Applying mindfulness into your daily life

Being mindful is the act of staying present, being aware of your surroundings and noticing new things without judgment.

  • Friday, August 2, 2019 5:30pm
  • Life

The term mindfulness is the act of staying present in each moment. This has been shown to be helpful for balancing mood as it decreases anxiety and worrying about the future as well as the prevention of being too stuck in the past. I would also like to discuss ways being mindful can help in our daily lives.

Have you ever thought to yourself that you wished you were more organized or less forgetful? How about looking around your desk at work or your home, is it full of clutter? The same would go for your computer and email as well as your phone — is it also full of junk mail? Being mindful is the act of staying present, being aware of your surroundings and noticing new things without judgment. I encourage you to once a week, clear your surrounding of clutter. Do laundry, straighten up the house, throw out old mail, it will also clear your mind of clutter. When you have clarity of mind you will feel more balanced and peaceful. I truly believe that your surroundings are an extension of yourself, so try to take care of them just as you would care for someone you love.

The next thing is to clear your mind of any negative thoughts, especially regarding yourself or others. If you make a mistake or something is not going well in your life, do you get down on yourself? I really think that being kind inside your mind can help flip your perspective on situations that aren’t seemingly working out in your favor. Imagine right now, a situation that isn’t ideal and imagine that it is already fixed. When you put positive thoughts into the universe, it will come back to you. This is also true with health, if you imagine yourself whole healthy and healed, your body can follow your mind.

The brain heals in “theta wave” state. To get to this, you must do something relaxing. I often tell patients to pick something that relaxes them such as yoga, a hot bath with epsom salts, massage, meditation or acupuncture. If you are constantly stuck in “fight or flight,” your nervous system is on alert and you will feel jittery or anxious. Switching to the more relaxed parasympathetic state “rest and digest” can improve sleep, help digestion and repair the nervous system. If you are new to meditation, try a guided visualization exercise even for 10 minutes at a time. Meditating and being mindful takes practice and over time it will become more natural and easy to do.

The last point I will make about mindfulness is how to train your body to stay more grounded. When you connect with nature or with the ground it can help make you feel more calm, and take you out of your racing thoughts. Right now, feel your feet flat on the floor, sit all the way back in your chair and relax your shoulders. Use your five senses to look around the room and notice something new, what do you see, hear, or feel in the air? Now, pay attention to any thoughts that you are thinking right now and let them be, it’s ok to try not to resolve them. Do you feel more relaxed already? A guided meditation can actually help you close your eyes and visit a relaxing place in your mind that you can actually practice at anytime. I hope these tips help you connect your body and mind and live a more peaceful lifestyle.

Dr. Allison Apfelbaum is a naturopathic primary care doctor in Woodinville. To learn more go to www.treeofhealthmedicine.com or call 425-408-0040.

More in Life

Redmond Lights will take place Dec. 7 and 8. Photo courtesy of city of Redmond Facebook
Redmond Lights will have new additions this year

The parks and recreation department shared a preview of the festival with city council.

NAMI volunteer Jesse Levine, director Michele Meaker, and volunteer Cole Swanson after their End the Silence presentation. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo
NAMI Eastside: Ending the stigma of mental health

NAMI Eastside offers advocacy, education, and support to those affected by mental illness.

Photo courtesy of The Bear Creek School 
                                Bear Creek National Honor Society students from left, Kate McDonough, Chuck McDonough, James Wadhwani, Tyler Doyle, Benjamin Ferreira, Kathryn Sutherland, Ryan Bracewell, Nelson Sun and Annemarie Mullet delivered food donations to the Hopelink food bank in Redmond.
Bear Creek food drive brings in six and a half tons of food

The school’s National Honor Society chapter organized the drive and the food was donate to Hopelink.

For veterans, there’s no better cause to push than helping other vets

Jim Curtis and Mark Gorman are two of many veteran advocates on the Eastside.

Fairwinds-Redmond to honor veterans

WWII veterans Morten Joslin and Nick Nichols share their stories.

Alejandro, 6, and Elizabeth, 8, Camacho from Woodinville with their sugar skulls at the Día de los Muertos event on Nov. 2 at the Centro Cultural Mexicano in Redmond. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo
Redmond celebrates Día de los Muertos

The Day of the Dead event celebrates the lives of departed loved ones.

From left: National Merit Scholarship semifinalists Rita Luk, Lauren Shen, Nelson Sun and commended students Andrew Hom and Matthew Jensen. Courtesy photo of Bear Creek School
Three Bear Creek School students named National Merit semifinalists

Two more students were recognized as national commended students.

The team that created Vitality, the first-prize winning app. Courtesy photo
DelBene hosts annual app-a-thon for local students

Students from Redmond place in competition.

Staying fit through the holidays

It is possible to train yourself to exercise as part of who you are.

In 1967 Nokomis Club of Redmond sponsored a tea at the local branch of the King County Library system to commemorate National Library Week. Photo courtesy of Redmond Historical Society Facebook
110 years of community investment

The Nokomis club celebrates their 110th Anniversary.

Queen Latifah headlines Hopelink’s Reaching Out luncheon Oct. 21. From left: Queen Latifah, luncheon chairs Lynne Varner and Paul Hollie, and Hopelink CEO Lauren Thomas. Madison Miller/staff photo
Queen Latifah headlines Hopelink’s annual fundraiser

Hopelink raised about $1.15 million at the annual fundraiser.

Green Redmond Day is on Oct. 26. Photo courtesy of Alex Christians
Plant trees to celebrate Green Redmond Day

Planting events will take place at numerous park sites on Oct. 26.