The health & wellness industry has a way of taking something good and warping it into a fad or a buzzword, which can mean a once effective practice gets diluted to the point that few people take it seriously and give up on using it.
Mindfulness is the practice of being more aware of your choices and your environment.
Mindfulness is the practice of being more aware of your choices and your environment, mindfulness is in danger of suffering this fate. Every health blogger and health guru is writing blog posts and books about it—some of them are credible, but others are just riding the wave to drive traffic for their site. With my own books and my own blog, my goal is always to cut through the noise and give you reliable, actionable insights into your health choices.
So is mindfulness another health fad or is it important to your health?
It’s important, and it’s not a new idea.
Mindfulness as a practice can be found in cultures all around the world, going back to the roots of Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. While it was tied to spiritual practices, the idea of meditation was to calm one’s mind to be more present and more aware of the choices one was making in life. Eventually, mindfulness found its way into psychology to help patients step back from the urgency of their daily lives and think more clearly about how their choices and their environment affect the way they think and how they feel.
In practice, mindfulness meditation does not have to be spiritual. Even our method of Stop. Challenge. Choose. has hints of mindfulness built in. Simply taking a second to stop and think about the situation you’re in makes you more present, giving you more control of the choices you are about to make.
Becoming more mindful can potentially lower stress, reduce anxiety, and improve your ability to make healthier choices. It’s not some magical cure-all, and it takes some practice, but it can improve your life if you devote a little bit of time each day to it.
My recommendation: Meditate for two minutes a day. Turn off your electronics, close your eyes, and focus on your breathing. You can spare two minutes to think about your breathing. Something this small opens the door to you making healthier choices and seeing the big picture of your life and your habits because it disconnects you from the momentum of your busy life.
For now though, don’t let the stacks and stacks of books and products intimidate you or put you off. Mindfulness matters, and you owe it to your health to start practicing.