The world we live in is busier than ever. Multi-tasking is a necessary evil, but in the rush to get everything accomplished, you may find yourself losing your connection with the present moment – missing out on what you’re doing and how you’re feeling.
The practice of “mindfulness” is a growing trend that experts recommend to help improve both mental and physical health. Mindfulness is the exact opposite of multi-tasking. It simply means being in the moment. Scientists have discovered that mindfulness helps improve physical health in a number of ways. For example, mindfulness can help:
• relieve stress
• treat heart disease
• lower blood pressure
• reduce chronic pain
• improve sleep
• alleviate gastrointestinal difficulties
Mindfulness with regard to our health means being more aware of the choices we make on a daily basis and how those choices affect our long-term health. A number of chronic diseases are caused by lifestyle choices that we control.
Eating habits are a good example. Americans seem to have forgotten how to slow down and be mindful that proper eating is what actually fuels our body to function. Food gives us energy and allows us to think, move, and prosper. But we are no longer attentive to the impact of food on our bodies. We eat for convenience, not health. We are no longer being mindful.
If we begin to pay more attention to how specific foods impact our health, we can start to make better choices about what foods to buy and eat. Many chronic diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease, and even certain cancers are fueled by diets filled with processed foods and few fruits and vegetables, along with sedentary lifestyles.
As modern medicine has advanced, there is more and more evidence leading to the fact that WE have more power over our own health and the onset of disease than we realize. Prevention truly does lie with us if we would only slow down, find ways to reduce our stress, and let the power of mindfulness work in our lives.
Submitted by San Antonio Regional Hospital