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Simple Ways to Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is “maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens,” according to U-C Berkley's Greater Good Science Center. Mindfulness is something we all already possess, we just have to practice tuning into it. Simply put, we can practice mindfulness by paying attention to our thoughts, feelings, and surroundings without judging or labeling, but just noticing.

How to Nurture Mindfulness

  • Focus on your breathing

  • Tune into any physical sensations in your body

  • Notice thoughts and feelings when they arise, and let them pass without judgment

  • Pay attention to your surroundings and environment

  • Scan your body, noticing where you could release tension

Practicing mindfulness cultivates a multitude of health benefits including improved sleep, enhanced immune health, and boosting brain health and focus. Being mindful can also have a positive effect on our relationship with ourselves and our bodies. People who practice mindfulness regularly have been shown to have a healthier body image, more positive self-esteem, and tend to act more in line with their values.

One way to practice mindfulness every day is to be aware of how we feel when we eat. Mealtime is an important time to take a deep breath, relax, and enjoy food! When we eat while we’re distracted, we forget to pay attention to how much we eat or if we even like what we’re eating. Taking a few moments to be in tune to what we are eating can decrease the likelihood of overeating and lead to making more informed food choices. For example, simply taking a moment to start a meal with a "22" -- two cups of produce and 2 ounces of protein -- can boost overall health and well-being.

Food is meant to be enjoyed! When we intentionally focus on our eating, we can express gratitude for the food we eat, an appreciation for where it came from, and be thankful for the people who had a hand in getting the food to our table. Including a LOVE food in your day when you choose is another way to practice mindfulness. Think about what you REALLY have a taste for and enjoy it! That way, you keep a positive relationship with the food you eat.

Ways to Practice Mindful Eating

  • Take a deep breath before eating

    • Notice: Are you hungry? How hungry are you? What are you hungry for?

  • Engage your senses

    • Pay attention to what’s on the plate…which colors, textures, scents, and sounds do you notice?

  • Slow down

    • Take breaths between bites, fully chew each bite thoroughly, and enjoy the flavors of each bite.

  • Savor each bite

    • Experience the pleasure of eating. Express gratitude for choosing healthy foods.

  • Acknowledge how your body feels after the meal

    • Is there something that didn’t sit well with you? What did you enjoy most? Are you satisfied?

  • Reflect on your food choices

    • Think about where your food came from, how it was produced, who prepared it, and how it got to your table.

Use mindfulness as a tool to support your 2211 plan! By practicing mindfulness every day, you can tune into your WHY. It's amazing how just a few minutes of mindfulness can make a positive impact in your day.


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