12 Dec Happiness is…living mindfully
I hope you're enjoying some of my references to the new show I'm working on, Excess Baggage. It won't screen until some time early next year but it's taking up so much of my time at the moment that it's hard not to refer to it and it's hard not to learn much from it (and from the amazing people with whom I'm working on it).
Anyway, just this week I ran a session for the contestants focusing, among other things, on mindfulness.
The session began with some instruction in applied relaxation which many of the group had never tried and, thankfully, most found helpful.
Relaxation, when practiced and used appropriately, can be such a simple but such an important part of anyone's efforts to boost their health, wellbeing and happiness so it's always great to teach it to new people.
We then moved on to the art of mindfulness and particularly, an application called mindful eating.
Now mindfulness can and has been defined in many different ways but the simplest definition is probably the non-judgemental observation or phenomena such as thoughts and feelings and actions or reactions.
The idea is that if we can learn to watch what we do, without judging, then we can either better manage these things or simply not allow them to detract from our happiness by getting in a fight with ourselves!
Mindful eating is also a wonderful practice to learn because by being more "present" during the process of eating and more mindfully engaging in the process of eating tends to cause us to eat more slowly, so we eat less but also so we enjoy what we're eating more and gain more pleasure from the food we consume.
Wins and happiness all round!
And the good news is that mindfulness can be applied to anything and everything we do so today's tip is to spend some time today just reflecting on how you're feeling, what you're thinking and what you're doing. Try to ensure that as you "watch" yourself you're not judging or assessing but simply…objectively observing.
I know this is easier said than done but like most things in life, it's not always easy but it is definitely worth it. So give it a go, practice as often as you can, and then let us know how you go an/dor what your experience in the past has been like if you've already experimented with mindfulness…the best place to have a conversation on this is HERE on The Happiness Institute's Facebook Page.