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Mindfulness - Where do I start?


When you think of mindfulness, do you think of yoga? I think many people do, and yoga is great, but there is much more to mindfulness. There are many avenues to explore. If you're just getting started or know little about mindfulness, why not start with something you already love or at least like and incorporate mindfulness into that activity?


The following are examples of activities that can be done in a mindful way but it is not by any means a comprehensive list. Rather than looking for mindful activities, you can look for the activity you like and research mindful ways to engage.


Food: There are books, seminars, blogs, videos, magazine articles, etc. Explore mindful cooking, eating, dieting, and dining. The book "Finding Yourself in the Kitchen: Kitchen Meditations and Inspired Recipes from a Mindful Cook" was written by author Dana Velden, who lived in a Zen Buddhist monastery and spent time in the monastery's kitchen. Her book is just one of many on the topic.


Gardening: There is so much information available on mindful gardening, that it's hard to know where to start, but if gardening is your hobby, by all means, don't be discouraged. The most recent article on the subject I found here.


Intimacy: Gardening and cooking not your style? How about mindful sex? There is more information available about mindful sex than any other mindfulness topic. Spoiler alert - mindful sex uses the same principles as mindful everything else. There's a lot of crossover regardless of the activity. Start here.


Mental Health: There are quite a few mental health practices that offer mindful services. I'm not a doctor so I'm not going to provide any links to services, but I do recommend that if you are looking for mental health services that incorporate mindfulness, start with the providers available in your area and check their websites and call them to see what they have to offer. The best providers for you may or may not incorporate mindfulness; speak to your doctor for advice and recommendations. I am mentioning mindful mental health services here only to let you know that they exist.


Hobbies: There is a blog post that I came across with a tidy list of 15 hobbies great for practicing mindfulness. Yes, it includes yoga and tai chi but there are other recommendations too.


Television: The most mindless activity (if you can call it activity) in the world must be watching TV. Isn't watching TV actually called a mindless activity? Surprise! There is such a thing as mindful television viewing. Here's an article from Harvard in 2016, and a link to Mindful Living TV. As far as watching your favorite TV shows and being mindful is concerned, there is a lot of back and forth on that subject. I suggest that if hobbies, exercise and food preparation and reading are not for you, then yes, you can learn to be mindful by watching television. Please don't make it your first choice if you are serious about mindfulness.


Peace









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