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Alternative Mindfulness Modalities

At Sound Medical Weight Loss, we often talk about the powerful positive connection between mindfulness and health (mental AND physical).  Mindfulness practices like meditation can have a profound impact on our well-being.  Studies have shown strong positive correlations between mindfulness and our moods, emotional reactivity, and even our physical well-being – including improved cognitive ability, increased immune response, and even a boost to our ability to lose weight.

But what if meditation simply isn’t for you?  Maybe you’ve given it a try and find it increases your anxiety rather than decreases it.  Maybe you find yourself thoroughly disliking the experience altogether. 

Our advice?  Don’t force it.

The truth is, mindfulness comes in many different forms, and each can be just as beneficial in promoting your mental and physical well-being as meditation.

Here are some alternative mindfulness modalities to try:

Breathwork.  These simple exercises gently guide you toward focusing on the breath.  Bonus: breathwork can slow your heart rate down dramatically while helping you quiet your “monkey mind.”

Five senses work.  Utilize your five senses, one at a time, to pay close attention to your surroundings.  Start with your sense of hearing.  What can you hear?  What’s the furthest sound you can hear?  Move on to smell, sight, taste and touch.

Mindful eating.  This is especially powerful if you’re on a weight loss journey as well as to address binge eating habits.  Some recommended tips from Harvard Health:

Yoga or Tai Chi.  Exercises that link your body’s movement to your breath are especially powerful in promoting mindfulness.

Drawing or coloring.  Even if you’re a complete novice, art can be an incredibly effective mindfulness modality.  Try Zentangle or even just an adult coloring book!

Others: here’s a list of other mindfulness modalities, some of which may surprise you!

Tell us – what mindfulness modalities have you tried and loved?  What’s missing from this list?

Author
Mariel Ilardi  Mariel became a weight loss coach with SMWL after being a patient herself -- having lost 65 pounds through the program! In addition to coaching SMWL patients, Mariel is the founder and CEO of Haven Coaching, an executive and career coaching company.

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