What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the practice of purposely focusing your attention on the present moment and accepting it without judgement. Novelist Louis L’Amour says it best: “Few of us ever live in the present. We are forever anticipating what is to come or remembering what has gone.” Anjuna Medicine strives to bring our clients the best acupuncture and massage therapy experiences as possible, and that means helping patients practice mindfulness during appointments and providing them with the tools to achieve mindfulness on their own.
Being mindful means we only concentrate on the here and now. We are in the moment and do not attach specific meaning to thoughts coming to mind. We are aware of the thought but know every moment has a passing nature, and a reaction is not needed as these moments and thoughts will soon belong to the past. Mindfulness favors observing the thought and letting it sail away without attaching emotion or rational.
Mindfulness can be a dynamic contributor in the 8 dimensions of wellness:
Emotional Occupational Environmental Physical
Financial Social Intellectual Spiritual
One of the most powerful ways mindfulness can bring improvements to our physical and psychological selves is by bringing positive changes in behavior and health philosophy. Science and mindfulness complement each other in helping people eat well and maintain their health and wellness. For example, mindful eating is a practice in which you stay completely focused on the act of eating. You think about every bite you take, focusing on the texture of the food, the feeling of your chewing, and where on your tongue you are tasting your food. Giving this much detailed thought to your eating boosts the inclination towards eating foods that actually feel good to eat, and those foods are often healthier than greasy, sugar-filled foods. Mindful eating also extends meal times, which is a proven way to cause us to eat less.
Mindfulness can also help with the following physical conditions:
Blood pressure Chronic pain Insomnia
Intense emotions Stress/anxiety Substance abuse/addiction
Not all of us have the time, inclination or discipline to practice mindfulness several hours a day, or to become a master at it, but we can take a few minutes here and there throughout our day to be mindful. Mindfulness is easy to practice anywhere and requires nothing more than a personal commitment and making time in your day.
Here are a few mindful techniques you might want to try:
- Walk mindfully- take stock of the environment
- Ask yourself what you see, hear, smell etc.
- Self-reflect mindfully- take stock of yourself
- Label your thoughts – feel your emotions and label them, i.e. anger, worry, resentment, frustration, etc., and observe without emotional involvement.
- Breathe mindfully
- Become aware of the breaths you are taking and try to maintain a steady pace
Making an appointment for an acupuncture or message therapy session is a great first step to achieving mindfulness in your life. In all facets of life, practicing mindfulness will teach you to stay in the moment, accept that change is constant and non-threating, and have sharper awareness of the real world. Thich Nhat Hanh’s eloquence says it all in a few words: “The past is gone, the future is not yet here, and if we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment we cannot be in touch with life.”