Don’t worry about the past.
Take a deep
Don’t stress about the future.
Focus on the moment you
are living right now.
Live in the moment
A powerful way to reduce stress:
live in the moment.
How the practice of mindfulness can bring more calm to your life.
By Debbie Polisky and Lisa Reswick
We live in a world of distractions, so we go through our days with our attention split in different directions. Looking at the computer while talking on our cell phones. Reading blood glucose results while thinking of our “to-do” list. Watching television while eating.
We ruminate about the past and worry about the future. Not to mention the ongoing interruptions of dealing with the demands and emotional stress of diabetes. Meanwhile, we are not living life in this moment.
How can we stop being overwhelmed by stress and become free to live our lives? Today’s research is showing that there is a powerful and surprisingly simple answer. It is found in the practice of mindfulness.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the practice of focusing your awareness on the present. When we are mindful, we become aware of the thoughts we are having now. We don’t push these thoughts away or judge them. Instead, we simply continue to gently direct our focus to the present, letting our thoughts come and go.
Bringing our attention to the moment allows us to calm down and pause before we overreact to the challenges in our lives. Living in the moment also allows us to appreciate more of our life as it is happening.
How can you practice mindfulness?
Remind yourself to observe this moment now. You can be mindful of the brilliant sunlight in your room as you awaken, the sounds of children in a playground, or of the earthy fragrance after a rainfall.
Return your awareness to the moment, no matter how small it seems. When you brush your teeth, give it your attention. When you listen to a song, just listen to that song and nothing else. When you take a walk, focus on your body’s sensations with each step you take. When your mind wanders into daydreaming or planning, also known as “mind chatter, ” gently redirect it to the present moment by paying attention to your breath.
Mindful eating for diabetes and pre-diabetes.
You can practice mindfulness at any time of day, but for people with diabetes it is especially powerful at mealtimes.
To better focus on your meal, get away from your television and your cell phone. Go to a spot where you can sit down and slow down. Gather with friends and family if you can. Take small bites, chew slowly, and really savor the tastes and textures of your meal. You may find that when you eat at a more leisurely pace, you will feel satisfied sooner and eat less.
Mindfulness improves your health, your attitude—and your diabetes control.
Mindfulness is becoming a more widely adopted health therapy as research continues to show that Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) improves physical and mental health.
The benefits are far-reaching. Practicing mindfulness decreases stress and negative thoughts, improves sleep, lowers blood pressure, and reduces levels of chronic pain, depression, anxiety, sadness, frustration, and worry.
What is especially important to you is that mindfulness can improve your daily diabetes management – and may even lower fasting blood sugar levels.
Use the simple and powerful meditation in the graphic box every day to give yourself the gift of more inner peace and relaxation.