How a mindfulness practice can improve your health and relationships
We’re all guilty of it: Zooming through our days in autopilot...scarfing down our food in front of the TV or phone...mindlessly driving to and from work...not fully listening to a family member as they recount their day.
These are all habits we get into as busy professionals. Although it’s normal reaction to the daily grind, there are many negative health effects associated with always rushing through our lives. They include, among others, anxiety, depression, lack of motivation, overeating, and fatigue.
Practicing mindfulness is the opposite of zooming through life. Mindfulness can be defined as a state of active, open attention to the present. It is also observing one’s thoughts and feelings without judging them as good or bad. Mindfulness can bring peace to our hectic days, allowing us to connect more deeply to ourselves and our loved ones.
For a more in-depth review of mindfulness components, benefits, and how to use the practice in your daily lives, join Amy Jackson, LCSW, MPH, Behavioral Health Consultant at our first Lunch & Learn of the season!
Ready to jump into a mindfulness practice? A core piece of mindfulness is to focus on breathing. Below is an easy and quick exercise to start your day or incorporate during any moments of high stress.
Breathe in specific counts while visualizing a box: Inhale to the count of 4 as you visualize the top edge of a box.
Hold your breath for a count of 4, as you go down along the right side.
Exhale for a count of 4, moving from right to left along the bottom edge.
Hold for another count of 4, going up along the left side, back to the top.
Repeat for several cycles for at least 1 minute.
Life can feel overwhelming at times, but there is support available. By integrating a mindfulness routine into your daily life, you can reduce your negative reactions to stress and discover a more peaceful relationship with your thoughts and actions.
Looking forward to learning together!