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How Mindful Are You? How Staying in the Moment Can Impact Your Health.


Are you familiar with any of these situations?

  1. You tend to walk quickly to where you are going without noticing your surroundings as you pass
  2. You are often thinking of what needs to be done tomorrow or next week or  what you didn’t do yesterday
  3. You carry out tasks or jobs automatically and without any awareness of what you are actually doing
  4. You sometimes only partly listen to someone while doing something else at the same time
  5. You drive to a place on “auto pilot” and only focus on reaching your destination
  6. You are not usually aware of how physically tense you are at times
  7. You often interrupt or think about something else when someone is talking to you
  8. You often feel guilty. If you fail at something you keep ruminating over what you should or should not have done
  9. You sometimes feel detached and disconnected from people. It makes you unhappy.
  10. You lack confidence and self esteem

The more often you identify with these situations the more you can benefit from mindfulness.

You are mindful when you are in the present moment.

Some examples of being in the present moment are if you have become absorbed in a puzzle or a game or if you have lost yourself in a book or while watching a film or while singing a song.

In these examples you are focused on the present and on what is happening right now.

When this happens it is not possible for worry and anxiety to invade your mental space.

However old and negative habits are not easy to change.  For me, as a chronic mouth breather, it was challenging to retrain my brain to change my mouth breathing habits of coughing, yawning, breath holding, sighing and rapid chest breathing. Old habits performed for many decades will only change after a few months of continual and mindful practice.

If we are not mindful we risk behaving in default mode. This behaviour is characterized by mind chatter, judgemental thoughts, criticism and self doubt – all of which lead to reduced performance or productivity.

If we allow ourselves to practise multi-tasking we can become the victim of attention deficit trait. This occurs through the constant switching from one task to another. This mental process is stressful and can activate the amygdala to such an extent that it results in a chronic fight or flight response.

This response will, in turn, impact our breathing and our anxiety levels.

The human mind is incapable of multi-tasking. It is a scientific myth. Our mind can only achieve one task at a time. But an illusion is created as we try to achieve more than one task at the same time resulting in a reduced performance as we miss information when we suffer concentration lapses known as attentional blinks.

When learning how to change how we breathe it is essential that we practise in a mindful way. If we do not we fail to give our breathing the attention it deserves. By failing to do so we fail to give our health the attention that it deserves.



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