Resolve to ‘be present’ and discover the secret to less stress, weight loss, and improved relationships.  Sounds so simple, right?!  Well, most of us are stressed, multi-tasking fiends by day and exhausted, distracted lumps by night.  How do we change this vicious routine?!  Here are five suggestions to be more mindful and truly enjoy the NOW!

LET GO

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.” – Buddha

Stop reviewing painful past experiences and relationships and let go!  Find forgiveness for yourself and others if past mistakes are haunting your present.

STOP WORRYING

“If something is wrong, fix it if you can.  But train yourself not to worry.  Worry never fixes anything.” – Ernest Hemingway

Worrying about future experiences is wasted energy and exhausting.  We typically have no control over the actions and reactions of others so why worry about it?  Instead, focus on aspects of your life that are controllable for a positive outcome (i.e. goal setting, exercise, job performance, and healthy eating).

BELLY BREATHING

This is an easy exercise to find calmness and center yourself during times of stress or worry that will better allow you to ‘be present’.  Belly breaths allow the mind to focus on a task and relieve stress or worry by connecting you to the present moment according to the Positivity Blog.  Here’s how:

  1. Sit in a relaxing position with your legs apart.
  2. Put your hands on your stomach.  Using your stomach breathe in slowly through your nose.  If you are doing it right your stomach will expand and you’ll feel it with your hands.
  3. Breathe out slowly through your nose and do it with some force so you feel your stomach pull slightly inwards towards your spine.
  4. Breathe in and out for about 30 times.  Take deep and slow breaths.
  5. After you have taken 30 breaths and focused on counting them you should not only feel more relaxed and centered but your body will also be able to continue breathing in this manner without you focusing on it.
  6. Enjoy your day…. 🙂

 

SAVOR FOOD

Resist the temptation to eat in front of the TV or computer for ‘mindless eating’.  Instead, take a break to enjoy every meal and focus on the flavors and textures of the food you’re eating.  Eat with others for meaningful conversation and to slow down the pace of your eating.

When we more thoroughly chew our food and eat at a slower pace, hormones that stimulate appetite are lower, says Dr. Oz nutrition correspondent and editor Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD.  Our brain has more time to recognize fullness, we eat less, and over time – weight loss!

FOCUSED LISTENING 

‘Listening’ is defined as “giving one’s attention to a sound”.

 

 

How often do you have a conversation and worry about what you will say next, drift off to other things on your ‘to do’ list, or completely dominate the conversation with your own complaints or experiences?

During your next conversation, turn off your phone (and all other electronics) and let someone else lead the discussion.  Only ask questions that are relevant to the speaker’s topic(s).  No drifting, distractions, complaining, or interruptions!  You will automatically be challenged to focus on what the other person is saying, instantly become more present, and BAM! – improved relationships follow.

Live these tips and ‘be present’ in the New Year for a healthier, happier YOU!

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