablets or anything else that will distract you from focusing solely on your food.

Mindful

- Walking -

Let me sing for a second with my horrible rendition of Jill Scott, "Let's take, a long walk, around the park, after dark..."  Heyyyy, I know you were singing along too!  But Ms. Scott was on to something when she made that song.  Taking a walk, especially a mindful walk is an easy, convenient activity that helps you to become centered and reconnected to your thoughts, emotions, feelings and so on.

Mindful walking has been shown to improve sleep hygiene, focus and concentration.  It also helps to alleviate stress and some symptoms attributed to anxiety and depression.  So when you get a chance, take a step outside and focus your attention on the steps you take, your breath and be aware of and focused on them both.  Notice what you see around and keep yourself focused and present in the moment.

Mindful

- Breathing -

Breathing is something that we actively do day in and day out.  Our lives depend on the breaths we take every day.  So why not incorporate something that we already do naturally into our wellness routine.  Mindful breathing can be done in several forms.  One way in which you can complete mindful breathing is to:

  • Find a nice quiet room or space to where you can be relaxed and chilled

  • Sit comfortably in a chair or on the floor with your back straight and your body relaxed

  • Close your eyes and take a slow, deep breath in through your nose.  Focus on the air that is inflating your lungs.  Then slowly exhale through your mouth noticing how the air feels as it exits your body.  This is a complete breath cycle. (Breath cycles should be around 6 seconds)

  • As you exhale, let go of your thoughts, anxiety, worries and any other thing that may be consuming your mind.

  • Repeat the mindful breathing cycle again and focus on your breath entering and exiting your body.

  • Continue to repeat the mindful breathing cycles for 1-minute or until you feel relaxed.

Mindful

Other mindful activities that you can try: 

*Remember the key is to focus only on the activity that you are doing and remaining in the present time.  If your mind begins to wander and you start thinking about your daily to-do list or other triggers for stress, take a pause, refocus and become centered again by focusing on your activity.* 

  • Mindful Coloring

  • Yoga

  • Reciting Positive Affirmations

  • Listen to music

  • Arts & Crafts

Be present

Be mindful