Posts tagged: mindfulness

Find Your Pause

By Katie, 5:57 am

I don’t know about you, but there are usually several times throughout my day when I just want to make a “T” shape with my hands and yell “TIME OUT!”

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I want the world to stop spinning…just for as long as it takes me to give my goalie a pep talk, find a sub for my fatigued offender, and set up for the next play. Then, GAME ON!

I’m guessing you know the feeling: your thoughts won’t stop turning, or your to-do list refuses to get shorter, or you feel like you’re living every day on autopilot. You’re desperate to feel re-grouped, re-centered, and re-ready to tackle life head-on.

You could plan an impromptu trip to Hawaii. But if that’s not in the cards, here’s a simpler alternative: ask yourself, “Where’s My Pause?”

I got this idea from Thomas Roberts, author of The Mindfulness Workbook. In it he writes a very compelling description of watching his newborn daughter as she slept in her crib. As he observed her breathing, so simply and peacefully, he noticed that after each exhale there was a pause before the next inhale began. And it occurred to him that – through our natural, relaxed breathing – we actually have built-in pauses or rest periods.

There are tons of breathing exercises and meditations that you can do to help bring peace and calm to the stresses of everyday life, and I do many of them regularly. But this is perhaps the simplest of all: just stopping, even for a few seconds, to notice the brief, still pause at the end of each inhale-exhale cycle. Whenever I do this I feel an instant sense of calm; I’m brought out of autopilot and back into the present moment. I’m reminded that life is bigger than whatever issues I’m immediately facing.

So the next time you feel that bubbling urge to throw your hands in the air and yell “TIME OUT!”…

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…perhaps try asking yourself the simple question, “Where’s my pause?”

Have you ever tried doing some kind of breathing exercise to give yourself a break, or to help you remain calm and focused? Does it work for you?

Brownie Alert!

By Katie, 5:27 am

No, sorry, this isn’t a recipe post. Although if you’re looking to make some brownies, I would recommend one of these:

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Lately I’ve been thinking about the fact that while we hear a lot about “emotional eating,” the actual experience of it is unique and personal; no two people experience emotional eating in exactly the same way. Some people eat out of boredom, others out of loneliness, others out of anxiety, and still others out of all of the above. What triggers emotional eating is different for everyone.

Similarly, when we overeat emotionally varies from person to person. This was brought to my attention during a conversation with my mom last week. She shared with me that she’ll often receive some kind of stressful or sad news and then find herself heading to the kitchen to help put it out of her mind. She feels the negative emotion and then soothes it with food.

Interestingly, that’s not how I experience emotional eating at all. For me, the order is reversed. 8-O

Let me explain. There have been countless times in my life when I’ve thought to myself, “Why am I driven to overeat right now? What the heck is going on?” I couldn’t trace my behavior to receiving bad news or experiencing a difficult situation. Rather, I had become so immune to my emotions that I would be driven to overeat before I could even feel them. I so effectively used food to block the stress or the anxiety that I was unaware those emotions even existed – they were buried that deep. :-(

So instead of feeling the stress and then eating, I eat (or want to eat) and that makes me realize I’m stressed. Does that make sense?

On the one hand, this can make emotional eating significantly more difficult to prevent. On the other hand, it serves as a really great warning system. I call it my “Brownie Alert.”

Basically, when I feel the urge to eat and eat and eat even though I’m not hungry, I now see it as a big sign flashing “Warning! Warning! Danger, Will Robinson Katie!” :lol:

In all seriousness, though, engaging in emotional eating – or even just the urge to do so – does help me to see that something is off-balance and it’s time to re-evaluate. It forces me to step back, take a good look at the broader picture of my life, and see where improvements need to be made. Do I have too much on my plate and need to relax a little bit? Am I stressed about work and not managing it effectively? Do I need to work on improving my relationships? Have I been ignoring my emotional wellness, my spiritual wellness?

This, perhaps, is the positive side of my struggles with emotional overeating. I now have a built-in balance barometer, in a sense. When those brownies are calling my name – and not in a healthy indulgence kind of way – I now take it as a sign that it’s time to reassess; it’s time to get back in touch with me. :-)

Do you have some kind of built-in alert system like my Brownie Alert? Something that warns you that your life has become off-balance?

AND

If you struggle with emotional overeating, do you find that you usually feel the emotion and then turn to food, or the other way around? Or perhaps you experience it in another way entirely?

When You Eat, Get Off Your Feet!

By Katie, 7:53 am

I think of myself as a “grazer” in the sense that I prefer to eat smaller meals and snacks continuously throughout the day. But in the past I was more of a “grazer” in the sense that every time I’d pass through my kitchen I’d snag a bite to eat.

In the house I grew up in, you have to pass through the kitchen to get to any other room in the house, so I literally grabbed a treat or two from the cookie jar every time I came home.

And do you think I put these cookies on a plate, sat down at the table, and gave my full attention to savoring them? Yeah, right! :roll: I ate them on the fly, grab-and-go style. Which means I was constantly eating standing up.

Until I discovered that it is quite difficult – if not impossible – to eat mindfully while on your feet.

While I’ve actually never read this book by Geneen Roth (although I’ve read many others and highly recommend them!), the title really says it all:

(Can you read that? The title is: When You Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull Up a Chair.)

If you’re trying to learn how to eat more mindfully and with greater awareness, a great way to begin is simply by insisting that before you eat anything, you will sit down. It’s a relatively easy rule to follow, since it does not put any restrictions on what you’re eating or on the quantity. But it immediately brings your awareness to the fact that you are indeed eating. Because I don’t know about you, but when I would eat “on the fly,” I often acted as though those nibbles “didn’t count.” :-?

While this whole sitting-down thing may not seem like such a big deal, once I started doing it consistently I actually made an important discovery about myself. I think that I used to eat standing up, passing through the kitchen, because I didn’t feel like I deserved food or the pleasure that comes from eating it. Because I “felt fat,” I thought I was only entitled to bites snuck here and there.

When I made the effort to put my food on a plate – even if it was just a tiny snack – and actually sit down and enjoy it, it felt like I was nourishing myself in a way that went beyond the physical. I was saying to myself, “Katie, there is nothing wrong or bad about eating this food. You deserve not only to eat it, but also to enjoy it to the fullest.”

So the next time you’re passing through the kitchen and want a nibble, I say go for it…after you’ve pulled up a chair. ;-)

Do you ever eat standing up? Do you find it affects your ability to enjoy your food, to give it your full attention? Do you ever find yourself thinking that food eaten while standing up “doesn’t count”?

Put Down the Fork! An Argument for Eating Slowly

By Katie, 12:20 pm

“I’m in a hurry to get things done
Oh, I rush and rush until life’s no fun
All I really gotta do is live and die
But I’m in a hurry and don’t know why”

Do you know that song by Alabama? I remember hearing it a lot growing up, since my mom is a huge fan of country music (don’t judge her for this! ;-) )

Those lyrics really resonate with me because I’m one of those people who always seems to be rushing, often for no apparent reason. :-?   For a long time this “hurried” mentality also applied to my eating; I would eat as quickly as possible just so I could get to the next item on my agenda.

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When I started practicing intuitive eating, however, I found that scarfing down my food simply wasn’t an option anymore. It wasn’t easy, but eventually I trained myself to take my time with my meals. Here are my “why’s” and “how’s” of slowing down at mealtime.

Top Reasons I Now Eat Slowly

1. I can actually enjoy my food. When I would gulp down my meal as quickly as possible, I wasn’t really tasting it or savoring it. It took all of the fun out of eating! :-( Now I see mealtime as a pleasurable experience.

2. It helps me to de-stress. This one is kind of ironic, considering that – because of my struggles with disordered eating – for years food seemed to be a source of stress. But now, when I have a really busy, stressful day, taking a time-out to eat a meal or snack slowly and mindfully helps me to re-group and re-gain perspective.

3. My digestive tract thanks me. Eating slowly means chewing more, and chewing more means better digestion. That’s a win-win right there. ;-)

4. It’s easier to stop when I’m full. Research shows that people who scarf down their meals eat significantly more than those who eat at a more leisurely pace. That’s because it’s nearly impossible to tune in to your body when you’re eating at lightning speed. Slowing down allows me to feel when I’ve reached the point of comfortable fullness, and makes it easier to stop eating at that point.

My Strategies for Slowing Down

1. Put down the fork! At first I had to train myself to do this, but now it’s second nature. Between bites I put all of my utensils down so that I’m not tempted to go for another bite before I’m even finished with the one in my mouth.

2. Chew, chew, chew! If – like me – you love to eat, then think of it this way: the more times you chew, the longer you get to enjoy the food. :-D

3. Use small utensils. I hate those big soup spoons; I feel like they encourage too-large bites. Using smaller utensils helps me take smaller bites, which extends my eating time.

4. Don’t forget the beverage. I drink a huge glass of water with every meal, and take plenty of sips between bites. The sips are like mini breaks that help me to pause during my meal instead of rushing through it.

What about you? When it comes to eating, are you the tortoise or the hare? Do you use any of the strategies I do, or have any to add to the list?

Hungry Enough to Eat an Apple?

By Katie, 8:33 am

Here’s the scenario:

It’s about an hour after dinner. I’m relaxing on the couch with Dave, probably reading, watching television, blogging, or some combination of these. (We bloggers tend to be multi-taskers, right? ;-) ) At some point I enjoy my portioned-out dessert of a cookie or two.

And then I want another one.

Why do I want another one? That seems like a rather simple question to answer, and yet sometimes I’m not totally sure. Do I want another cookie because I’m still hungry? Because it tasted really good? Because I’m stressed/anxious/bored/procrastinating and want that cookie as a distraction?

As someone who has struggled with disordered eating, the situation is particularly loaded for me. Because I spent years eating in an out-of-control fashion – and for all of the wrong reasons – the question of whether or not to eat another cookie is in many ways a question of whether I am in control of my food, or if my food is in control of me.

And so I ask myself this question: ARE YOU HUNGRY ENOUGH TO EAT AN APPLE?

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I use this question to help me determine if what I am feeling is physical hunger, or if my desire to eat is coming from some other place.

When I ask myself, “Are you hungry enough to eat an apple?” there are generally three possible answers:

Possible Answer #1: No, I have no desire to eat an apple right now. I must not really be hungry, so I’m not going to eat another cookie. Instead, I’ll turn my attention elsewhere and stop thinking about food.

Possible Answer #2: Yes, an apple actually sounds really good right now! What I’m feeling must be physical – not emotional – hunger, so I am going to go ahead and have something else to eat. Since I’ve already had a cookie or two, I’ll satisfy my hunger with a more nutrient-rich food…maybe even an apple!

Possible Answer #3: No, I don’t want to eat an apple. I must not be experiencing physical hunger, but I still really want another cookie. So I’m going to go ahead and eat it, but not in an emotional, out-of-control way. Instead, I’m going to eat the cookie mindfully, savoring every bite and not feeling an ounce of guilt over it!

Regardless of which option I ultimately choose, asking myself, “Are you hungry enough to eat an apple?” helps me to make mindful and wise decisions about what I eat. It prevents me from overeating out of reasons that have nothing to do with physical hunger.

Of course, apples aren’t really the best choice for me, considering that I love them, but you get the idea. :-)

Do you have any little tips or tricks that you use to help prevent emotional overeating? Have you ever asked yourself a question like this? Do you think you will in the future?

Turn Off the Television! Eating Without Distractions

By Katie, 12:25 pm

When you sit down to eat, do you just eat?

Or, when you eat, do you simultaneously check your email, check your voicemail, and catch up with your DVR?

The notion of intuitive eating has taught me a lot about how to eat. One way is by eating mindfully, focusing entirely on the food and the eating process, instead of on everything but.

That means when I eat, I try really hard to do nothing else at the same time. No TV. No Internet. No book or magazine. Just me and my plate. ;-)

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Before I learned about eating intuitively, this was a common occurrence for me: sitting in front of the television, engrossed in Grey’s Anatomy or What Not To Wear, I’d reach into my bag of chips and realize the contents were totally gone. And I’d wonder, “What just happened? Where are the chips???” In my stomach, of course! :roll:

I’d barely even taste the chips. One minute the bag was full, the next minute it was empty. And I didn’t even get to enjoy them! :-(

Unfortunately I think a lot of people eat this way. And when you think about it, it’s not entirely our faults. Our society teaches us – encourages us, even – to eat this way. We are a society driven by productivity; we are a people praised for getting more done. Multi-tasking is the name of the game.

But when it comes to food, the equation often looks a little something like this:

Multi-Tasking + Eating = Overeating + Under-Enjoying.

So I encourage you to try eating without distractions, if you don’t already. You might feel a little silly at first; I certainly did! My first attempts occurred while I was working at a 9-5 desk job. It seemed odd, both to me and to my co-workers, that I didn’t just eat at my desk, simultaneously browsing the Internet (or just continuing to work, as my boss probably would have preferred!).

But I pressed on. I found a comfortable area away from my desk and just ate. At first I didn’t know what to think about, because I felt like I had to be thinking about something else. But eventually I learned how to think about the present moment, which was essentially the food: the texture, the taste, what I liked, what I didn’t.

Turns out eating this way can be pretty darn enjoyable! :-D I found it relaxing and rejuvenating. During my lunch break, time actually seemed to slow down (and when does that ever happen, right???). And instead of mindlessly overeating, I learned to eat until I was comfortably full but not stuffed.  I’d get up from my meal feeling satisfied, rather than thinking, “hey, where’d my food go???”

Of course I don’t eat like this all the time. Sometimes it’s fun to eat dinner while watching a football game, and sometimes my schedule forces me to eat while cranking out a paper. But those cases are the exception, not the norm. These days I make a point of eating my meals with as few distractions as possible.

What about you? Do you try to eat without distractions, or are you a multi-tasker all the way?

Honoring Your Hunger: WEEKEND EDITION

By Katie, 2:07 pm

I don’t know about you, but I find that when it comes to making healthy choices, Mondays through Fridays are a breeze. On the weekends, however, it’s a whole different story. :-?

More specifically, I often find myself struggling with my goal of eating intuitively by honoring my hunger and fullness cues.

Why is it so much more difficult to honor my body’s hunger and fullness signals on Saturdays and Sundays? I think it’s because the work week offers my mind and my body a routine, while the weekends break from that relatively stable schedule. During the week it’s easy to honor my hunger because I am usually hungry around the same time every day. But weekends offer no such consistency.

Eating when hungry and stopping when full is a greater challenge on the weekends because:

  1. I find myself getting hungry at different times than I’m used to because of the break from my regular weekday routine.
  2. I find it more difficult to eat when I’m hungry because I’m often out and about, sometimes in places where eating isn’t easy/possible.
  3. It’s tougher to stop when my body has had enough because the weekends often mean splurging on treats that are, quite simply, really delicious and hard to put down!

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All of this can lead to a significant amount of frustration. :-x Sometimes I get annoyed or disappointed with myself, thinking, “You had no problem listening to your body Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, but now that it’s Saturday you’re out of control!” :oops:

But I’ve decided to try taking a different approach, embracing a different attitude.

Instead of seeing the weekend as an OBSTACLE, I’m going to try thinking of it as an OPPORTUNITY. An opportunity to really listen to my hunger and fullness cues…an opportunity to truly eat by my body and not by the clock…a chance to learn how to stop eating based on fullness rather than a clean plate (even when that plate is filled with weekend-worthy goodies!)

Because being healthy doesn’t only apply on weekdays.

Do you have a healthy habit that you struggle to maintain on the weekends?

Honoring Hunger and Fullness

By Katie, 8:32 pm

The first time I went on a diet I was in 7th grade.

I remember it quite clearly. I decided to try to lose weight because at my annual physical exam, my doctor – yes, that’s right, my pediatrician started the whole mess – told me I should. It should be noted that I was not technically overweight when the doctor told me this; rather, my weight had simply gone up more sharply during the previous year than it had in years past. The doctor told me this happened because I was eating too much and exercising too little. Looking back, I’m guessing it was actually a natural consequence of going through that little thing called puberty.

My mom, wonderful woman that she is, tried to stand up for me. She reminded the doctor that I was active in sports, and that she didn’t think that cutting my energy intake sounded like such a great idea. Unfortunately, it didn’t matter what my mom said at that point. Starting that very moment, I thought I was fat.

And so the cycles of dieting began. Restricting here, overeating there, over-exercising here, never exercising there, pounds coming off and on and off and on. The constant ups and downs were enough to make me sea sick!

There are a lot of problems with the situation I’m describing, many of which I hope to explore on this blog. Today I want to focus on just one: hunger and fullness.

All of those years of dieting robbed me of my ability to know when I was hungry and when I was full – and my desire to honor those physical signals. That’s because dieting is really the exact opposite of listening to our bodies. When we diet, we follow strict rules about what to eat and what not to eat, and about when to eat and when not to eat. Those rules usually don’t involve eating when our bodies ask for food and stopping when they are satisfied.

When I decided to stop dieting for good – and began labelling “diet” as the four-letter word I think it is – I turned instead to the concepts of intuitive eating and mindful eating. These concepts stress that the ideal way to eat is to listen to our bodies, giving them the types of food they crave in the portions with which they are comfortable. It’s also about really paying attention to our food and the process of eating. I learned so much from the wonderful book Intuitive Eating, by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. If you’re interested in these concepts further, I highly recommend reading this book.

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So I began the process of getting back in touch with my hunger and fullness cues.

For those of you who haven’t struggled with yo-yo dieting, you might think it’s crazy of me to say that at one point I was unable to tell when I was truly hungry. But those of you who have struggled probably know exactly what I mean. When you spend years purposefully denying yourself food when you’re hungry (because it’s not time to eat yet, or it’s after 6 pm and your “diet” says you can’t eat at night, or you’re skipping meals to make up for “overindulging” the day before), you pretty much lose touch with your body’s most natural signals.

So I started really paying attention to my body, and re-learning how to listen to it. And I made every effort to feed my body not according to the clock or any other external cues; I fed my body when it told me it needed more fuel. Now, having been practicing intuitive eating for quite some time, I find my hunger cues are clear and unmistakable.

The other piece of this puzzle is fullness. Dieting also messes up our ability to stop eating when our bodies have had enough. For years I was either forcing myself to stop eating long before my body was satisfied, or I was licking my plate long after my stomach had said it had had enough. For the longest time I actually found eating in restaurants extremely unpleasant because I would always finish my meal, regardless of its size, and would then spend the rest of the day feeling sick and uncomfortable.

Again, eating intuitively is about turning inward instead of outward, stressing that we should stop eating not when the food is gone or when our diets tell us we’ve had our portion. Honoring our fullness means that sometimes we’ll push our plates away with food still on them, and other times we’ll go back for seconds, all depending on what feels best for our bodies at that particular moment.

If all of this sounds pretty easy…well…it’s not. At least not for those of us who have wrestled with our weight for so long. Why? Because honoring hunger and fullness is all about TRUST. It’s about trusting our bodies to tell us what they need, how much they need, and when they need it. It’s about accepting that diets don’t work. And it’s about believing that when we truly listen to our internal cues and messages, our bodies will naturally stabilize at a weight that is healthy and maintainable for our individual selves.

So how did I go about getting back in touch with my hunger and fullness? Simply by paying attention. A lot of attention.

More specifically, I utilized a very handy little Hunger-Satiety Scale. There are lots of versions of this scale; I used the one from the McKinley Health Center. Basically, the scale is a way of rating your hunger, with #1 being famished/starving, #5 being neither hungry nor full, and #10 being painfully full. I aimed to avoid the extremes, beginning a meal or snack when my body was around a #3 or #4, and stopping when I hit a #6 or #7.

I did this quite literally. I kept a copy of the scale next to my place at the table, and before each time I ate I would look at it and give my hunger a number. Mid-way through eating I would stop, put down my utensils, and check in with my body to see how far along I was. At the end of the meal I would again rate my hunger/fullness level. When eating meals with Dave (my incredibly understanding husband who has never dieted in his life and hence often has no idea where I’m coming from), using the scale became kind of fun, like a little guessing game. “Where are you now, honey? 5, 6, perhaps a 7?”

I’m at the point now where I don’t need to use the hunger-fullness scale quite so literally; I’m in touch with my body enough that I can “check-in” with myself without referring to actual numbers all of the time. And yet, just as a reminder of where I’ve been and where I am now, I still keep the scale next to my place at the table. Proof:

I should also share that the process has really changed the way that I eat, or, more accurately, reverted it back to the way I ate before the dieting craze began. You see, as a child I was always naturally a grazer – I had trouble finishing meals because I got full quickly, but compensated by eating small snacks throughout the day. When I began dieting I lost touch with my natural grazer because I thought that snacking in between meals would make me gain weight.

Now, however, I find that I naturally want to eat the same way I did as a child. I find that I get full much more quickly than others around me, and yet I get hungry again much more quickly than they do. So I naturally gravitate toward eating smaller meals and snacks continually throughout the day. Others may find that when they begin eating intuitively, their bodies crave three larger, more standard meals per day; that just works for them. That’s the beauty of intuitive eating and honoring our hunger and fullness; we don’t have to eat by a script, but rather in whatever way feels best to each of us as individuals.

Now I’m not saying that we should only ever eat when we’re hungry. There are certainly times when it’s completely appropriate to eat for reasons other than physical hunger. Perhaps because you’re celebrating someone’s birthday. Or you’re about to exercise intensely and know your body needs the fuel. Or because a piece of food simply looks delicious. I think eating for these reasons is perfectly acceptable. But for those of us who have spent years dieting, restricting, and overeating, those reasons shouldn’t be the norm. On an everyday basis, eating according to hunger and fullness is much healthier for us.

I’m not a perfect intuitive eater by any means. I sometimes eat before I’m truly hungry, or when I’m way too hungry to eat in a controlled manner. And sometimes I eat beyond the point of comfortable satiety. Yet I get better at honoring my hunger and fullness every day because I make listening to my body a priority in a way that was simply impossible when I was dieting.

Ok, I think I have made this post long enough! If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! ;-) I guess I’m just pretty passionate about this particular subject.

Do you eat according to your body’s hunger and fullness signals? Do you find that it comes naturally, or is it a challenge?

Living in the Present

By Katie, 8:05 pm

Have you ever had the experience of pulling your car into a familiar destination and realizing you have no idea how you got there? It’s a pretty scary feeling, right?

Sometimes it feels like we’re living our lives on autopilot. Our bodies are physically present, but we’re not. The problem is that when we fail to live in the present moment, we often end up missing out on our own lives. We end up wishing we could go back and savor moments that are long gone.

Today I heard the song “Live For Today” by Natalie Grant. Some of the lyrics to the song are really great. Like this:

You told me not to worry about what lies ahead
So I am gonna focus on today instead
Making every moment count and
Counting every single blessing

And this:

I’m going set my mind on the here and the now
This is what I want my life to be about

The song really got me thinking about how difficult it is for me to live in the present. The wheels of my mind are constantly spinning, taking me out of the here and the now. I obsess over the past, I constantly plan for the future. I’ve been known to make to-do lists days in advance…before I’m even partway through today, I’m planning out tomorrow! :oops:

Which when you stop and think about it is really silly, because half the time life gets in the way of those carefully thought-out plans anyway, right? ;-)

So the question is, how can we get better at living in the present moment, at truly experiencing our lives right now?

Like I said, this is definitely a struggle for me, but here are some of my thoughts on the matter.

  • Recognize past and future thoughtsMost of the time (like in the example of driving your car on autopilot), we don’t even realize we’re not living in the present until those moments have long passed us by. We’re too busy reliving the past, planning for the future, obsessing about what might or might not happen down the road. But if we can just pay attention to our thoughts enough to notice when we’re not in the present, we can begin doing something about it.
  • BreatheOur breath is the perfect example of how we live on autopilot. Think about it: we’re breathing all the time and yet we rarely, if ever, pay attention to it. I’ve discovered that one of the fastest ways to bring myself back to the present moment is to stop everything and focus on my breathing…even just for one minute. It’s a simple little exercise that grounds me, helps me to remember that the past is just that: the past. And the future? I can cross that bridge when I get to it. :-)
  • Observe and describe the present momentWhen I’m really having trouble focusing on the present – when my brain is utterly absorbed by thoughts of the past or future – I stop and try to put all of my mind’s energy into observing and describing the here and the now. Where am I right this moment? What’s happening around me? Within me? How can I connect with someone or something right now, in the present, instead of existing in a whole different world?
  • Purposefully practiceWe only get good at something by practicing – especially practicing without any pressure. A soccer player has to get really good at dribbling the ball on an open field before she can get good at dribbling it with a defender coming at her. We can practice living in the present moment by actually paying attention to the small, everyday tasks that we have a tendency to do while thinking of something else. I’m talking about tasks like taking a shower or washing the dishes. Instead of using that time to zone out, we can practice being present in that very moment. If we practice enough, without any pressure, we’ll be better equipped to live in the present when the urge to dwell on the past or the future is much stronger.

And one more thing:

Living in the present is about more than fully experiencing and appreciating our own lives. It’s also about helping us better connect with those around us. It’s hard to foster a strong relationship with someone when you’re with them physically but not mentally. I can’t even tell you how many times I have failed to give my husband my full attention because my mind has been everywhere but in the present. :oops: (Dave, if you’re reading this, I’m working on it! ;-) )

Now here is an example of someone who has no problem savoring the present moment:


Are you like me, constantly catching yourself thinking about the past and the future instead of the present moment? What are your tips for living in the present?

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