Zion Nat'l Park, Columbine

Mindful Living

Savor the moment to enhance your well-being.

Life is hectic!  Our days are filled with commitments, family, obligations, activities (hopefully exercise fits in here), shopping and cooking, reading, driving to and fro…it’s a busy day. Many of us live in a “hurry up and get it done” mode—either multi-tasking two or three activities at the same time, or while in the midst of completing one task, already thinking about what is next on the list to do.

When did we buy in to this mode of existence—getting as much done in one day as humanly possible? Don’t get me wrong; efficiency and effectiveness are important to our personal and business success, but what is the price we pay for life in the fast lane? And one thing is certain, this ramped up performance expectation that has become the norm in our society does carry a price.

I believe that in our rush towards completion, the richness of each experience becomes diluted, leading to the loss of a certain amount of depth and sensory awareness. A superficiality is attached to the event, minimizing its’ value and contribution to our quality of life. Regardless of how ordinary or extraordinary the task may be, our attachment to the experience is minimized, and to counterbalance, it is mindfulness that allows us to fully engage in the depth and detail of the event or task, however mundane it may seem to be.

This hurry up mode contributes to our perceived stressors and the consequent health compromise that results from stress. We all experience this chronic, low level, daily stress—from our personal and professional obligations, traffic, phone calls, and errands, just to name a few—which cause a cascade of physical changes. The physical response to stress leads to an inflammatory response that is linked to several disease states. In addition, the cascade of stress hormones ramps up the brain, affecting our decision making ability, and decreasing our brain’s receptivity to new information. The relevance of the brain being open to new information is essential when discussing optimal lifestyle management; behavior change is far less likely to be sustained when stress and/or chaos are the predominant emotional state.

Being mindful simply means being present in the moment. It means giving yourself permission to focus on what is happening right now, and staying with that focus until the experience is complete. Living in mindfulness does not necessarily mean that you will accomplish less throughout the day, but it does mean that each day will be filled with rich detail, that you will be more relaxed, and that your physical and emotional health will be enhanced.

Mindfulness has been the subject of much scientific study in the past decade. The research is absolutely fascinating—to understand that mindfulness can lead to the creation of neuropathways in your brain that allow us to make and sustain healthy behaviors for instance is just one of the many physical benefits of a mindful approach to our day.  Research also has demonstrated that blood pressure lowers, blood glucose normalizes, and inflammatory markers measured in the blood are lowered when mindfulness becomes a routine part of each experience.

The more often we practice being mindful, the more familiar that slowed down way of being becomes to us. Mindfulness is intention, it is purposeful, it is available to all of us, it is pleasant, it is free, and it is a gift.   To you, from you.

Robin Mallery

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“Robin brings dedication, focus, passion, and intellect to whatever endeavor she is pursuing. She does not just talk about good health, she practices it thoroughly every day of her life. When she talks to clients about healthy lifestyle choices, they are able to see the effects of healthy choices by observing the woman in front of them!”
Arthur S., Client

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