Friday, April 8, 2011

Four mindful habits

Admittedly, I've not been regularly practicing the breathing and meditation exercises lately. I've noticed that whenever I'm stressed out and should get enough rest and sharpen my brain, I slack off, talk on the phone to rant about whatever is bothering me, get migraines and neglect my well-being.

However, I've done good progress on incorporating mindfulness into some activities throughout the day, which help me to do a quick round of recharging for my mental batteries:

1. Eating

Eating, and keeping my full focus to my food has become a way to practice mindfulness. I've been eating more and more slowly lately, to make sure I keep my focus to my plate, chew properly and avoid wolfing too large amounts of food. Sometimes I still am already with my mind in the next thing I am going to do, and then I end up eating too fast and without much noticing and enjoying a quiet moment.

2. Running

Now that spring is finally here, I've started running outside again. I used to either use my running to think about my work, or about the fact that I am running and that I am feeling bad and out of breath. Even though I enjoy a run for problem-solving purposes, I now am also trying to run while keeping my full focus on the act of running. Just keeping my focus on my feet which roll over the ground, one by one... just noticing the blossoms on the trees and the water in the canals.

3. Relaxing

I've started to do my breathing exercises while taking a bath, or while being in the sauna of the gym. I've been combining these relaxing moments with a simple breathing meditations, and afterwards I was feeling doubly relaxed.

4. Sit and breathe

This one is still quite a hard one for me. Every now and then during the day, I am trying to take a mini-break in which I sit back into my chair and focus on myself: my feet touching the ground, my back against the chair and my breathing. It's a wonderful way for a quick energy-refill, but I tend to keep running around during the day and not allowing myself to take a moment to stop and think.

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