by Lila Lazarus
Slow down. Don’t read this like you read most articles—skimming, barely taking it in. No, read this article with the aim of changing your entire life. Really. Just by slowing down and mindfully reading something word by word, you can change your whole experience. Suddenly you let go of anything that might be distracting you and fully engage with the words on the screen.
Every moment is an opportunity to be mindful—to be aware. It’s a chance to pay more attention to what we do while we’re doing it. And every day more research reveals how beneficial that kind of mindfulness can be for reducing stress.
Words hit us 24/7. They slide across the bottom of a newscast, parade across the screen on our smartphone or jut out like a billboard on a Facebook post. And every time a word pops up at us, we have the choice to let it bounce off us or take it in. Every time you click on a post or a blog you have the chance to practice being mindful… being present. When you’re reading mindfully, you’re reading word by word. You’re noticing the tablet, phone or screen the words are on. You’re noticing how the light of the screen hits your eyes. Take a moment to feel your eyes guiding you to the right and then back to the left again.
And now take a moment and ask yourself: When was the last moment I was this mindful while reading something? It makes reading a bit of an adventure. You have to stay right here, totally present. Now take a deep breath. It’s your best tool for staying right here. And while you’re at it… smile. Mindful people tend to be happier, more creative and they welcome new experiences. When we’re more mindful, we’re more self-aware, which can help us regulate our attention and our emotions. A study in the journal Health Psychology revealed that people who practiced mindfulness not only felt less stressed, but they also had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
So for the rest of the day, practice mindfulness. Be mindful when you’re in the elevator, in the checkout line, at the traffic light. Really take in your life moment by moment. Taste your coffee, enjoy your food, savor a good conversation. Notice every word that passes your eyes. Suddenly life’s most routine moments become remarkable.
“Be happy in the moment, that’s enough,” said Mother Teresa. “Each moment is all we need, not more.”
Lila’s Health Report:
In order to stay healthy, you need to stay active and engaged. In addition to exercise, good nutrition and sleep, you also need a good dose of adventure. So each month I’ll share ways to boost the excitement and passion in your life with adventurous ways to create more wellness in your body, mind and your spirit.