mindfulness

Mindfulness: Why & How?

“All we are is the result of what we have thought.” Gautama Buddha

Mindfulness may be defined in several ways. Here is the definition that I live by: it is a way of being that keeps us in the present moment and raises our awareness of our thoughts, feelings and surroundings without judging them. It is a way of befriending all situations in order accept them as they are without considering them right or wrong. This way of thinking leads to unconditional love with ourselves and with others, which is paramount to living a fully and happy Life.
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The power of our thoughts on our Life

A healthy lifestyle must be holistic, meaning that it takes into account all aspects of our life. That said, being healthy isn’t limited to diet; it also includes how we move and, most importantly, how we feed our mind. I may have limited this website to the nutrition section, but because I have learned and experienced the effects of my thoughts on my health, I really want to say a few words here about this important topic. Being aware of my thoughts has literally changed my life in such a positive way!

When I started my journey to health, I was only focused on nutrition and exercise. It was a great beginning, but I soon noticed that, although I was noticing many changes in my body, I was still living in a poor state of mind. In fact, “we are what we think we are”. Our body’s sufferings such as obesity, disease, and other health issues may lock us in a deeply negative state of mind. Indeed, people who have been overweight or obese for a long time (as I was) seem to look upon themselves as “fat” and, therefore, believe that it’s their natural shape no matter what efforts they may make to change it. Others who have experienced regular sicknesses would probably consider themselves as “always sick” or having a “poor immune system”. This self-defeating mindset deepens over time, and that’s why many people find it so hard to take the first step. Then, even after they start, they still live with the fear of falling back into their “previous life” and don’t take the time to appreciate their beautiful current state. This was my case the first few months of my journey, especially when I was discovering my new body shape. Fortunately, I was connected with an amazing person who introduced me to the “personal development”. I learned that when you decide to take care of your health, your mindset is just as important as your diet. In fact, you need to heal your mind from all the negative thoughts and judgments that you have inflicted on it for many years.

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The way we think significantly affects our physical state, thus our health. Indeed, although science has proven that a person who eats healthily and exercises regularly is less likely to develop chronic disease like cancer, you may wonder why we still find people who, in spite of following those rules, got cancer or other diseases. One of the main reasons for this is the mindset.

If you just started your health journey, I know that it may sound overwhelming to eat clean, workout and be mindful. Don’t worry. It’s totally normal to fear change. Yes, eating clean requires, at least for the first few weeks, learning about nutrition, but this is temporary since it quickly becomes part of your routine. We often consider some people as “lucky”, but the truth is that luck is for everyone and we have the opportunity to build on it every single “damn” day by the actions we take! When it comes to mindfulness, it doesn’t take your time– on the contrary, it frees your time. You just have to take 5 to 10 minutes per day to read or listen to a positive message, to meditate or, even more simply, to set your mind in a positive state for the day. Trust me, this will completely change your life and those 10 minutes will turn into many hours of productivity and happiness!

My main tools for mindfulness

“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.” Thich Nhat Hanh.

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“We can’t control what happens to us but we do have control over how we react”

  • Smile and giggle: challenge yourself to smile and giggle as much as possible in your day and trust that this will considerably change your state in a few seconds.
  • Breath fresh air: spending some time outside is so beneficial. Cleanse your mind and free yourself from negative thoughts.
  • Meditate: you can find many guided meditation videos on YouTube, from 3 minutes to many hours. One of my favorite videos explains why meditation is so important: “All It Takes is 10 Mindful Minutes” by Andy Puddicombe. It lasts less than 10 minutes and is available on Ted.com
  • Read or listen to Positive messages and videos: you may find many resources online.
    • Abraham Hicks is one of my favorite speakers. Here are two of her speeches, which always help me get back into a mindful state: “Get Happy” and “Feel Good Now, It’s Important”. Each lasts about 8 minutes and are available on YouTube.
    • Louise Hay’s videos – one of my favorites is “Affirmations and Power Thoughts” available on YouTube.
  • Books on self-improvement: The first book that I read on this topic and which has helped me to start changing my way of thinking: “As a Man Thinketh” by James Allen. The audiobook is available on YouTube and lasts about 1 hr and 40 min.

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