The art of mindfulness is a powerful tool for people struggling with mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety, but it can be useful for anyone – remember we are all at risk of poor mental health and prevention is better than cure!
If you’ve not come across mindfulness before, it’s all about taking the time to stop, breathe and just observe what is going on both in and around you without judgement.
Here are three ways that I have helped clients become more mindful in their lives:
1. Planning meals can save money, time and stress
Mindful eating is something I recommend to all my one-to-one weight management clients. The first step of mindful eating is planning your meals. It doesn’t necessarily have to be about planning every single meal – in our house we just plan our evening meals each week. It takes about 10-15 minutes to sit and think about what you are doing during the week and what meals would fit in with what you’re doing. Then you can plan what food you need to buy and get the food shopping done in one go each week. If you’re anything like me it could take away a load of stress and time wasted each night wondering what on earth you’re going to have, not to mention all that time that could be wasted making trips to the shops to get food in. By planning in advance and making a shopping list, you’ll also save money (as long as you stick to just buying what’s on the list!) and it saves food wastage too. It doesn’t sound like much, but if you have a hectic life then it’s one less thing to think about!
Which brings me nicely on to my next point…
2. Living in the moment can help you change your focus
If you have a busy hectic life, it is easy to work on autopilot and end up feeling dissatisfied with life or making the same ‘mistakes’ time and time again. By practicing mindfulness regularly, you can take some time to unwind even if it’s just for a few minutes each day and it can help you to change your focus. It’s about pressing the metaphorical pause button and just asking yourself a few questions about how you are feeling, what’s going on around you and observing things as they are, without judgement. You might find that by taking that step back to just be aware of things, you may find answers that you were struggling to find. Or just simply taking that minute to breathe and take notice of things just helps you to feel calmer on a difficult day. It’s also a chance to reflect on the positives around you no matter how small or think about the things you feel grateful for – you can change from a pessimist to an optimist, it just takes practice!
3. Mindful eating can help you to enjoy your food again and manage your weight
Focusing mindfulness on your eating can really help you with managing your weight in the long-term. By taking your time to savour the flavours, sights and smells of your food, whether it’s a meal or a treat, you can really learn to enjoy your food again. By enjoying your food and removing the guilt from eating you are less likely to get stuck in a binge-eating cycle. Slowing down at mealtimes and really taking the time to listen to your body will help you to stop eating when you feel satisfied rather than regularly over-eating.
I hope you found that useful – how could you work mindfulness into your day? I’d love to hear what you think in the comments especially if you already do it – you might help and inspire someone else.
So, you may have noticed that I don’t blog as often as I used to – I used to blog weekly and since I had my little girl 18 months ago, I’ve only been managing to blog monthly. However, I’ve recently started sharing tips via videos on my Facebook page and in my Facebook group. I’ve been finding this a much easier way of sharing my little nuggets of wisdom with you! If you haven’t caught any of them yet, then head over to my page to check out the video section – if you ‘like’ the page then you’ll get notifications of my future videos too (I’m aiming to do them every Tuesday by the way!)
If you’re a mum looking for even more help and support on feeling in control of your eating, then come and join us in my Facebook group Mums In Control – I’ll be doing a Live video in the group every Friday which only members get access to.