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What is mindfulness? And how can it help me?

"Mindfulness" is a buzzword that seems to be popping up everywhere these days – its popularity has grown +473% in Google search trends alone since 2004.  We tend to see references to mindfulness everywhere – at corporate wellness retreats, at yoga studios, on Instagram -- everywhere but, typically, at your doctor's office.

At Sound Medical Weight Loss, though, mindfulness is one of the most powerful tools in our arsenal.  We use a mindful approach in our weight loss and aesthetics practices, supporting you in every way.

One frequent question we hear from patients is this: what, exactly, is mindfulness?  What does it mean? 

Let’s start with a definition -- mindfulness is the act of giving your undivided attention to the present moment

As simply as we’ve defined it here, we know, as human beings, this can be incredibly difficult.  Take, for example, the experience of taking a shower.  For many of us, our attention is typically on anything but our shower while we’re in there.  We’re too busy creating mental checklists, re-playing a difficult conversation we had earlier that day, fretting about a task ahead of us, planning our day. 

Left unchecked, our minds tend to focus on the past or future for myriad reasons, and we find ourselves barely even remembering the things we do daily (let alone enjoying them).  How many times have you found yourself in your driveway after your workday, not at all remembering the drive home?

We tend to treat each task as a means to another end, rather than as an experience unto itself.  You treat your shower as a means to another end – getting ready for work.  You treat your commute home as a means to another end – getting home quickly to make dinner for the kids and get to bed at a decent time.  By doing this, we rob ourselves of the little joys we could be feeling throughout the day.

Next time you’re in the shower, see how long you can be mindful.  Place your undivided attention on the feel of the warm water touching your skin, the scent of your body wash, the steam as it fogs up the glass, the sound of the water pressure going through the pipes.  Don’t judge yourself if your mind begins to wander – just notice it.  See if this brings you a bit more joy as you complete each task throughout your day.

We are proud to integrate mindfulness so wholly in our medical programs at Sound Medical Weight Loss. As a patient, you get medical supervision, one-on-one nutritional counseling, behavioral coaching, a robust maintenance program, as well as easy-to-access online and mobile tools that help you stay on track.

Ready to learn more? Give us a call or book an appointment online to get started with one of our mindfulness-based programs.  We are looking forward to hearing from you!

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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