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Why Mindfulness Matters In Your Life

Mindfulness

Before Amy Crawford became a health and wellness practitioner, and the founder of online wellness hub, The Holistic Ingredient, she had a solid 18-year career in recruitment. She also had been living with undiagnosed chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) for slightly longer than that.

 

Crawford initially chalked up her extreme physical exhaustion to the effects of her “million-miles-an-hour” lifestyle and continued powering on. But when the memory blanks and confusion kicked in, she knew that she needed help.

 

That was in 2011. Today she is a health coach, the author of whole foods eBook series, A Nourishing Kitchen, and an ambassador of the annual Mindful in May challenge.

 

“Mindfulness has played a huge part in my own recovery,” Amy said. “Achieving health and happiness is not simply about modifying your diet and going for a jog, it encompasses a whole range of lifestyle factors.”

 

woman with drive spoke to Amy about what it really means to practice mindfulness and how the practice can fit into a busy lifestyle without being yet another item on a list.

 

How would you describe mindfulness?
“Mindfulness in its simplest form is about doing one thing at a time. It is going for a walk without headphones, talking to a friend without checking your phone or cleaning the bathroom minus the podcast.

 

When we multitask we invite clutter and overwhelm which wear us out. By slowing down and being mindful we are better able to relax, find clarity and restore energy. As a typical Type A personality – a doer with great difficulty stopping – mindfulness helps keep me calm, balanced and productive amid a very busy week.”

 

How can a busy woman make mindfulness a seamless and regular part of her life?
“Prioritising your health irrespective of the length of your to-do list is absolutely paramount. When I am highly stressed I am unproductive and wear myself out too quickly. Incorporating a meditation practice has huge merit but it should also extend to modifying your other daily activities.

 

When I exercise I never plug in my headphones. I switch off all notifications on my computer while writing a blog post. I prepare dinner in silence and focus on what I am doing. I have turned off all phone notifications so that I am in control of the ‘noise’. Doing one thing at a time is harder than many realise but we reap the rewards.”

 

What is the biggest misconception about mindfulness?
“That it can only be practised during meditation. That you have to be sitting still with your eyes closed, wearing yoga pants whilst drinking a green smoothie. Mindfulness can be practised anywhere at any time.”

 

How has the quality of your life changed as a result of your mindfulness practice?
“My energy is now stable, I am more productive and little things don’t agitate me like before. I am far more resilient and optimistic too. I appreciate a far simpler life these days because, at the risk of sounding clichéd, I have finally learnt to stop and smell the roses.”

 

What does your daily wellness ritual look like?
“I wake at 6am for a 20-minute meditation. Then I drink a large glass of water with apple cider vinegar and lemon juice to kick start my digestion and aid detoxification. This is followed by a one-hour walk with my pooch, Wilson.

 

My meals are typically a combination of protein, complex carbohydrates, fermented foods and some raw food. I take breaks every 45-minutes when working at my computer to boost my focus and productivity. I meditate again in the late afternoon and take another 30-minute walk with Wilson. Several times a week I lie in my far infrared sauna and go for a restorative yoga class.”

 

Do you practice mindfulness in your life? Tell us about it in the comment section below!  

 

(Image credit: takebackyourhealthconference.com)

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