Applying mindfulness into your daily life | Health Column

Being mindful is the act of staying present, being aware of your surroundings and noticing new things without judgment.

  • Wednesday, August 7, 2019 8:30am
  • Life

By Allison Apfelbaum

Special to the Reporter

The term mindfulness is the act of staying present in each moment. This has been shown to be helpful for balancing mood as it decreases anxiety and worrying about the future as well as the prevention of being too stuck in the past. I would also like to discuss ways being mindful can help in our daily lives.

Have you ever thought to yourself that you wished you were more organized or less forgetful? How about looking around your desk at work or your home, is it full of clutter? The same would go for your computer and email as well as your phone — is it also full of junk mail? Being mindful is the act of staying present, being aware of your surroundings and noticing new things without judgment. I encourage you to once a week, clear your surrounding of clutter. Do laundry, straighten up the house, throw out old mail, it will also clear your mind of clutter. When you have clarity of mind you will feel more balanced and peaceful. I truly believe that your surroundings are an extension of yourself, so try to take care of them just as you would care for someone you love.

The next thing is to clear your mind of any negative thoughts, especially regarding yourself or others. If you make a mistake or something is not going well in your life, do you get down on yourself? I really think that being kind inside your mind can help flip your perspective on situations that aren’t seemingly working out in your favor. Imagine right now, a situation that isn’t ideal and imagine that it is already fixed. When you put positive thoughts into the universe, it will come back to you. This is also true with health, if you imagine yourself whole healthy and healed, your body can follow your mind.

The brain heals in “theta wave” state. To get to this, you must do something relaxing. I often tell patients to pick something that relaxes them such as yoga, a hot bath with epsom salts, massage, meditation or acupuncture. If you are constantly stuck in “fight or flight,” your nervous system is on alert and you will feel jittery or anxious. Switching to the more relaxed parasympathetic state “rest and digest” can improve sleep, help digestion and repair the nervous system. If you are new to meditation, try a guided visualization exercise even for 10 minutes at a time. Meditating and being mindful takes practice and over time it will become more natural and easy to do.

The last point I will make about mindfulness is how to train your body to stay more grounded. When you connect with nature or with the ground it can help make you feel more calm, and take you out of your racing thoughts. Right now, feel your feet flat on the floor, sit all the way back in your chair and relax your shoulders. Use your five senses to look around the room and notice something new, what do you see, hear, or feel in the air? Now, pay attention to any thoughts that you are thinking right now and let them be, it’s ok to try not to resolve them. Do you feel more relaxed already? A guided meditation can actually help you close your eyes and visit a relaxing place in your mind that you can actually practice at anytime. I hope these tips help you connect your body and mind and live a more peaceful lifestyle.

Dr. Allison Apfelbaum is a naturopathic primary care doctor in Woodinville. To learn more go to www.treeofhealthmedicine.com or call 425-408-0040.

More in Life

After 70 years of serving, Grace Lutheran Church in Bellevue is permanently closed. The church donated $3.6 million to homeless services on the Eastside. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo
Local church closes, donates assets to nonprofits

Grace Lutheran Church donates $3.6 million to homeless services on the Eastside.

Mindful goal setting | Health Column

What are the roots of you life goals?

Nityia Photography
Happy Fourth — Do we have freedom? What is freedom anyway?

A column about mindfulness and mental well being.

Celebrating the Fourth on the Eastside

Events around the Eastside.

Celebrating the Fourth on the Eastside

Americans all over the country including the Eastside region will gather on… Continue reading

Customer buys green leaves from Foothills Farms at the opening market day in Bellevue on May 16. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo
It’s officially market season

Bellevue Farmers Market will run every Thursday through October.

Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo
                                Bellevue resident and blind cyclist Clark Roberts will be riding his tenth 206-mile Seattle to Portland bicycle ride in June.
The gift of sight loss

Bellevue’s Clark Roberts to ride his 10th Seattle-to-Portland bicycle ride

Ramit Malhotra and Tanvee Kale star in “Devi” at Allen Theatre at ACT. Photo courtesy of Siddhartha Saha Photography
Pratidhwani produces ‘Devi’ with Eastside actors

The show will feature actors from Bellevue, Redmond and Kirkland.

Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo 
                                Claire Cannon and daughter Riley, 2, pose for a photo while enjoying the sheep at the annual sheep shearing event at Kelsey Creek Farm on April 27.
Bellevue shears the fun at annual sheep shearing event

The day consisted of various sheep activities and pony rides.

Regional anesthesia improves outcomes for total knee replacement

The technique not only reduces pain, but allows patients to maintain muscle strength in the leg.

Libraries are places of connection and community pride | Library column

Written by Lisa Rosenblum, the director of the King County Library System.