3 Ways That Mindfulness Helps You to Live Healthier
“It is right mindfulness and attention that allow us to change our behaviour.” ~ Kalu Rinpoche
I remember watching a Super Bowl game with a bunch of my friends years ago and we were really into it. Yes, we brought snacks and other junk, including soda and beer. This was before I gave up drinking alcohol. Going back to that game. It was Super Bowl XIII, the Cowboys versus the Steelers. Terry Bradshaw versus Roger Staubach. Chuck Noll versus Tom Landry. It was a game for the ages as I remembered. The game ended with the Steelers winning 35-31, beating America’s team.
Here’s the thing about that game and it wasn’t the game. I knew that we brought a lot of junk food and drinks. I don’t even remember eating or drinking any of it. I remember the excitement of the game and how we all got into it. Yet, we all downed the food and more. We weren’t mindful of what we were eating. It was simply eating and drinking on autopilot.
Social situations like a Super Bowl leads to mindlessness in many ways. Even at a bar or party, we can over-drink alcohol unwittingly. We do this all the time. We ask ourselves where the time went. We weren’t paying attention. This is even more true when we’re fully engaged in an activity that we enjoy. Many times those activities are not healthy or can lead to unhealthy consequences.
Mindfulness is the opposite of mindlessness. It’s about being focused in the moment without judgment. To be mindful is to be aware. To develop mindfulness, start with meditation to help train your mind and brain.
Let’s look at three ways and situations that mindfulness can help you live healthier:
- In social situations. Being mindful allows you to be aware of what you are eating and drinking. Many people who leave a bar may not be aware of how much alcohol they drank. I read about one guy recently who was so drunk and when he was arrested for DUI, his blood alcohol level could not even register on the test due to it being to high. Being mindful would have stopped this, except in alcoholics. It’s the same with eating and drinking. Once we’re mindful, we can make adjustments as not to overdo it and to choose healthier options.
- When we’re sitting too long. If you’re engaged in something at work where you have to sit at a desk, time can slip away. This can lead to increased obesity due to physical inactivity and even other physical problems, such as lower back pain, due to weakened gluteus muscles (your butt muscles), especially the gluteus medius.
- When we’re stressed and feeling anxious. Mindfulness helps the mind to stay focused on the present moment and let go of the worries of the future and of the past. Our blood pressure and pulse rate are both lowered as well as the body functioning more optimally.
Obviously, mindfulness goes beyond those situations and ways to help you live a healthier life. I listed those as what we all tend to be doing day-to-day. Learning mindfulness does take some time to master it, yet, the basics of it can be done now. I will put up another post later explaining the dynamics of mindfulness that you can put into action.
I wish the best in health and mindset.
Cheers, Bob Choat