I bit the inside of my right cheek somehow at the beginning of last week. It really hurt! Obviously, I wasn’t practicing mindfulness. I don’t remember doing it, but I have been constantly aware of the abrasion on the inside of my cheek all week. Every time I eat, drink or even speak, my attention is brought directly to that point on my body. Lying down I feel it. Touching the outside of my cheek, I feel it. It is healing, but it sure is taking its time!
Have you ever heard someone say that they consciously lift heavy things all the time, but when they thoughtlessly bent over to pick up a piece of paper they threw their back out?
What about being so busy in your head, that you don’t remember the drive to work? Or how your lunch tasted because you ate it at your desk while working on a project?
• Practicing mindfulness helps avoid injuries and accidents, thereby keeping your body safe.
• Practicing mindfulness helps you eat appropriately to keep your body healthy.
• Practicing mindfulness helps lower stress and even blood pressure.
This week, I challenge you to practice mindfulness for your body. Use all your senses.
Try eating with mindfulness all week. Set a table with a placemat and napkin. Put a flower or candle on the table (or your desk!) Look at the colors of your food. Smell the aroma of what you’re about to eat. Listen as you bite or drink, and feel the textures as you chew your food slowly. Take the time to really taste and savor what you are eating. Notice how your body feels after each bite. Give thanks to yourself for nourishing your body so well.
Pick a part of your body to practice mindfulness on all week. Let’s say you choose your feet. Notice where your feet are often each day. Are they touching the floor, crossed, on the bed or dangling over the end of the couch? Are they inside socks? Are they inside shoes? Which part of your foot is touching something? Your heels? Your toes? Are your feet warm? Or cold? As you take each step, feel how they connect from the heel to the toes. Where are they right now?
At least once every day, notice your breath. Place your hand on your belly and the other one on your chest. Which one rises first on the inhale? Which one falls first on the exhale? Try breathing through your nostrils and feel the cool air as you inhale, then feel the slightly warmer air as you exhale.
Practice is the key to mindfulness. Staying present with yourself and your movements requires your full awareness. You are worth it!