Everyday I work harder at being mindful: enjoying the moment I am in instead of rushing ahead trying to get to what’s next. It’s not easy, but focusing on the task you’re doing, even if that task is simply walking the dog or sitting with your partner, helps to increase pleasure, enhance focus and productivity and make you happier overall. I mean, have you ever seen a miserable buddha? Probably not. Don’t worry, I’m not going to get hyper new-agey on you. Below are a handful of ways to be more mindful across several different aspects of life.
How many times have you looked down at your empty plate and wondered where all your food went? Staying mindful while eating can help us become satiated faster and enjoy our food more. Below are some tips for eating slowly and with purpose:
- Put your fork down between bites, which will automatically slow you down.
- Focus on the flavor of each bite. This is much easier said than done.
- Chew slowly, and for a long time. I find this ridiculously hard to practice. Once I’m three our four bites in I find myself gobbling down my food while my mind wanders all over the place like a lost puppy. Some say you should chew each bite for 30 seconds or more, which helps with digestion and optimal nutrition absorption. I think if I can reach 10 seconds, it’s an improvement.
Instead of going at it without abandon, take time to really focus and connect while having sex. Here are some suggestions for staying in the moment. Pick any and all you feel comfortable with, and try hard to stay present. Your laundry-list of to-do’s will still be there after you’ve both come, I promise.
- Make eye contact. This is probably the most intimate thing you can do during sex.
- Keep the lights on. Not everyone is comfy with this, but if you are, it can increase visual pleasure and arousal and help keep you centered and focused as you look at your partner. Of course, for some, the lights on messes with their focus as they become self conscious. Trust me that if your partner is choosing to have sex with you, they most likely want to see you naked – I mean actually see you.
- Check in verbally – do they like that, how do they want it? Talking of any kind can help keep you connected during sex, it doesn’t have to be ultra dirty. (Hopefully I do not need to clarify that by “any kind,” I definitely don’t mean bills, the dinner menu, or anything not sex-related.)
- Breathe deep. There’s a reason yogis are always talking about breath work. Slow inhalations and exhalations can help slow our brain down by giving us something small and simple to focus on. It also settles your nervous system and can help bring on an orgasm.
I work from home, where distractions run rampant. My dog needs a cuddle, there’s a neighbor outside I’ve been meaning to talk to, the floor needs a’sweeping. Here are some things that help me:
- Create a time stamp. For the next 20, 30 or 60 minutes, I will do nothing but work on one specific project. After, I can take a break to troll Facebook or do the dishes. Then I go at it again. Knowing that soon I will be taking a break helps me focus and resist the urge to switch gears every time I think of something that needs doing.
- Put your phone on silent. You don’t need Facebook telling you who wants to play Candy Crush every 15 minutes.
- If you don’t need the internet for your work, then turn off your wifi. Boom! Twitter temptation negated.
- Take a brain dump. This is less foul than it sounds. Sometimes when my mind is cluttered and I can’t focus, I take a piece of paper and write down everything that’s clogging up my brain: things I need to do, people to call, what I need to get at the grocery store. Then, I put that paper away and take it out when I need it.
Tell me, how do you maintain mindfulness and focus?