Extend your mindfulness practice!
To effect any real change in your wiring; mindfulness needs to become a way of living - not just a way of eating. Manifest a holistic mindful life.
Eating is only one piece of the health puzzle. If you build your mindful eating practice into a holistically healthy lifestyle and stay in control of your thoughts, you will set yourself up for permanent success.
Turn your mindful eating to a mindful life.
Mindfulness can at first seem like an intangible concept when you think about extending it to your whole life.
However, practicing a mindful life is quite simply the act of concentrating on your breath and being aware of what is going on around you in the present moment.
The more you do it, the more the simplicity of it becomes clear and the benefits of this manifest. It provides next-level mental clarity which will help you in every aspect of your life.
If you try to calm [the mind], it only makes it worse, but overtime it does calm, and when it does, there's room to hear more subtle things. That's when your intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearly and be in the present more. Your mind just slows down, and you see a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more than you could see before. Its a discipline, you have to practice it. ~ STEVE JOBS
It's more than just a hippy-dippy phenomenon..
You don't have to be a weed-smoking, combi-van driving, dread-lock owning tree-hugger to adopt a mindfulness practice. Nor do you need to join a cult or convert to Buddhism. Although many of the exercises and techniques are rooted in Buddhism, the practice can be learned by anyone. Whether in a secular or spiritual context, mindfulness alleviates suffering and increases our awareness in ways that can only be a gain.
Benefits of practicing mindfulness...
People who regularly implement mindfulness strategies may find lasting physical and psychological benefits including;
- Increased experience of calm and relaxation
- Higher levels of energy and enthusiasm for living
- Increased self-confidence and self-acceptance
- Less danger of experiencing stress, depression, anxiety, chronic pain, addiction or low immune efficiency
- More self-compassion and compassion for others and our planet
A little perspective...
If you're reading this page, that means you have a smartphone, computer or tablet and an internet connection. Which makes you richer than most of the human population!
A roof over your head, food on your plate and clean water in your tap. 3 things that we often take for granted, but also some of the most valuable things we possess. Just imagine for a moment, a life without these things?
Start with Gratitude
Gratitude is a powerful force. By moving your attention away from what you don't have (focussing on 'lack') and becoming consciously aware of all the wonderful things you do have (focussing on abundance), you will achieve a sense of contentment and happiness in life without necessarily needing to change anything. If you do nothing else in this challenge after it is over, practicing gratitude would be the biggest game-changer to take with you. Gratitude is the reason why some of the happiest people in the world are also the poorest.
By constantly dwelling on all the things you lack and negativity - "I don't have enough money," "I didn't score that job," "my skin looks awful," "I don't fit into my jeans," - you become more acutely aware of these things and 'energetically' emphasising what you don't have gives you more of it. When you consciously express your gratitude for all the things that you do have, you become a magnet for more good things in your life.
What being grateful is not...
Practicing mindfulness with a grateful heart is not about burying your head in the sand and living in denial of all the bad things happening. It is a shift in perspective; instead of getting caught up in the frustration, sadness, overwhelm and negativity, you focus on solutions to the problem and look for opportunities for development.
How to implement gratitude into your day
Just like meditation or any of the other mindfulness exercises you've tried so far in this challenge, you've just got to do it. Build it into you life and make a habit of saying what you're grateful for out loud and connecting with what you say so you feel grateful.
- Keep a journal next to your bed and write down 3 things you are grateful for each morning.
- Go around the dinner table one at a time and share what you're grateful for with your house mates.
- Next time you put a load of washing on, do your dishes or clean your toilet, think about how grateful you are to have clothes to wear, dishes to eat with and a toilet to use.
- Say thank you. The simple act of saying 'thank you' and showing someone you acknowledge and appreciate their efforts in helping you can really change the course of someone's day.