There is a very simple practice that can help you reduce stress, feel happier and more peaceful, boost your immune system, look and feel more beautiful, improve relationships and even help you lose weight. Today on Fox 2 News I talked about the simple practice of mindfulness, which is the practice of being present and living with a moment-to-moment awareness of your thoughts, feelings, the sensations in your body and the environment around you and accepting what is without judgment – observing your life right here and now (vs. letting mind chatter run the show with ruminating on the past or worrying about the future) (click here to see the interview on Fox 2 News).
- One study found that after eight weeks of mindfulness meditation, subjects had improved brain function and immune system function.
- Several studies have shown that mindfulness reduces stress and improves mental health – which makes anyone look and feel more beautiful.
- One study found that couples who went through mindfulness training felt more satisfied with their relationships, closer, more accepting, relaxed and optimistic.
- Research has also shown that being mindful when eating — like paying closer attention to the bodies’ hunger cues and learning to savor food — is more effective in helping people control their weight than any diet.
So how do you cultivate mindfulness? Jon Kabat-Zin, the founder of his Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program recommends:
- Breath. Pay close attention to your breathing, especially when you’re feeling intense emotions.
- Senses. Notice—really notice—what you’re sensing in a given moment, the sights, sounds, and smells that ordinarily slip by without reaching your conscious awareness.
- Thoughts and Emotions. Recognize that your thoughts and emotions are fleeting and do not define you – an insight that can free you from negative thought patterns.
- Physical Sensations. Tune into your body’s physical sensations, from the water hitting your skin in the shower to the way your body rests in your office chair.
Tools for Success. Since most of us living in a culture that is anything but mindful, I think it’s very helpful to have some tools to cultivate mindfulness.
First let’s start with some subscription boxes – monthly and quarterly doses of happy mail that promote mindfulness.
The Mindfulness Box: This awesome box of monthly mindful goodness includes messages and products that promote mindfulness, inner peace and balance – tools to help you live with more positive intention and be more present. They have boxes for adults and children that feature four to six conscientious items, including:
- holistic and homeopathic mineral- and essential oil-based health care products
- biodynamic treats
- handcrafted jewelry
- natural minerals and crystals evoking positive energy ($29/month with free shipping in the U.S., available at cratejoy.com).
Goddess Provisions: This divine monthly box promotes mindfulness with a more spiritual focus to nurture your inner goddess. Each box features four to six full-size items that are 100% vegan and cruelty-free and promote spiritual growth, including things like:
- apothecary beauty products
- superfood snacks
- teas and more ($33/month with free shipping in the U.S., available at cratejoy.com)
Buddhibox Yoga Lifestyle and Jewelry Boxes: Buddhibox offers two amazing options around the theme of the practice of yoga, which is a moving meditation that promotes mindfulness:
- The Yoga Lifestyle Buddhibox is a monthly yogi care package filled with deluxe samples and full-size yoga products to inspire your yoga lifestyle on and off the mat, including fitness, skincare and fragrance items. Each month a portion of their sales supports an amazing cause like the International Rescue Committee ($35/month + $5 shipping in the U.S.).
- The Jewelry Buddhibox is a quarterly subscription box filled with two to three pieces of beautiful inspiring jewelry and accessories that are handmade with intention by artisans. Boxes ship February, May, August and November ($50/quarter, available at buddhiboxes.com
- Use coupon code ‘mayyoushine’ to get 25% off your first box
Conscious Ink. Do you ever feel like you could use reminders tattooed on your forehead? While you might not really want something on your forehead, you can put little reminders on yourself with Manifestation Tattoos from Conscious Ink, the first company to create temporary tattoos for adults that offer meaningful, supportive and inspirational words, quotes and affirmations.
These long-lasting tattoos last two to five days and look surprisingly real. They’re beautifully designed with empowering messages that help you become more present and mindful and to support you to manifest your dreams, desires and intentions – having a powerful, grounding effect throughout the day as you look at them. They’re also safe, non-toxic and made with all-natural FDA-certified colorants. Packaging is made with recycled, eco-friendly paper and made in USA.
You can purchase tattoos individually (from $2.50 each), in themed packages (from $16 each), in greeting cards ($7 each) and in a starter kit that includes 10 of their most popular tattoos with a greeting card ($33 value for $25).
Stop, Breathe & Think. If you’d like some guidance to help you get present, focus what you’re feeling and practice mindful breathing, the very soothing Stop, Breathe & Think app is an excellent free tool you can use anywhere with your smartphone (available at stopbreathethink.org). It includes a variety of guided meditations of different lengths (many around five minutes) with different focuses, like:
- finding calmness through the breath
- connecting with your body
- developing patience and understanding
- chill to melt away stress
- help for falling asleep and for welcoming the day
- meditations to do with kids
- meditations to use while pregnant