Mindfulness.

What does it really mean and how can we apply it in our daily lives?

Mindfulness. It’s a term that we’ve all probably used and have heard thrown around. But, what does “mindfulness” really mean, and how can we apply it in our daily lives?

Simply defined, mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.

Today, the glorification of multi-tasking and always being busy makes it difficult to practice mindfulness and stay present. While mindfulness can apply to many different aspects of life, we'll focus on two -  mindful eating and mindfulness in an evening routine.

Mindful eating. This is important if you're trying to form new eating habits. Eating mindfully can help you eat less and be more satisfied with the food you are eating. The first step to mindful eating is slowing down. When you're eating, take time to really chew the food, notice the flavors and your fullness cues.

Here are some behaviors you can start to work on:
1. Put your fork down in between bites.
2. Try to avoid multitasking while you're eating—put your phone down and focus on eating!
3. Notice when you start to feel full (and satisfied!) - if you're eating slowly and mindfully, you may feel satisfied earlier than normal.

Mindfulness in your evening routine. When you get home from a long day, notice what you do first when you get home. Do you raid the kitchen and mindlessly eat whatever you can? Do you dive onto the couch for hours?

Here are a few tips to be more mindful in your evening routine:
1. If you're hungry when you get home and you're not going to have dinner for a few hours, portion out a snack for yourself.
2. If you're planning on working out, either go straight to the gym from work or lay out your workout clothes and eat a snack 2 hours before the workout so you have energy for it.
3. If you struggle getting to bed on time, set an alarm on your phone 30 minutes before to tell yourself to get ready for bed.

When we are more mindful in our day to day life, we can become more aware of how our daily behaviors and habits shape our lifestyle.