Over time, mental health has become a top priority for people all over the world; as a result, you’ve likely heard the term ‘mindfulness’ being used in 2020 discourse for how to improve one’s mental wellness. But what exactly is mindfulness, and how can you incorporate it into your everyday life?
Mindfulness is described as the quality of being fully present and engaged in the moment, and it can have excellent effects on your mental health, including lowered stress and increased focus. Let’s take a look at the importance of mindfulness and how you can apply it to four key areas of your life.
Mindful consumption is defined as the application of mindfulness in purchase choices that consumers make. Mindful consumption not only allows consumers to make decisions based on one’s direct experience of needs, values, and insight, but it can also be used as a tool in changing society, the marketplace, and one’s own well-being. More simply, mindful consumption encompasses making purchase decisions on the basis of needs rather than wants, from companies that employ ethical practices.
There are several steps you can follow to prioritize mindfulness in your buying behaviors. You can start by identifying your need for a particular product or service and applying the criteria the product must meet (i.e. does the product need to be organic? Sustainable? Fair trade?) You would then research brands that meet your selection criteria and cross reference them to compare the use of ingredients and how well these different brands align with your personal budget.
Finally, it’s advisable to do your research on the head of the company to ensure its foundation and growth has occurred in ethical ways. Once you feel satisfied with a product or service, the last step is to make your purchase.
Mindful eating enables you to gain control over your eating habits, which can often help with weight loss and the reduction of binge eating. In an ever-stressful world with a plethora of food choices, it’s not uncommon to eat as a means of coping with feelings of anxiety and/or depression. It’s also easy to make some unhealthy food choices since processed foods are readily available at our fingertips. However, mindful eating can help to counteract these practices.
To get started on your mindful eating journey, try eating slowly and without distraction. Try to eat only when you’re physically hungry, not just when you’re stressed or sad. Engage your senses when you’re eating, paying attention to the colors, sounds, and textures of your foods to appreciate them more. Above all else, listen carefully to your body, because it ultimately has all the answers.
Love and Dating
Mindful dating is the practice of applying the consciousness of your thoughts, feelings, and reactions to the process of dating your partner. Being mindful in your dating life means that you thoughtfully consider what kind of partner you hope to have, what you hope they bring to your life, and what you hope to give back to them. It also means being in tune with your thoughts and feelings about your partner’s actions.
Finally, it can also mean having enough consciousness to accept when things aren’t working out and when you or your partner’s deeper needs aren’t being met in the relationship. Believe it or not, there’s even a way to break up mindfully. By accepting the unchangeable, listening intently, not placing blame, and showing compassion, we can have a more mindful relationship than we ever thought possible.
When it comes to your interpersonal interactions, mindful communication holds several benefits. It can help you to be more intentional and less judgmental in your messaging, and it can make you a far better listener. Some specific steps you can take to become a more mindful communicator include setting a clear commitment in terms of what you want to achieve in the conversation, choosing your words carefully to reflect your true meaning, and listening intently.
You can also focus on non-verbal aspects of connection in your interactions, such as body language and tone of tone of voice, and focus on your breathing to remain clear-minded and present in the moment.
It never hurts to be more mindful in various areas of life, be it your consumption habits, your diet, your dating life, or your communication style. Prioritizing mindfulness in the core areas of your life will help you boost your mental well-being and live your life to the fullest.