Keep Your Day in Focus With Mindfulness
By Sandy Schroeder
As one day stacks up on top of the last, staying focused and remaining effective can be a real challenge. I have always valued my ability to hang in there and get the job done, but that has become more challenging in life today. Little distractions and new frustrations seem to make everything more time consuming and difficult.
If you can relate, you may be struggling to keep your family healthy and safe as you get everything else done.
Drs. Mehmet Oz and Michael Roizen have come up with some good ideas on how "to disconnect from your work and worries, and simply let your mind and body relax." The doctors suggest that we "allow thoughts to float in and out of our awareness, observing but not judging." I agree. This can be an eye-opener to keep us in the game and moving forward.
Here are some mindful activities from Dr. Roxanne B. Sukol of the Cleveland Clinic. Try some and then look for more that work for you.
- Practice yoga or tai chi
- Eat lunch outside and go for a walk
- Take a hike in the woods
- Get a massage
- Take up pottery
- Take short walks around your neighborhood
- Send cartoons, doodles and jokes to friends
- Walk the dog
- Sit by the fire
- Sip a cup of tea and put your feet up
- Knit or crochet a gift to surprise someone
- Do some painting of a landscape
- Keep a daily journal of your thoughts and frustrations
- Just sit and enjoy a sunrise or sunset
- Drift around a pool and let your mind rest
Mindful practices are supported by current research and ancient tradition. The Japanese follow a tradition called shinrin-yoku as they walk in the woods and bathe in the forest.
If you are sad, depressed and losing sleep, hands-on art such as sketching, painting or creating pottery can help you relax and sleep better. When you eat healthy and rest better, you will strengthen your immune system and reinforce your health.
As you scan this list of meditation practices, consider devoting 15 minutes in the morning and 15 in the afternoon or evening to use them as thoughtful escapes. If you become involved in them you may find you spend whole evenings or weekends enjoying them.
The UCLA Mindful App in your app store offers tutorials and the health site Psycom.net provides 25 of the best meditation resources.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Brea, Calif.