Each moment is an opportunity to be mindful. When we find ourselves lost in regret or fantasy about the past or hopes and fears about the future we are living in a MIND MADE virtual world of thoughts and emotions. While it is natural for the mind to wander and be lost in rumination about the past and future, most of us spend way too much time, about 50% of our waking hours lost in rumination. Research shows that the more time we spend in rumination the more depression and anxiety we experience.
So what can we do to shift our default mode of the wandering mind toward more mindfulness? The answer is both simple and challenging.
We can learn to bring mindful awareness to many moments during our day by simply noticing routine and typically automatic activities i.e., walking, showering, eating, standing or sitting, cooking, washing dishes etc.
To bring mindful awareness to these activities we simply do one thing at a time. When eating we just eat, noticing each intention and PHYSICAL SENSATION related to eating i.e. choosing a morsel food to pick up with our fork, the movement of the fork to the mouth, the chewing, tasting, swallowing. We only need do this for a few minutes to shift our eating experience from distracted eating (daydreaming, reading, watching TV, scanning our table, while eating) and instead actually doing one thing EATING and ENJOYING the fullness of the food. Research shows people who eat mindfully, eat less and enjoy their food more. Try it and see what your experience is.
So make this a mindful day one bite and one small experience at a time.