Being present and in the moment is a good practice all the time but there are certain situations when it can truly benefit us.
Here are the 6 most important times to be mindful.
1. Sweating. Whether you’re getting bendy in yoga, spinning up a sweat or finding your rhythm on a run; it’s easy to zone out. Fight the urge to succumb to the routine of it all and refocus on that body you’re working so hard to keep healthy. Be mindful of your form, your body cues, your breathing and how awesome it is that your body is capable of these movements. This will help you perform better and put you in a happier, more grateful mood.
2. Eating. It’s more than being mindful of what you eat – it’s how you eat and in some cases, that you are, in fact, eating. All too often, we treat eating like a chore that can be easily multitasked (hands up those of you reading this as you eat). Being mindful of the practice of eating will help us appreciate the food we put in our body and keep us from mindlessly overeating or grabbing less than healthy options.
3. Fighting. We’re not talking about fisticuffs here (although, this also could make sense). We’re talking about arguments. Whether it’s a loved one, a co-worker or just that insensitive person at the mall, ‘the heat of the moment’ is one of the most important moments to be mindful. Not just to stop you from screaming out something you’ll regret, but also to be mindful of why you’re reacting the way you are. Acknowledging the emotions behind the situation is one of the best ways to control it and your temper in the moment.
4. The Start & End of the Day. Beginning the day in the moment can be a challenge as many of us wake up already thinking about what we need to do. But taking the time to take a few deep breaths and be present will create a nice buffer between sleep and the onslaught of the day. Likewise, before you turn in at night, shut the door on the stress of the day with a moment of mindfulness. In both cases, the addition of a few thoughts of gratitude will go a long way to a better sleep and a better day.
5. Sexy Time. Let’s be honest, sex can sometimes feel like a routine you follow to get to your end goal. We zone out and miss out on a lot of good stuff along the way. Sex is definitely about the journey, not the destination. Being mindful during lovemaking can heighten the pleasure, make it more fun and deepen the connection you have with your partner. As a 70’s love child might say, “you got to be on when you get it on!”
6. Looking in the Mirror. Low self-esteem is a silent epidemic. It creeps up when we take a good look at those wrinkles that are forming or judge how we’re looking in our yoga pants today. Sometimes, it’s not so silent and we discover thoughts (or words) of self-judgment and even self-hate throughout out day. That’s why mirror time is one of the most important times to be mindful. Little negative thoughts that may seem harmless can really add up if we don’t consciously fight them. In fact, head to the other side of the mirror, flip the trend and mindfully compliment yourself as often as you can. You beautiful, creature.
Mindfulness can become second nature but like any good habit, it takes practice. Start with these key times in the day to practice being present and you’ll be a master of mindfulness in no time.