“The quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.”
“A mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.”
I encourage clients to start with one component of being mindful, (i.e. not using technology when we are eating) we can then begin to work from there. When we put too much pressure to “START BEING MINDFUL… NOW!” This makes being mindful difficult and we might find we turn back to non-mindful habits.
Like most things I work with clients on, being mindful takes time and self-compassion to start rewiring our brains.
Mindful movement focuses on being in tune with our bodies and experiencing our bodies. This concept of mindful movement might be new to some but it’s been studied for several decades and proven when we have mindful movement, movement becomes more sustainable.
These are four components come from Rachel Calogero and Kelly Perdotty (2007) from Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Anti-Diet Approach by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch:
- Enhances the mind-body connection and coordination and does not confuse or deregulate it
- Alleviates mental and physical stress and does not contribute to and amplify stress
- Provides genuine enjoyment and pleasure and is not used for punitive reasons
- Is used to rejuvenate the body, not to exhaust or deplete it
I will give you a moment to re-read those. I would then ask you “Which one landed the most with you?” “Which one(s) do you feel you do/ don’t do?”
I focus on all four with my clients, however, we typically have very lengthy discussions about component three and four.
Have you ever read or been told, “You better _______ if you ate _____.” In that moment our brains take this notion and associate:
- Exercise = punishment
- And to eat ____ = I must burn it off
We are told by diet culture and society that exercise (not movement) is used for punishment for what we ate. This could not be farther from the truth.
Our bodies desire movement. And movement looks different for every single person. For some it is a career, for others to help with stress management, and for some it is a time to connect with others. And all of these are great, but it is important to understand the intentions of our movement and to ensure these intentions are positive. I would encourage you to look at your movement and do some exploration on the “Why am I moving?”
“When the pursuit of movement is about feeling good, not about calories burned, or used as a penance for eating, it becomes enjoyable and sustainable”