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08.11.2014
Practicing mindfulness has a number of benefits, the key aspect is the ability to become more connected to not only ourselves, but also the people and the world around us. I love the sound of this, I think it’s so easy to become disconnected and live life on auto-pilot. Past research has shown that red wine may help boost our heart health, when taken in moderation. That research, published in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology journal, was done in a lab, but it showed that applying resveratrol to lines of breast cancer cells led to hindrance of cell growth. Mindfulness starts to get really interesting when we can start to integrate it into everyday life. This means that rather than drifting through the day on auto-pilot, not really being fully conscious of the decisions you make, you move from one moment to the next with a sense of calm and clarity in the mind. The mindfulness experts at Headspace describe five situations to which you could easily apply mindfulness on a daily basis. The Old Way:Vague awareness of picking up your toothbrush and moving it around the mouth on autopilot, as you wander around the house, tripping over the cat, looking for your keys, mentally preparing for your first meeting of the day, while wondering who’ll play James Bond after Daniel Craig.
Bonus: Not only will you feel calm and collected afterward, your dentist will be happy with you, too! The Old Way:Acute awareness of scolding hot water alternating with freezing cold water until you find the sweet spot. Bonus: Greenpeace will love you for it, and you’ll end up with a much clearer mind for the day ahead. The Old Way: Standing like a sardine squashed into a tin can on a train or bus, resenting anyone who has a seat, feeling nauseous at the potent cocktail of perfumes, aftershaves, deodorants and hairsprays, while trying to keep your cool as a stroller rocks back and forth into your shins.
Bonus: The other people around you will almost certainly appreciate your lack of road-rage, train-rage or bus-rage and, you never know, you may even find yourself turning up to work with a smile on your face.
The Old Way: Vaguely aware of the need to avoid the sharp knife, hidden beneath the plates in the water, as you stare out of the window and wonder why Mrs. The Old Way: As you stand there tapping your foot, arms crossed and jaws clenched, you wonder why everyone else has chosen the exact same time as you to come to the bank. Bonus: You can see the queue as an irritating inconvenience, or as an opportunity to take a break. Quite literally, sustained meditation leads to something called neuroplasticity, which is defined as the brain's ability to change, structurally and functionally, on the basis of environmental input.
For much of the last century, scientists believed that the brain essentially stopped changing after adulthood. But research by University of Wisconsin neuroscientist Richard Davidson has shown that experienced meditators exhibit high levels of gamma wave activity and display an ability -- continuing after the meditation session has attended -- to not get stuck on a particular stimulus. It’s almost impossible to switch off from the world and take a moment all to yourself, simply to just be.
With origins in Buddhism, Yoga and Taoism, mindfulness is all about purposefully paying attention to and fully experiencing the present moment.
Stop to smell the roses, spend time with those you love, truly taste and enjoy your food and champagne, feel your feet on the ground and take moments just for you.


It can help us understand situations with enhanced clarity, respond to difficult circumstances better and be more resilient in work or home life. Her blog is amazing, filled with words and beautiful images that capture the little moments we later look back on and cherish. Most people tend to acknowledge the first few bites, just to ensure they’re eating what they think they’re supposed to be, and then slip into a semi-conscious state of eating. As you’re doing this, notice if there is any sense of impatience in the mind, of wanting to get on and eat the food. Next, without going on some kind of guilt trip, take a moment to appreciate the fact that you actually have food on your plate. If it’s a food you’re going to eat with your hands, notice the texture as you pick it up, the temperature, and perhaps the color(s). As you move the food toward your mouth, shift the focus away from the hands and more toward the eyes, nose and mouth. Once you’ve taken a few mouthfuls, you may find that the mind starts to get bored of the exercise and will wander off into thinking about something else. As you continue to eat your meal in this way, you can start to notice whether there’s a strong habitual urge to eat more quickly (perhaps to move closer to dessert!).
Before jumping up to get on with the next thing you have planned, try staying seated for a moment or two.
But a new study out this year shows that the resveratrol in red wine might also be able to prevent further growth of breast cancer cells. Gerald Weissmann told the Press Association that this doesn't mean people should drink red wine with the expectation that it will stop breast cancer. Researchers have found that most people are caught up in thought for between 30 percent and 50 percent of the time, even while engaged in activities.
Typically, these are the kind of events where your mind is wandering -- but it doesn't have to be this way. From there, the mind wanders off to the eternal question of ‘What would it be like to win The X Factor?’ as you sing your favorite tune into the shower-head. And if the dishwasher ever breaks down, you’ll know that it is possible to get some headspace while washing the dishes. As you flick through old texts and emails on your cell, desperately searching for something, anything, to do to escape your own impatience, you consider the possibility of robbing the place one day (hypothetically of course), absentmindedly looking to see where the different cameras are and, thereby, getting your picture saved to yet another database in the sky. Sometimes we get so caught up in crossing things on the to-do list, rushing here and there, and just working that we don’t take time for the little things that really matter. Don’t worry too much if there are sounds that are out of your control; you can build these into the exercise. We’re so familiar with this situation that we forget that for many people in the world, this just isn’t the case. If you're eating from a plate with a knife and fork, notice instead the texture and temperature of the cutlery as you move it toward the food, but still take the time to notice the colors on the plate. This is an opportunity for you to take that sense of being present to the next part of your day.


Sign up for the free Take10 program to get the basics just right with guided audio programs and support to get your Headspace, anytime, anywhere on the Headspace app. This isn't about trying to stop thoughts and feelings, but instead learning to step back from them, allowing them to come and go. However, I read an article last weekend about being in the now, appreciating the little things and truly soaking in those seemingly insignificant moments, that I’m sure years from now we may look back on and yearn for so palpably. The company has trained more than one thousand of their employees in mindfulness, recognizing it’s capacity to bring innovation and creativity to the work place, as well as improve wellbeing. Before you even pick up the food to eat, take a couple of deep breaths –- in through the nose and out through the mouth -– to allow the body and mind to settle.
Whatever the reaction, it’s most likely just conditioned behavior -- a habit -- but one that you may find surprisingly strong. A deep sense of appreciation and gratitude is at the heart of any stable mindfulness practice.
You might find it more effective to hold your fork or spoon in your non-dominant hand: This will prevent you from going too quickly.
Is there acceptance of the food as it is, or maybe some resistance to certain aspects of it?
So, in just the same way as before, as soon as you realize it’s wandered off, gently bring your attention back to the process of eating, and the different tastes, smells, textures, sights and sounds. If it’s an especially big meal, you may even notice the desire to consume gradually decreasing as the stomach becomes full and you become more aware of these sensations. It’s an opportunity to realize that the thoughts, feelings and physical sensations that were present before eating have now moved on. And if you do find yourself suddenly lost in thought, then no problem at all, simply bring your attention back to the physical senses and whatever it is you’re doing.
And what if that same approach showed you how to make genuinely sustainable change, toward better physical health and a body that made you feel confident and comfortable?
As much as possible, simply observe these different thoughts and feelings (acting on them when appropriate) and, if you can, notice how the breath appears. Below is a practical exercise from the mindfulness experts at Headspace to introduce you to the multi-faceted benefits of mindful eating.
Try to imagine the different ingredients in their natural growing environment and even the types of people who would have been looking after the crops or animals. Notice how the mind rushes to judge the food and to make comparisons with previous meals or other possibilities. The breath may give you some indication of how comfortable or uncomfortable the process of eating is for you. Not only is this a healthier way of eating, but it will allow you the time to taste and appreciate all the different flavors.



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