Mind Over Mood
Mindfulness To Change Your mind
1. Try this simple two-step technique
Step 1: Sit alone in a quiet room. Find a comfortable position.
Step 2: Focus your attention entirely on your breathing.
2. Focus on one task at a time
Seems easy, right? But think of how often you’ve browsed the web or checked email while working on a project, or talk on the phone while driving or doing something else.
In our multi-tasking world, we are becoming less able to focus and it affects not only our productivity but our mood and our health.
For instance, research has shown that people who multi-task are more likely to have high blood pressure.
3. Don’t get distracted during mealtime
When was the last time you sat down at a table and had a meal without thinking about what you had to do afterwards, or without reading, watching tv, or talking?
To practice mindfulness while eating, eliminate all distractions and savor, rather than inhale, your food.
Pay full attention to what the food looks like on your plate, how it smells, how it tastes.
Be aware of how full you are becoming. People often notice that food tastes better this way and is more filling.
A healthy bonus: A pilot study at Indiana State University found that mindfulness, including specific instructions to slowly savor the flavor of food and be aware of how much food is enough, helped to reduce eating binges from an average of four binges per week to one and a half.
4. Try going for a mindful walk
In a study called the Ruth Stricker Mind/Body Study, researchers divided 135 people into five groups of walkers for 16 weeks.
One group walked briskly. Group 2 walked at a slow pace, group 3 walked at a slow pace while practicing mindfulness, group 4 practiced tai chi, and group 5 changed nothing about their lives.
The researchers found that the group practicing mindfulness while walking had a significant reduction in anxiety.
They also had more positive and less negative feelings about themselves, and that the benefits were noticed immediately.
So how do you go for a mindful walk? Simply let all your thoughts of the future and past go.
Notice what the ground feels like under your feet, how you’re breathing.
Observe your surroundings. Look at the sky, the trees, feel the wind on your cheeks. Enjoy your walk!