How to Feel Great Every Day Through Mindfulness

Dec 19

How to Feel Great Every Day Through Mindfulness

I am thrilled to announce that I have here today, my soul-sister and dear friend Paige Burkes of Simple Mindfulness, where she writes about simple steps to a happier life, sharing her own experiences and lessons learned. She is an amazing person and is featured in the Top 50 Personal Development Bloggers of 2012.

Besides the fact that we both share the same birthday (September 27) I am always excited about how we are almost always in sync with our thoughts and views about life. Both of us are committed to making a positive difference in as many lives as we can!

Paige recently launched the “Mindful Body Program” – I had the privilege of reviewing it for her and I simply loved it. It is an absolutely zero BS approach to you can be healthy and feel good for the rest of your life. And it is not about fancy diets, supplements or equipment. Best of all, it is all within you to make this change!

You have the ability to heal yourself from the inside out.

I believe that happiness is a DIY project – and grew up with strong women who encouraged mindful living.  So, I requested Paige to share with us the concept of mindfulness and how we can benefit from practicing it. We could all do with some tips that help us live a happier life, right? Right! And I love Paige’s no-nonsense results-speak-much-louder-than-lofty-theories approach to this whole thing.

Welcome, dearest Paige! I know you are passionate about mindfulness. I would like to share our discussion with our readers.

How to Feel Great Every Day Through Mindfulness

What is mindfulness?

It is simply noticing what is in the present moment without judging it. You can practice mindfulness anywhere, at any time. You can be mindful about what and how you eat, how you move, how you relate to other people, the choices you’re making all day, how you make and spend your money – everything.

As simple as it sounds – in today’s hectic pace of life, how easy is it to practice?

Mindfulness is a way of life and it takes practice. Being mindful is something you do one moment at a time, taking baby steps to incorporate it into various aspects of your life.

It can be difficult to slow down your racing mind to simply notice things. All of your screens and electronic devices keep you going, going, going. Today, we are programmed to be productive at almost any cost and this robs you of the ability to notice the beauty in and around you. It also robs you of the ability to make wise choices for yourself. Instead of what is right for you, you end up doing what you think others expect of you and what you’re “supposed to” do.

These mindless choices take a heavy toll on your physical and emotional health. I created the Mindful Body Program to reverse this process and help you make better choices to create a healthier, happier you.

VidyaSuryMindfulnessQuote

Can the Mindful Body Program help those who are stressed and overweight?

Despite all kinds of advances in science and medicine, people are more stressed and overweight than ever. Rates of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and a variety of other illnesses continue to rise.

I believe that much of this is due to our mindless lifestyles. When you’re stressed and unhappy, you feed those negative emotions with comforting (and often unhealthy) foods and drinks. While that may help you to feel better in the short term, it creates long-term health problems and never addresses the core issues.

The Mindful Body Program identifies those core issues and helps you to address them in your own life. By simply eating mindfully, you can transform your overall health.

You talk about Mindful Eating in the program – could you elaborate on that?

Eating mindfully means slowing down to consider whether you’re truly hungry, thirsty or looking to feed your emotions. It means being thoughtful about what you choose to put in your body, considering how you’ll feel later. It means slowing down and focusing on what you’re eating and drinking and enjoying every aspect of it. By eating more mindfully and tuning into your body’s needs, you tend to choose healthier foods in healthier quantities.

Weight loss is the Holy Grail for most of us. Can simply being more mindful about what and how you eat help you to lose weight?

Definitely!

Integrating mindfulness into your life isn’t anything like going on a diet. People tend to view diets as something they do for a while before resuming life as usual. If “life as usual” created the extra weight then the weight lost with a diet is sure to return when a diet is over.

When you practice mindfulness, you’re creating a new “life as usual” that feels so much better than diets or your old lifestyle. You start making conscious choices about what feels good for you in both the long and short term. For example, you may savor a small serving of your favorite dessert and realize you’re satisfied after a few bites instead of eating two giant helpings and feeling fat and sick later….not to mention guilty!

If you struggle with achieving or maintaining a healthy weight, mindfulness may be your key to easily losing weight and keeping it off. Practicing mindfulness can help you to uncover your emotional triggers, limiting beliefs and unproductive habits that have kept you at a less-than-ideal weight.

Can we use mindfulness to detox?

In addition to helping you lose weight, being mindful can help you identify possible food allergies or intolerances and toxins in your food and environment that may be draining your energy and causing other health issues. Until you slow down to simply notice the relationship between what you put in your body and how you feel, you and your doctor may never uncover the causes of those nagging problems.

Any tips for someone who struggles with fitting exercise into their busy schedules? How to find the motivation?

In addition to eating well, exercise is critical to creating and maintaining health. Most people feel that they’re too busy to exercise. There’s always too much to do and too little time. You make time for what you feel is important.

For many, exercise means going to a gym or doing something uncomfortable and strenuous. Generally speaking, exercise just doesn’t seem like much fun. Instead of seeing exercise as some arduous task that you “should” do, mindfulness invites you to see it as a fun way to move your body. Instead of thinking, “I really should go to the gym” try, “I can’t wait to take a walk with my best friend.”

Exercise is any kind of physical movement. Mindfulness invites you to try new things. Keep doing the things you love and drop the things that don’t feel good to you.

I love yoga and walking. If I go a day without yoga, my body yearns for it. I hate running and going to a gym. To me, these are painful tasks. You may be the exact opposite and that’s awesome. Experiment with all kinds of movement to discover what you love. Maybe it’s dancing or swimming or hoola hooping or gardening.

The Mindful Body Program will help you to find what’s right for you and, most importantly, turn it into a life-long habit that you can fit into your busy lifestyle and love.

VidyaSuryPresentMoment

I am keen on knowing about how parents can help children practice mindfulness

If you’re a parent, know that you are your children’s most powerful role model. Your children are absorbing everything you do and integrating those things into their own lives. Setting an example by incorporating mindfulness into your own life can be one of the biggest gifts you can give your children. It doesn’t matter how old they are. If they notice what you’re doing to look and feel better, at the least they’ll be curious. More likely, they’ll want adopt your new habits.

Teaching children how to be mindful will serve them their entire lives. If you show your kids that exercise and eating well are important, they’ll likely incorporate those beliefs into their own lifestyle. If you have health issues that are related to how you care for yourself, do you want your children to adopt the same issues? You can tell them about how to be healthy but your actions will always speak the loudest.

How about sharing some ways in which we can incorporate mindfulness into our routine?

There are many ways to incorporate mindfulness into what and how we eat. The next time you reach for something to eat or drink, pause and take three deep, relaxing breaths before putting anything in your mouth.

  • Consider whether you’re hungry, thirsty or feeding some other need. Consider eating half of what you normally eat at each meal. Wait a half hour to see how you feel before eating more.
  • When you eat, don’t do anything else. Turn off the TV, computer and phone. Put away the books and magazines. Focus on your food and your body.
  • Slow down to notice the look, smell, tastes and textures of your foods.
  • Notice how you feel immediately after you eat as well as a couple hours later. Do you have more energy or less? How is that related to what you ate?

Incorporate some of these ideas into your day for three days and notice the difference in how you look and feel. Let me know what your experiences were in the comments. I can’t wait to hear from you!

Thank you, Paige!

Dear Friends, If you would like to learn more about how to incorporate mindfulness into your life to lose weight, have more energy, sleep better, get rid of aches and pains and much more so that you can get out and do all the things you’ve been keeping yourself from, please do check out Paige’s Mindful Body Program. And feel free to ask her any questions you have  – right here!

Paige Burkes at simple mindfulnessPaige Burkes writes at Simple Mindfulness where she inspires her readers to see the world in a new light, experiencing life mindfully and inviting in more happiness and joy.   Download her FREE Mindful Living Guide and learn how you can invite more joy, peace and happiness into your life.  Check out her new Mindful Body Program, a comprehensive program that uses mindfulness principles to transform how you think about diet, exercise and health.  It shows you how fun it is to be healthy.

 

Love, Vidya

 

 

VidyaSuryMindfulBody

 

 

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50 comments

  1. Thank you so much for the opportunity to speak with you here, dear Vidya! It’s so rare to find a friend who grew up with mindfulness and understands it so well.

    Working together I know we can help so many others move from unhappy, mindless lifestyles to more mindful ones that support each person’s individual needs and desires.

    We all want to be happy and mindfulness is a terrific practice to move us in that direction.

    Big Hugs!!
    Paige recently posted…Your Best Weapon in an ArgumentMy Profile

  2. A very thoughtful post and I subscribe to the views fully, Vidya:)
    Rahul recently posted…An Anguished CryMy Profile

  3. Vidya- Having read the entire program, I can only say that Paige offers a wealth of information – a lot of it common sense – but also some strategies that many of us never knew.

    I know Paige and all I can say is that ‘she walks the walk’. So everything she is writing about, she implements in her life. xxoo-Fran
    Fran Sorin recently posted…44 Inspirational Quotes About Nature’s Beauty For The Holiday SeasonMy Profile

  4. This is wonderful Paige and Vidya!
    What a wonderful interview. I can highly endorse your program. Paige, and all that you stand for!! I’m looking forward to our interview in the very near future.
    xoxo
    Betsy
    Betsy /Zen Mama recently posted…Give The Best Gift of All This Year… Unconditional Love!My Profile

  5. Hi Paige and Vidya,

    This was lovely, peaceful and mindful interview!

    I’m a strong supporter of practicing mindfulness and Paige, I must congratulate you on helping people learn and develop mindfulness through your program.

    On the note about kids, teaching my kids (when I have some!) mindfulness from when they are young, is something I’m definitely going to do.
    Hiten recently posted…More Empowering AttitudesMy Profile

    • Thank you Hiten! So nice to see you again!

      While it’s sometimes a challenge, I’m always working to be an example of mindfulness for my three little kids. They’re starting to relate what they eat to how they feel and choose things that make them feel good.

      Another area is when they say things like, “He makes me angry!” I respond with, “No one makes you feel anything. You’re choosing that. You could choose something different like walking away and not letting him bother you.” This one will take more time (most adults have a tough time with this one).

      With kids, every day is a new adventure!
      Paige recently posted…Make This Year Freakin’ Amazing! Here’s How (Win a Free Book!)My Profile

      • Paige, I am not surprised your children relate to you as an example. I am happy to say Vidur has absorbed the concept of mindfulness – and when I worry, he reminds me gently, repeating what I usually tell him. I remember when he went through some bullying over a year ago at school, he handled it like a champ, all thanks to choosing how to feel about the situation.

        Mindfulness is so transformative, and I can think of none better to teach it, Paige. You just rock!
        Vidya Sury recently posted…Healthy Child, Happy ChildMy Profile

    • Hiten, what a wonderful comment! :-) I feel right at home with Paige’s program as I was lucky to grow up in a household lovingly ruled by my Grandmother, who practiced living in the moment.

      Thank you for your positive words. Hugs!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…How to Feel Great Every Day Through MindfulnessMy Profile

  6. Hi Paige,

    I really enjoyed your post, it sounds like a great program.

    Your tips on mindful eating were very helpful, especially this: “Slow down to notice the look, smell, tastes and textures of your foods.” Something I’ve noticed when I’ve thought to try this, is that the food actually tastes better!

    I like that you address parenting and modeling mindfulness for our children, it’s such a valuable thing to pass on.
    Dave Rowley recently posted…noticing notes: shift and returnMy Profile

    • Thanks Dave! I did some experimentation on noticing more about my food and found that fresh, organic foods tasted incredibly better than processed or conventionally grown foods. I also noticed that my kids seem to know this instinctively. For example, when we bought organic berries from a natural foods store, we all gobbled them up as soon as they got home. A few days later I bought some big, conventionally grown berries from Walmart. The difference in taste was dramatic. No one would touch the Walmart berries.

      While I do my best to model mindfulness for my kids, frequently they model being in the moment and following their instincts for me. Kids are the best teachers!

      • Paige – I tried an experiment along these lines. I asked Vidur to do the fruit/veg shopping by himself one day. I was curious to see what he would pick up – because just the previous day we had been discussing and drooling over some ads we saw on TV about ready to cook stuff. I was pleasantly surprised to see that his bags were full of fresh, handpicked stuff from our local market. What is more, he had (mindfully) chosen based on the recipes he really likes. Oh, what a pleasure to realize that they can make the right choices! Of course, he joked that it was more work – preparing from scratch and cooking, but the fun part is unmatched!

        :-) Kids are the best teachers, yes.
        Vidya Sury recently posted…How to Feel Great Every Day Through MindfulnessMy Profile

    • Hi Dave! Welcome and thanks for your comment! You touched the perfect point of Paige’s program! Thanks again for being here today!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…How to Feel Great Every Day Through MindfulnessMy Profile

  7. My Inner Chick /

    Lovely–Insightful Post.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Love Love Love xx
    My Inner Chick recently posted…A Different Kind Of Christmas TreeMy Profile

  8. Mindfulness is something I’ve focused on the last several years. I did some wonderful training at a Shambhala center here in Portland. When I listen to my body, it gives me pretty good advice! Now I just need to listen to it! More and more I seem to be moving away from conventional wisdom about certain things and turning inward to check in with what my body tells me. Great program!
    Galen Pearl recently posted…Joy ComesMy Profile

    • That’s great advice Galen! Our bodies always know what’s best for us. That not only applies to what and how we eat but also what’s best for our souls. Whenever I have to make a tough decision, I focus on my gut and ask for its wise advice. It’s always right. Whether or not I take its advice is another matter. There have actually been scientific studies done that confirm that our gut has some of the same properties as our brain and dictates much of how the rest of our body functions. So, the next time we feel that tight feeling in our gut, it’s our body’s way of conveying a very strong message.

      Why does it seem to take so long for us to finally figure out how simple health and wellness can be?

      • Ah, Body talk! Galen – I always marvel at how our body simply lets us know when we should slow down (or speed up for that matter!)It is all about being conscious of every moment, noticing. :-) Thanks for the wonderful input, as always!
        Vidya Sury recently posted…How to Feel Great Every Day Through MindfulnessMy Profile

      • Paige! In a way, I feel lucky to have been a child of the 60s when we did not even have all that is available now. By default, we focused on health and wellness. Doctors’ visits were very rare because we simply did not need to go see them, except for the mandatory vaccinations. Glad I have that part of my life to keep me grounded. :D We also practiced just sitting quietly or talking to each other. Your program is the perfect nudge to remind everyone to return to good health. Hugs!
        Vidya Sury recently posted…Healthy Child, Happy ChildMy Profile

  9. Paige, this is great that you give your gifts this way. It is one of the most best researched healing techniques and a recipe for overall peace of mind! Thank you!
    Jodi recently posted…Peace On EarthMy Profile

  10. thank you for the detailed tips Paige and Vidya
    keep it up you both : )
    farouk recently posted…why do people believe in fortune tellingMy Profile

  11. Hi ladies. I enjoyed the post and interview very much. Lots of food for thought. Thank you for sharing!
    Terri Sonoda recently posted…Apocalypse notwithstandingMy Profile

  12. Rob Collins /

    This is a useful blog post and I’m fully in favour of mindfulness. But please check your health-related facts carefully. Most cancer rates are declining, not increasing as you claim.

    http://www.cdc.gov/Features/dsCancerAnnualReport/

    • Welcome, Rob. Thanks for your comment and the valuable link to information about declining cancer rates. I appreciate it. Happy holidays!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…I Make My Trip Down Memory Lane, Nostalgia StreetMy Profile

    • Rob,

      Rates of decline and increase vary. Here’s a quote from a recent study by the International Agency for Research on Cancer published in the Lancet Oncology:

      In nations transitioning towards higher levels of human development, there appears to be a reduction in incidence rates of some types of cancer, such as stomach cancer and cervical cancer. However, the incidence of breast, colorectal, and prostate cancer is expected to increase substantially in higher-HDI countries.

      A report earlier this year from the American Cancer Society showed a 1.7% decrease in DEATHS FROM cancer but increases in the incidence of a variety of cancers:

      Death rates fell in all four of the most common cancers, lung, colon, breast and prostate, with lung cancer accounting for nearly 40 percent of the total drop in men and breast cancer account for 34 percent of the total decline in women.

      Despite improvements in the most common cancers, a companion report found an increase in cases of several cancers over the past decade. These included cancers of the pancreas, liver, thyroid, and kidney and melanoma, as well as esophageal cancer and certain types of throat cancers associated with human papillomavirus or HPV infection.

  13. Paige and Vidya, I am so happy to have found you. I wholeheartedly embrace what you are proposing. A few years ago, my husband and I transformed our whole lives through exercise, healthy eating, and mindfulness. While we didn’t call it mindfulness at the time, I realize now that mindfulness was the factor that brought us closer than ever. We questioned everything from our jobs and relationships to every bite of food we put in our bodies. We have more fun and energy in our lives than we could ever have imagined when we married 15 years ago.

    Paige, I am so glad you mentioned children. You can’t say, “Eat healthy” and go to Shipley’s every Saturday for a Bavarian creme!

    • Tammy, I am so happy you are here. Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful journey. Mindfulness’ benefits are at so many levels and it is great to think that it all stems from the decision to simply notice every little thing consciously. I am lucky my Grandmother inculcated this practice in our family. I am very glad so many people are taking a closer look at their lives. I am all for teaching children from a young age – because no one can beat children as teachers once they learn something!

      Hugs to you, Tammy. Happy holidays!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…I Make My Trip Down Memory Lane, Nostalgia StreetMy Profile

    • Tammy,

      Your experience speaks to the transformative effect a book titled Conscious Living by Gay Hendricks had on my life. We all tend to run so much on autopilot and wonder why we’re not happy. As you’ve showed, once we start making very conscious choices about what we include in and exclude from our lives and how we do everything, our lives magically become what we’ve always dreamed of. Big congrats on all that you and your husband have achieved!!

  14. Hi Paige and Vidya,

    Nice to know about mindfulness program.Its really great,the amazing thought i got from this article is “simply noticing what is in the present moment without judging it”.This a great way of living most happiest ,stressed out life.

    But i know it is very difficult i have read before about this technique but found it really difficult to live every moment without judging.

    Feeling every moment with happiness makes a person know the importance of his/her life in depth.

    I saw one bollywood movie that is “Zindagi na milegi dobara”.There is a scene in a movie in which Actor Hrithik roshan is diving under water with a trainer.After he came out of half an hr session,He feels so great.Trainer asked her how you felt after diving he answered it was so great,he said”i can feel my every single breath in my counts and trainer answer “imgaine if you felt great in just half an hr by feeling your movement what if you get to live this life in real world,how much happier the life would be.

    So idea is really great Thanks For sharing the interview Vidya.
    It was Great Post

    Thank You
    Shorya Bist
    From Youthofest
    Shorya Bist recently posted…Delhi gang rape -Youth Role PlayMy Profile

    • Shorya, Welcome! And thanks for your comment. Yes, you are right about it being difficult to make the switch. Sometimes, it is important to let go of thinking too much and focus on the present moment. This is something we are all excellent at, as children, but somewhere along the hectic pace of life, we forget to do it.

      You know, a couple of decades ago, I put on a few extra kilos thanks to indulging in ice-cream every night. Heck – the parlor was pretty close to our place and it quickly became a habit, until one day, I found it slightly hard to get into my favorite jeans. That was a wake-up call, because I had no intention of discarding those jeans! I decided to discard my weight instead – and was lucky to have good company. I still recall my Mom’s voice telling me to use a smaller plate to eat, and halve each mouthful, chew slowly, savor the texture and taste and only then swallow. No reading, no TV while eating. And of course, walking every day. I lost that extra weight very quickly.

      We just have to adopt the same attitude towards everything we do in life. Shorya, meditation helps focus. Easiest way is to recite a prayer you are fond of, for ten minutes, once you seat yourself comfortably. Visualize how it is going to make you feel better. :-)

      ZNMD – was a really nice movie. :) Thanks for sharing. I read your post about the Delhi gang rape. Outrageous. Let’s wait and see what happens.

      Thanks again, Shorya.
      Vidya Sury recently posted…I Make My Trip Down Memory Lane, Nostalgia StreetMy Profile

    • Being mindful in every moment of every day is almost impossible. Mindfulness is a practice. To begin, simply make it a point to notice your thoughts. Setting the intention helps. Initially you may stop to notice a thought or two of the 60,000 that go through your mind in an average day. That’s great! Initially you may judge yourself for having the thoughts you noticed. That’s OK. That’s how we all start. Over time and with daily practice it will become easier to notice more thoughts and to judge them less. If you have a judging thought, ask yourself what you can learn about yourself from the experience. For example, you may see a person who is a little pudgy and think to yourself, “They’re really fat.” Upon closer examination, you may find that you have issues loving your own body and, to make yourself feel better, you judge others harshly.

      Every day is a new beginning and a new opportunity to create a different future for yourself. Different thoughts lead to different choices which create different habits which add up to a whole new life.

      Many blessings on your journey Shorya!

  15. First of all i want to say that Paige writes an amazing post on mindfulness. I love this post and really this post helps me to start live an excellent and peaceful life
    San diego Mediators recently posted…Hello world!My Profile

  16. The connection between mind and body is indeed very complex. Understanding it helps both the mind and the body!
    Dee recently posted…True Weight in the Dukan DietMy Profile

  17. It’s remarkable for me to have a website, which is valuable in
    favor of my experience. thanks admin
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