You've probably heard about mindfulness, but did you know it can help us keep our New Year's resolutions? Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Alex Bloom., stopped by to tell us more.
"How to be more mindful in this coming year." We hear this buzz term all over the place now of "mindfulness," but what is it? Does it mean being more polite or what? I always say it's one word but describes so much. Mindfulness is essentially being in the here and now moment in a nonjudgmental way. But don't let this fool you - as I often say, it is a simple definition but not an easy practice.
So how do we apply this idea to our new year?
We do so by living MORE. What is MORE?
M - Managing urges
We have so many temptations biding for our attention all day long. Social media notifications, cookies in the break room, all these things that are just laying there that can easily get us off course. So we manage these 'urges' to engage with all these temptations by surfing them. This can often show up as getting in touch with our breath. Something that's always here and we can return to. Research shows that following our breath is the best way to use our willpower.
O - One thing in the moment
We live in a society dominated by values such as productivity and multitasking. But research shows that this is actually making us more stressed out and less productive. So this practice is about placing more of our attention on just one thing. So that means when you're doing dishes, turn off the TV and just focus on washing that dish. Or when you're driving, turn off the radio and just be in the experience of driving. It will make you less stressed and makes changes in the physical structure of your brain with practice!
R - Return to the moment
Part of this practice is knowing your mind is going to wonder! That's what so great about it! The question is not a matter of if but when the mind wanders. So this becomes an integral part of the process. This can be especially powerful for our freshly minted NY resolutions. Even if we don't keep up with the gym every single day, that doesn't mean we should stop come February. The year is broken up into 365 days; therefore, 365 chances to return again!
E - Ease
Be easy with yourself! We're often our worst enemy, especially when it comes to goals. And research shows the reason we often fail with our resolutions is because we've set them so darn high. So this practice of non-judgment or self-compassion becomes integral. When you get off track and you eat that cookie or skip a day at the gym - or heck a MONTH - bring yourself some kindness and start again...There's always another present moment waiting for you to do so ;)