Mindfulness: Living in the Now

Good Morning!

So I have to give a big shout out to my father, the lovely Tom Dulas. First of all, he is one of my biggest fans with everything I do. Yesterday when I gave so much credit to my mother and future mother-in-law for helping us unpack so quickly he said, “Hey what about me and Mark?!” Dad, what I was really trying to say was if it wasn’t for you and Mark lifting all the heavy duty stuff and getting that tape measure out to make sure we were centering the pictures on the walls, we never would have moved in so fast 🙂 I hope you know how much I appreciate all the help and I love you and mommasita so incredibly much!

Daddy and Mommasita

My parents are my biggest role models and have taught me so much in this life. Now that I feel completely grown up with my own car payments, own insurance payments, etc., I seemed to go to my parents now more than ever. Every day I’m calling one of them asking questions about this bill or that, or how to fix this and do that. I honestly don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have these two helping me along the way every day.

Thank you Daddy and thank you Mommasita for being the best parents in the world!

The real world is exactly how everyone makes it sound. I can remember in high school wanting to be in college and everyone saying, “don’t take these moments for granted, high school is the time of your life.” But I didn’t listen and wanted college. Then when I made it to college all I wanted was to graduate and get a good job so I finally had some money in my pocket. What I didn’t realize is that moving on from college and making money, also means…..more bills!

Now looking back I wish I wouldn’t have worried or looked into my future as much. I’m a planner and I like to have things planned so the future is ready for me. What I seem to lack at times is living in the moment. Living in the now. Living in mindfulness.

Mindfulness–the practice of living in—and accepting—the present moment.

As I have started my mind-body relationship journey, mindfulness is something I am learning and really enjoying. Mindfulness can help for everything from stress and anxiety relief, to better performance at work, to help with sleep or weight goals.

One of my favorite magazine articles I have read when it comes to mindfulness was a November 7, 2013 article in Women’s Health: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/life/mindfulness

Gain Mind Control

Our human minds seem to make us think about the past or worry about the future. Mindfulness involves calming that chatter and focusing on the here and now, says psychologist Susan Albers, Psy.D., a mindfulness expert at the Cleveland Clinic. “It is concentrating on what’s happening in the moment, without dwelling, judging, or trying to change anything.”

When practicing mindfulness, I really focus on letting my thoughts come to me without trying to figure out what they mean. I try to not over-think or over-analyze, which to be honest is a very big struggle for me. But like the entire mind-body journey, it’s a lifelong journey that takes practice and time to get.

Head-Strong Habits

People who practice everyday mindfulness can actually change the structure of their brains, beefing up the areas that control emotions and stress responses, says psychologist Britta Holzel, Ph.D., a neuroscience researcher at Charite Hospital in Berlin. The more mindful you become, the more dominant your relaxation response becomes. Because of that relationship, mindfulness can help reductions in things like blood pressure, heart rate and inflammation.

One place in my life I have seen mindfulness help is my digestive system. When I’m not stressing myself out I notice I’m not bloated and I am releasing waste on a regular basis. When I have weeks where I’m stressed out or anxious my bowel movements go back to their old routine and my energy level decreases. The second I noticed mindfulness help me, I realized it was a life long commitment I needed to make.

How to Start:

  1. Set aside time in your day – I like to set aside about 10 minutes in the morning.
  2. Breathe – Sit in a quiet room and breathe. I don’t like to count seconds or breaths because then I feel I’m not relaxing enough. Just breathe and feel each breath come in and out of your body.
  3. Observe – pay attention to the details of this life. If it’s a beautiful morning I like to practice mindfulness on my deck where I can hear the birds, smell the trees and feel the air. Use your senses to observe and feel everything around you that you usually walk right by.
  4. Use it in action – when I start to feel anxious at work I try to take a few deep breaths and feel mindful of what’s going on around me. It helps calm me or helps me realize it’s just work.
  5. STOP – if you get to the point where you are so frustrated, anxious or worried use the mindfulness STOP technique. Stop, Take a deep breath, observe, proceed with whatever you are doing.

Mindfulness is not easy by any means, but you don’t have to buy fancy equipment or pay a professional to teach you how to be mindful. You can practice it during any time of the day, anywhere. I truly believe that learning how to be mindful not only helps your stress levels, but it also improves your mind, your body and your energy.

Improving energy isn’t just about learning how to feed your body, but also about learning how to relax your body and being aware of what’s going on around you. I encourage you to take 5 or 10 minutes out of your day today and really observe what’s going on around you. Become mindful of your life and feel the benefits along with it!

Question for the day:

  • Take 5 minutes and practice mindfulness. What are some things you felt in those 5 minutes?

 

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