I had a wonderful trip to Baltimore this past weekend where I spent the entirety of my time in a conference listening to wonderful speakers, highly credentialed professionals and inspirational peers.
I have so much to share with you! But, the one message I must absolutely share now is a presentation I had the privilege of hearing by Dr. Phillip Snider, DO, MS, RD. He spoke about Mindfulness.
Mindfulness: 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.
When I researched the subject a bit more, I found many websites devoted to the subject and practice. It is a great resource for dealing with stress, overcoming an addiction or making a big lifestyle change. I think it is a useful tool when trying to lose weight.
By focusing on the present and not dwelling on the past or living in worry over the future, we are more capable of concentrating our efforts each day on eating healthier, eating less and losing weight.
Here are several strategies to increase your mindfulness:
- Stop multi-tasking. This stood out the most to me because I am a super multi-tasker and I have often taken great pride in my ability to juggle many things at once. However, studies have shown that for each additional task you assume (take on), your collective IQ while performing those tasks decreases by 10%! I am not giving most of these projects my best if I try to handle several at once. So, slow down and take things on one at a time. Give each task 100% of your mental concentration and capabilities.
- Live in the present. Change what you can today and do not worry about the things you have no control over. Worry changes nothing except your physical and mental state. Dr Snider had a great quote for this, “there are two days you can do nothing about: yesterday and tomorrow”
- Realize no one is perfect. Do your best and accept your slip-ups, learn from your mistakes and do not dwell on what you did wrong.
- Be someone you want to be around. Be mindful of your actions toward those around you: your significant other, your children, your parents and siblings, coworkers, the waiter or even the clerk at Wal-Mart.
- Disconnect. Enjoy the world around you and stop going through each day with your head down looking at your phone or buried in your computer. Take a break and turn it all off. Enjoy nature, read a book (a real one with paper pages) or converse with a friend or loved one while actually looking them in the face.
- Form positive mental anchors. Mental anchors are biases we have formed in our minds about things based on past situations, experiences, learning, reasoning and decisions. Often they are negative anchors and prevent us from doing things that are good for us. For example: you may have a negative mental anchor about exercise based on past experience. Do not let this stop you from trying it again. Try to form new, positive anchors to replace the negative ones. Here is a website I found very interesting when browsing about mental anchors: tinybuddha.com
- Pray or meditate. Reconnect with your spirituality. Spend a designated time each day for this. Find a quiet place where you can be alone to practice this daily and you will feel a new energy for the day.
There is more great info to come and I hope you enjoyed this little tidbit and learn from it.
Have a “mindful” day,