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Build Your Emotional Strength With Mindfulness

Category: LIfestyle

You know it takes hard work to manage your weight. Every step you take moves you closer toward your goals. Setbacks, slipups, disappointments, and other situations that can lead to unhelpful emotions are part of every weight-loss path. But unhelpful emotions, like feeling overwhelmed, can make it easy to fall back into old habits.

So how can you manage these emotions before they impact your progress? Read on, and you may discover some approaches worth trying.

An Important Note About Mental Health

This article should not replace regular conversations with your health care provider about your mental health. If unhelpful emotions are having a serious impact on your day-to-day life, talk to your health care provider immediately.

Meet Stress With Mindfulness

Mindfulness means being present in the current moment, intentionally and in a nonjudgmental way. Mindfulness helps train your brain to notice stressful thoughts, emotions, and feelings before reacting to them. The idea is that you are building your ability to be fully aware in stressful experiences, so you can catch yourself before slipping into old habits.

Mindfulness can also help you when you’re eating. Mindful eating may help you notice when you’re feeling full, so you don’t eat too much. It can also be a defense against stress eating.

Work Your Mindful Muscles

Getting physically active can help train your body. Practicing mindfulness on a regular basis can help train your brain. Mindful breathing is a commonly used mindful tool that involves bringing awareness to, well, your breathing—the inhales and the exhales. You can start small with 5 to 10 minutes of practice a day and build your way up.

Breathe Mindfully for 2 Minutes

Play the video and follow the on-screen instructions to try a mindful breathing technique.

Mindful Breaks Are Everywhere

Breathing, walking, eating, listening, dog walking, dish washing—any moment can be mindful if you are intentionally present in a nonjudgmental way. So, if mindful breathing isn’t where you want to start, you can always try something else.

Move (Your Feet) Mindfully

Follow the steps below to give mindful walking a go.

1. Choose a place to walk inside or outside. Start by standing still and bringing awareness to your feet, one at a time.

2. As you lift each foot, pay attention to the physical sensation and the movement in your leg.

3. With each step, pay attention as each part of your foot makes contact with the ground.

4. Without getting caught up in any positive or negative feelings, notice the

Sights

Sounds

Scents

5. Repeat steps 2-4 until you’re finished with your walk.

Create a Judgment-free Zone

When you are getting started with mindfulness, you might question yourself. But remember, it’s the practice that matters. Try not to judge yourself for better or for worse. Just keep practicing, building your skills, and making progress.

An Active Way to Lower Stress

Staying active can help with stress relief. Learn about staying active.

Friendly reminder: Talk with your health care provider before starting any new workout routines.

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