Does this sound familiar? You get out of your car with your keys in your hand, pick up the mail, open the front door and then put everything down because the phone starts to ring, or some other distraction takes your attention. Then, sometime later, when you are ready to leave the house again, you have no idea where you put your keys.
Whether it’s your wallet, purse, glasses, book or name your own, how much time do you spend looking for things you misplaced? Oh the frustration. oh the fear… So many seniors worry they are losing cognitive awareness because they are always misplacing, or worse, losing things. In most cases though, it is safe to say that you are not losing your mind. What you have lost though is being in the present moment. In the very moment when the phone starts to ring, if you can stay present to what is in your hands, you will most likely feel the keys and purposefully place them, rather than mindlessly drop them. It might take a moment longer. You might have to call the person back, or ask them to hold on while you stop and put things away. But you will know where your keys are!
Mindfulness is at play in all aspects of our health, and particularly when it comes to eating. For example, let’s look at the simple act of eating a strawberry. I can be aware that I am eating a strawberry and enjoy the flavor. But… when I take time to examine it first, I notice its bright pink color, the little black seeds and the contrast of the deep green stem; I savor the fragrance with its promise of sweetness and my mouth begins to water. I take my time as I bite into it and pay attention to the juice squirting into my mouth and down my chin, delicious and satisfying. Chewing the fruit slowly and deliberately allows the flavor to fill my mouth and as I swallow I can feel it pass through my throat and down into my stomach.
You will find life a bit easier and food to be richer and more flavorful when you take time to savor the experience; when you are mindful of what is going on. And, mindful eating has the added benefit of chewing more slowly and thoroughly, which helps your stomach with digestion. And, you will likely eat less and be just as satisfied… so you could lose a few pounds as a bonus.
Be a Savvy Senior! Practice mindfulness and let me know what you discover.