Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Health of Being Mindful

Mindfulness is a term that is being thrown around a lot in meditative circles.  To some its definition is being "intentional, accepting, non judgmental, focus of one's attention on the emotions, thoughts and sensations in the present moment."

To me, being mindful is making a conscious choice in the moment.  It is the opposite of being on default. (I believe some things have great value in being on default, but that will be a different blog post.) Maybe there is a word that better describes this then being mindful, but I don't know of it.

This type of mindfulness has great benefits to general health and well being.

Some examples of mindfulness are as follows.

Checking Facebook only certain times of day and not allowing a ding or beep to dictate what you are doing.  Choosing exactly what you feed your body.  It doesn't even have to be healthy.  Consciously choosing to eat a doughnut because you truly enjoy it, is I believe much different then eating when you are bored, or eating with guilt,

Knowing why you are buying something.  Books, clothing, electronics, conscious spending is powerful.  Why are you taking this seminar or reading this book?  To learn because you want to, or because you think it will look good?

Choosing what entertainment you enjoy, instead of simply sitting down in front of the TV or in front of some smartphone game.

Giving someone or something your entire focus and energy.  Listening to understand, not just waiting to give your answer.

Having a three year old has helped me immensely in this regard.  They seem to know when you are not PRESENT with them.  They aren't bashful about saying,  "Look at me please,"  "No sit with me."

When diets and budgets work it may be more of learning to be mindful and less about the exact diet or budget.  Wasteful eating and spending is cut out.

As a chiropractor/therapist/coach every person you work with is a chance to practice mindfulness.  Without it, there is little chance to get better and improve at your craft.  Without mindfulness you will  have one years of experience repeated 20 times, not 20 years of experience.

One of the reasons I've really enjoyed the Functional Range system is that palpation is taught with high precision.  Palpation of anatomy and feeling for tension, forces mindfulness.  Mindfulness to me will lead to me being a better therapist.

Mindfulness promises less stress and more enjoyment out of each situation.  This has solid research behind it.

The practice of mindfulness will be hard at first.  But like most things, the more you practice the better you get at it.  I think it will help carve away the minutia of what's really important vs what is just easily available and accessible.

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