CALS Wellness Committee tip: A gentle reminder to be mindful

What is free, doesn’t take any extra time, but significantly enhances your health and your life?  If you guessed mindfulness, you are right. The mindfulness topic has been receiving a lot of attention lately, and there are plenty of good reasons why. Besides all the wonderful health benefits from lowering blood pressure to improving your sleep at night, the mindfulness practice can help you to be a more active participant in your life.

We all wake up every morning with a lengthy to-do list. Many of our minutes during the day are filled with habits that help us get through our list. In fact, some of us may glide from one habit to another for most of the day.

In the book, The Power of Habits, written by Charles Duhigg, the author explains that when we follow habits, our brains ramp down its energy usage. That is why we can drive and do many other things during the day without really thinking about them. This is a wonderful talent that our brains have as it can reduce brain fatigue and save brain energy for times when we really need it. But what happens if we spend most of our days going from one habit to another with very little awareness? Are we fully engaging in our life?

One no-extra-time-needed and no-cost way of being a more active participant of your life is by incorporating mindfulness into your daily routines. Mindfulness is free and doesn’t take any extra time out of your day. You can learn to incorporate mindfulness by paying attention during your daily actions. For instance, you can enjoy a mindful lunch by thinking about the smell of your food and how it feels in your mouth. On your drive to work, you can notice how your hands feel while you grasp the steering wheel. As you walk to school or work, notice how the air feels on your face. It’s that easy. Being aware of the present moment and acknowledging your thoughts and senses is practicing mindfulness.

Get more out of your day and give mindfulness a try. If you want to know more about the benefits of mindfulness, visit