Showing posts with label monotasking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label monotasking. Show all posts

Mindful Practices

As you may know, a lot of practicing yoga comes down to being mindful. Mindful breathing keeps you focused, calms the nervous system, and keeps you in the present moment. Mindful placement of your pieces keeps your bones aligned which opens channels of energy, prevents injury, and just feels good.

Off the mat, this mindful behavior bleeds into the rest of your life and alters your behavior. For instance, you become gradually more mindful of the effect you have on those around you. So you are mindful in what you say, what you do, and how you treat people. You become mindful of how much trash you create, how your clothing choices effect workers in third world countries... and eventually... you become mindful of how your actions truly effect yourself.

Now that we've just finished the two most gluttonous holidays of the year - this may be a great time to bring a focus to mindful eating. You have a fresh memory of what it felt like to eat way too much tofurkey and pie - leaving you feeling dull, bloated, groggy, and full of regret. Or maybe you didn't regret it - maybe that custard dish was "totally worth it". To each his own. However, in the long run, you know that eating that way too often leads to ill feelings and just isn't healthy.

If you trace these behaviors way way back to our ancestors - you could see a reason that we tend to feast so heavily. Our ancestors had to eat as much as they could when they got the chance. They were never sure just how long it would be until their next good meal. Most of us these days live in an age of abundance - so we have to show a little more restraint.

When you eat - JUST eat. Do only that. Don't allow your attention to be stolen by the television, a book, or work. Simply focus all your attention on your food. On each bite... on how you feel in each moment of consuming your food. When you're paying such close attention - you'll appreciate your meal/snack more and you'll actually notice when you've had enough. At that point - stop eating. More food will be available later.


How many things are you doing right now? At this very second. The American culture is soaked in and trained for multi-tasking. I don't know enough about other cultures, so I"ll just point out the one I know. As Americans, we are expected to do absolutely everything - no exceptions. Others seem to think less of you if you're not doing at least four things at once - and they should totally be "productive" things or they don't count. Ridiculous.

I'm a big fan of monotasking. It laughs in the face of all those American naysayers. Monotasking is simply the practice of doing one thing and one thing alone. Sometimes multitasking is a good thing, but too much of it is just stressful and doesn't allow you to give real attention to anything at all. At first it can be hard to honestly just do one thing. Just eat, just read a book, just draw a picture, just hula hoop... just just just. To fully give your attention to a solitary act is quieting to your nervous system and good mental health practice. It's meditative if you want to think of it that way.

Monotasking will improve your ability to focus on other things and your attention span will grow. I'm excessively guilty of a short attention span and could really benefit from monotasking more often. My husband knows this better than anyone because I am barely capable of holding a conversation unless it's about yoga. I am so easily distracted - like a butterfly.

Today try doing things one at a time. Tell that little voice in your head (or coming out of your mother-in-laws mouth) to get lost because even if you don't do everything at once - you're cultivating an appreciation for the little things - and that's what will make you happier moment to moment.