When we rush around from activity to activity, phone to computer to TV, and website to website, we miss the joys and simple pleasures of what’s right in front of us – animal- shaped clouds, running into an old friend, or a wild turkey in downtown Boston – indeed, that really happens! Rushing around all the time can also leave us feeling out of sorts, unbalanced, and can lead to health problems.
One way to quiet the mind, slow down, and embrace the present is through mindfulness. Mindfulness is being in the present moment and aware of your surroundings, while being open, attentive, and honest about your thoughts. With mindfulness, you can control your awareness and tap into your senses. You have the power to slow down and reset your body and mind so they can better serve you. Think of your mind and body like a computer. When it goes too long without a break, it slows down, and sometimes, it crashes, usually at the worst possible time. Sound familiar? Our bodies are the same way, and also need to be restarted and re-energized regularly. Mindfulness is one extremely effective and efficient way to restore the balance that all of us need to be at our best.
Stress and anxiety come mostly from thinking about the past or the future – two time periods we don’t have much control over. We do, however, have control over what happens Right Now. In this moment. While you can’t always control what’s happening around you, you do have the power to control your reactions to what’s happening. A situation could either be experienced as stressful, or an opportunity for learning and reflection, and that’s up to you.
You can also control your breathing and actually slow down your heart rate. Breathing deeply is important because it reduces stress and anxiety, increases energy, improves digestion, relieves pain, releases toxins from the body, strengthens our immune system, and elevates mood. All of those things from more intentional, deep breaths. Pretty amazing, right?
While mindfulness can certainly be practiced in the company of others, being present with ourselves alone is also important. In a loud, busy world, knowing how to regulate our emotions and find our own inner calm is necessary to be our best. Anyone can do it. Anytime, anyplace. Mindfulness can be done while sitting, standing, or walking. Plus, it’s free!
Check out some free mindfulness practices here. Wishing you peace of mind!
Weekly Flu Report, February 12, 2016 posted on Feb 12
Rates of flu-like illness continued to climb over the past seven days, according to the latest weekly flu report. This is consistent with what we typically see at this point of flu season in years past. And if prior flu seasons are any indication, we can …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, February 12, 2016
Happy Valentine’s Day…Made Even Happier! posted on Feb 11
I used to think that Halloween through New Year’s was the hardest time of the year to stick to my goal of eating healthfully, considering leftover candy from trick or treating, Thanksgiving dinner, holiday parties and gatherings—the list goes on and on. By the time …Continue Reading Happy Valentine’s Day…Made Even Happier!
Highlights from the February 10th Public Health Council Meeting posted on Feb 10
This month’s Public Health Council meeting featured a series of presentations and discussions on proposed amendments to regulations, followed by informational updates on select Department initiatives. First the Council received updates from the Department on the status of proposed amendments to regulations related to: Safety Requirement for …Continue Reading Highlights from the February 10th Public Health Council Meeting