Mindfulness is the practice of living your life with intent. It’s the idea of doing everything with a purpose. The mental health benefits of mindfulness are plenty, but what about your physical health?
Some people focus on the meditative side of mindfulness. You take a few minutes out of every day to just sit and breathe. Meet any thoughts that come across your mind without judgment. It can help you to understand the hidden meaning behind your behaviors and give you the tools to alter your mindset and reactions.
Mindfulness can be a part of every aspect of your life if you want it to. This practice can help keep your physical health intact if you remember to be mindful during these 5 daily activities.
Everybody finds themselves sitting down throughout the day. Whether it’s at work, home, in the car, or all of the above the average American spends about 10 hours sitting every single day.
That number may sound outrageous when you first read it, but it’s easy to see how all the minutes spent driving, working, and relaxing at home add up. If you don’t have good posture while you’re sitting then that’s 10 hours every day that you’re damaging your body.
Bad posture comes from sitting in a position where your spine isn’t aligned properly. Most people slouch while sitting without even thinking about it. Some of the effects of slouching on the body include; headache, muscle fatigue, potbelly, rounded shoulders, and pain in the shoulders, back, and neck.
Sitting with bad posture can lead to lifelong health consequences and this is where practicing mindfulness comes in. You should start getting into the habit of checking in with yourself every time you find yourself sitting down.
Adjust your posture with the intent of loving your body and honoring a commitment to keeping it healthy. Keep your feet flat and avoid crossing your legs or ankles. Place your knees at the same height as your hips or slightly lower. Relax your shoulders and keep your back against the backrest of your chair.
There are so many different reasons that someone eats. People eat due to boredom, sadness, celebration, to be social, and when hungry. Eating for any reason other than hunger should be done infrequently and with intent.
When you indulge in food for reasons other than hunger it can lead to negative health effects. Many people use food as a coping mechanism and that can lead to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other complications.
America in particular has an obesity problem and our relationship with food is a big factor. Over two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. Adjusting how you relate to and eat food can drastically improve your physical and mental health.
Practice mindfulness by choosing your food with a specific intent in mind. Pick healthy options with the purpose of honoring and respecting your body’s health. Take your time while you eat and pause between bites. This will give you an opportunity to really savor the flavors and textures of your food. Eating slower will help you to feel fuller faster and enjoy your food longer.
You may be wondering what the point of walking mindfully is. Perhaps you’re an average, healthy person with no previous injuries. You watch your step occasionally but otherwise spend more time looking at your phone than your environment.
Walking mindfully is to walk with intent. Be present in the moment and observe the world around you. Take in the sounds, sights, and smells that you encounter and pay attention to your reactions.
Checking in with yourself in this way can help improve your mental health. Being present helps with symptoms of anxiety and depression. Practicing mindful walking will also help you to avoid injuries. The last thing you want is to trip and break your ankle. Instead of spending your vacation shopping, you’ll be looking up an accident injury lawyer in NYC.
It can be hard to practice mindfulness in our busy lives. Between work, family, friends, and hobbies we have so much on our plates. Is it really worth it to focus on your intent while talking?
Practicing mindfulness in the midst of your conversations with others will improve your physical health by reducing your stress levels. Stress can cause a number of health issues including headaches, digestive issues, aches and pains, and exhaustion or trouble sleeping.
Problems with communication is one of the top stressors in most people’s lives. Being mindful during your conversations with others can help reduce this stress. When the other person is talking focus on actively listening. Make mental notes of your reactions and feelings to what the other person is saying. Then take a brief moment to think about how you’d like to respond to the other person and, more importantly, what you want them to take away from your response. This will help you eliminate many of your communication issues and lower your stress levels.
The key to living a healthy life involves exercise just as much as it does anything else. Exercise helps you to reduce stress, improve muscle strength and flexibility, and manage certain chronic illnesses. Regular exercise can also help improve symptoms of some mental illnesses as well.
Being mindful during your exercise routine will help you get the most out of your work outs. Practice mindfulness while working out by focusing on your breath, how the weights feel in your hands, how the treadmill or pavement feels underneath your feet, and any other sensations you may experience.
Some exercise routines such as yoga or pilates are excellent choices for a mindful workout. You can focus on how your body feels going in and out of each pose. Give yourself permission to acknowledge how you’re feeling during your work out without judgement. You’ll find that you’re able to work out longer and achieve better results with a mindful attitude.