Mindful Eating

“When walking, walk. When eating, eat.” · Zen Proverb

Mindful Eating Is All About Eating Without The Burden of Your Mind


 

Mindful Eating is all about eating consciously while remaining in the stillness. If you want to know how wise and enlightened someone is, just observe the person eating. Disclaimer ( I will not be responsible for your reaction to that person ) …

Most people while eating becomes more unconscious. I have seen so many wise, spiritual persons until the food arrives on their table and suddenly they go wild without even realizing it.

This is the basic problem of the human mind. It has inherited this problem since early ages. As we know there was a time in humanity when man used to eat like animals. At that time he was unaware of how to save the food for the next day so he used to eat wildly.Another fear was that what if the other person will do if he will know me. So at that time it was best to eat wildly.

Thanks to some external evolutions now, we don’t have this problem externally, but still somewhere in the human mind the problem is present. Mindful Eating is all about dealing with this problem.

Tips for mindful eating:

Always sense fully the taste of your food.

Yes, always sense the taste and realize the energy field of the food you are eating. Every food has an energy field. By doing this you will soon know that how healthy or unhealthy the food is. Taste the apple next time you eat, you will feel every bite differently.

Be present in the moment

The human mind wants to eat all at once. It does allow the person to taste the thing being eaten. It is also the same with water. You drink more than eight glasses of water daily but you don’t know what you are drinking. You don’t taste it you just want to finish the work. Never ever play this game with your food. Food gives you life energy.

Eat patiently

Don’t be afraid, No early men will come and take your food. Take it easy, enjoy your food. Nature has given food the power to change your mood. How many times food has been able to change your attitude. By the way a bar of chocolate works for me.

Be alert when buying your food

Use your bodily intelligence rather than your mind while making eating decisions. The mind will want more sugar, but the body knows what is the requirement of this moment. So always be still before eating. Let your body make decisions.

Know what is the meaning of mindfulness and do some mindfulness exercises in daily life. It will help you to not only eat wisely but also in every area of your life. Mindfulness is a way to enlightenment. By taking initiative on this small thing, who knows where it will take you.

GOOD LUCK!


I HOPE YOU ENJOYED READING.  CHECK OUT MY OTHER POSTS TOO… AND PLEASE LIKE, FOLLOW AND COMMENT DOWN BELOW.”  🙂  

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14 Things We Need To Stop Doing If We Want To Live A Better Life

Resolutions for self-improvement are great (if you’re the type of person who is so self-disciplined that you can actually stay true to your goals for longer than one week). As imperfect humans, we are more prone to listen when we are told, “No, don’t. STOP.” The negative seems to always be more powerful.


Here are 14 things we should all stop doing:

1. Stop spending more on material goods than on experiences. Sure, it’s great to feel pretty, handsome and sexy. A single compliment on your looks can make your whole day. However, you are not truly deprived of anything material-wise. Save up for moments you will remember for the rest of your life, exhilarating moments that make your heart pound and take your breath away. When you want something enough, you’ll figure out how to prioritize and afford it.

2. Stop making up stories to make your life seem more interesting than it actually is. There is nothing glorious about superficiality and there is nothing wrong with the mundane. Just tell the truth — to others and to yourself. Otherwise, you’ll fall for the false impression of yourself and you’ll believe you’re more worthy of complacency than you actually are. Then, you too will lose track of what’s real and what’s not.

3. Stop being afraid to say “YES” to more things. Sitting around at home, on the Internet is comfortable and familiar, but there are so many more opportunities if you just show up. Attend more meetings, sign onto new projects, go out for the sake of it, explore a new place by yourself and don’t be afraid to speak up. Feeling passionate and creative is so much better than feeling lethargic.

4. Stop beating yourself up for not having the time to work out. Also, stop making excuses when you have plenty of time to get some exercise. If you feel like a blob on a couch, your brain probably looks like a blob on the couch, too.

5. Stop hating yourself for eating dessert. But also, stop eating dessert just because you hate yourself. Chocolate may seem like an instant remedy for all of your insecurities, but there are other, more productive ways to deal with stress and emotions.

6. Stop scrolling through Twitter when you’re at dinner with friends. Stop refreshing your news feed when you’re at a party. Stop checking your notifications every time you go out. You will always be able to catch up on social media, but you only have so long with the people you care about.

7. Stop giving your time to frenemies and surrounding yourself with people who won’t reciprocate feelings of love. Stop allowing people who think negatively of you to consume your energy; they don’t deserve it. For starters, find friends you can get to know on a sober level (there’s a thought!). Make friends with people who are interesting and interested in you, too.

8. Stop being so judgmental. Consciously stop basing first impressions on physical attractiveness. People are so much more than just a Facebook photo or a profile view from afar. They might surprise you about how beautiful they really are.

9. Stop revolving your every action on what people may think. Let’s not throw it back to high school. If you think somebody is interesting or attractive, introduce yourself and tell him or her about it. If you want to join a new friend group, club or project, don’t worry about the initial newbie awkwardness. Don’t refute your beliefs or deny your values because others disagree with them. Don’t look disinterested or indifferent because you think it makes you seem cooler; it doesn’t. It only makes you seem dispassionate, emotionless and boring.

10. Stop complaining about being constantly busy. No one cares and no one will pity you except for yourself. The pity party can only last so long before it runs dry. The next time you’re idly procrastinating, remind yourself that you are not so busy after all.

11. Stop over analyzing everything. Some people will love you and then will suddenly walk away without telling you what you did wrong. Others may be fickle or flaky in trying to figure out exactly what they want, but you do the same thing. Why does every hookup need to be regretted? Why does every text, like or favorite need to have an alternate meaning? Just relax. Just let ambiguity… exist.

12. Stop erasing and regretting. Write down ideas while they are still fresh; take way too many unnecessary photos. You’re in your 20s — live more while you can still call yourself young. You have time to regret everything later. Or, simply don’t regret.

13. Stop being afraid to pursue the dream, no matter how cliché it may sound. You dream of writing books, creating films, becoming a CEO or this country’s president. Why not let the desire to make your dreams come true overpower your fears for reaching them?

14. Stop beating yourself up for not being your 100 percent best all of the time. Self-improvement is a gradual process. Self-discipline is important, but we all screw up. We all cut corners and need vacations. Give yourself some leeway and then, get back on track.


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Five Tips for Breaking Your Tech Habit

Confident woman, looking very casual sitting in the street, starIt’s tough to disconnect in an always-on world. Many people have shared with me how their devices are an extension of their bodies to them. Arriving at the store or their office, realizing they’ve forgotten their phone, results in anxiety. Most of us probably know that overuse of the internet is not a good thing for us, but like all habits, they are hard to break.  Since connectivity a bit part of today’s culture and can negatively influence our mental health, it’s a trend to we need to pay attention to. Here are five of my favorite tips that address negative tech habit.

 

 

  1. Do not start your day with email: It can set a negative tone for your whole day. The moment when you wake up, it’s not a great idea to read that email about another meeting that’s a waste of time or get a reminder for an overdue bill. You’re cranky before the day even begins. Start your day with a short devotional or a few moments in the sunshine to begin on a calm note.
  2. Leave your phone in the car: When I’m at the grocery store, I don’t need to take a call or check my email. There’s nothing currently happening in my life that requires me to be available 24/7. I realize that’s not the case for everyone. However, when you can leave it in the car, you’re removing the temptation to mindlessly scroll. If you’re standing in a long line, you don’t have to summon the willpower to not compulsively check your phone.  Instead you can observe what’s happening around you and maybe even talk to another person in real life.
  3. Disable accounts: I can see your expression. The thought of not checking an account daily may be a foreign concept to you. Some tell me it’s the only way they can keep up to date with their grandchildren so they can’t imagine not logging into account for a period of time. Notice I did not say “Delete.” I said “Disable.”  You can disable it for a period of time and come back at a later date. Spending time on the social media does not bring you any closer to meeting your goals. It only serves as a distraction and often times a downer — especially with commentary and options on our recent presidential election. You don’t want to fill your head with negativity and wear yourself down with information you simply don’t need to know.
  4. Use “Zenware”: There are a number of tools and gadgets available to help monitor and prevent your internet use. With them, you block the internet for a determined period of time and set your browser to keep you off specific sites. These will not solve the problem. However, these tools will support you in your efforts to change.
  5. Mindfulness: Pay attention to how your technology use makes you feel. Are you anxious? Annoyed? Tired? Negative?

Below are some other questions to ask yourself when it comes to your overuse of technology. You may even want to post them by your primary computer and do a self-check throughout the day.

  • Why am I surfing these sites?
  • What do I hope to get from it?
  • How do I feel about what I’m reading online?
  • What’s the expected outcome?
  • Is it getting me to where I want to go?
  • What do I not have time to do because I’m spending time online?

So is your heavy internet use really an “addiction”? Is it really that bad to be connected all day? Should you bother monitoring time online? Yes. Yes to monitoring your time. Yes to not being connected all day every day. And yes, in some cases, it can become an addiction.

The internet bombards us with other people’s thoughts, ideas and expertise. This constant influx of information — much of which is annoying or negative — leaves little room for creative thinking. We need downtime and quiet time to rest and recharge. At the very least, take a few minutes to evaluate your own habits. I bet there is some room for improvement. Start by asking yourself some of the above questions about your use and incorporate one of the tips above for breaking your habit. Even small change can go a long way in improving how you feel mentally and increase your productivity.


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Words Can Change Your Brain

Words Can Change Your BrainSticks and stones may break your bones, but words can change your brain.

That’s right.

According to Andrew Newberg, M.D. and Mark Robert Waldman, words can literally change your brain.

In their book, Words Can Change Your Brain, they write: “a single word has the power to influence the expression of genes that regulate physical and emotional stress.”

Positive words, such as “peace” and “love,” can alter the expression of genes, strengthening areas in our frontal lobes and promoting the brain’s cognitive functioning. They propel the motivational centers of the brain into action, according to the authors, and build resiliency.

Conversely, hostile language can disrupt specific genes that play a key part in the production of neurochemicals that protect us from stress. Humans are hardwired to worry — part of our primal brains protecting us from threats to our survival — so our thoughts naturally go here first.

However, a single negative word can increase the activity in our amygdala (the fear center of the brain). This releases dozens of stress-producing hormones and neurotransmitters, which in turn interrupts our brains’ functioning. (This is especially with regard to logic, reason, and language.) “Angry words send alarm messages through the brain, and they partially shut down the logic-and-reasoning centers located in the frontal lobes,” write Newberg and Waldman.

According to the authors, using the right words can transform our reality:

By holding a positive and optimistic [word] in your mind, you stimulate frontal lobe activity. This area includes specific language centers that connect directly to the motor cortex responsible for moving you into action. And as our research has shown, the longer you concentrate on positive words, the more you begin to affect other areas of the brain. Functions in the parietal lobe start to change, which changes your perception of yourself and the people you interact with.

A positive view of yourself will bias you toward seeing the good in others, whereas a negative self-image will include you toward suspicion and doubt. Over time the structure of your thalamus will also change in response to your conscious words, thoughts, and feelings, and we believe that the thalamic changes affect the way in which you perceive reality.


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When Worrying Takes Over

worried-womanThere are many worriers out there: The man who constantly worries about whether he has or will get cancer or another terrible disease. The woman who lies awake at night, fearing that she will never meet the right one. The grandmother who can’t let go of the idea that the plane with her grandchildren on board might crash. The employee who can’t concentrate because he fears he may have made a mistake that will cost him his job.

They are all different, but worriers also have a lot in common: Unconsciously, they see worrying as a useful strategy to get prepared and gain control. However, worries have a tendency to take over and invade their minds much of their waking hours. In vain, they try reducing it in various, ineffective ways. The man runs to his doctors every week to take new tests. The woman desperately tries to battle her thoughts of being alone, keeping herself occupied or seeking confirmation from others that she will be loved. The grandmother keeps calling the airline, scours news websites for plane crashes and calls her grandchildren as soon as they land. The employee goes through all the work he has done in recent days even one more time.

Most of us will understand that this does not work in the long term. You may have tried it yourself. It requires a lot of time and provides only temporary relief, before worry knocks at the door again. It can be hard on us and those around us. Few, however, have an understanding of why this is and what alternatives we have.

Supply and Demand of Thoughts

We try either to force or instruct ourselves to “stop thinking about it.” Have you tried this strategy? We can test how it works. Close your eyes and imagine a polar bear for 10 seconds. Easy, right? Now, for the next minute, try not to think of a polar bear at all. Every time you think of a polar bear, you need to squeeze your hand hard. Difficult? This task is nearly impossible for most people, because of a few simple reasons. The things we fear are like magnets for our attention. If you are afraid of dogs, you will notice them as soon as they are nearby. The thought of a polar bear is a threat in this experiment. However, what is more troublesome is the following: If you are trying not to think of a polar bear, you must also check if you’re thinking of a polar bear. And that way, you also need to think of a polar bear. It is an impossible rule to follow.

This is important for worriers to remember: The more we get annoyed by our thoughts or treat them as if they are important or dangerous, the more they come.

By this point, we need to make a distinction. There are two things that come into play when our minds run into chaos: The thought that triggers it, and how we relate to this thought. The triggering thought might be “My body feels heavy.” How we relate to this thought might be to worry about it, an exhausting mental repetitive activity where we run through all the possible scenarios and implications it may have. “What if the heaviness is a sign of cancer? It might be an undiagnosed testicular cancer. The doctor did not check for this the last time I went there. There may be other symptoms I have. I better Google it. I might die!”

If our primary strategy when a scary thought comes is worrying or seeking confirmation, we treat the thought as if it is very important. That way, it becomes a polar bear and will come more often. It’s almost as if we think that thinking the thought increases the likelihood that it will happen or has already happened. In a way, our brains operate through basic market principles: supply and demand. If we always buy every thought we have, the offer becomes larger. We try frantically to think it through, in order to stop worrying, when we are really just reinforcing the pattern.

Try Problem Solving Instead

This is typical because at a certain level, many of us see worrying as a useful strategy. We get prepared. We find solutions. We perform better. We get an overview. But do we really? Yet another distinction: Worrying is not the same as problem solving. Worrying is the mental activity in which we envisage future negative events over and over. Problem solving is taking steps to reduce the likelihood of something happening or solving an actual problem. Worrying is constant fear of getting cancer. Problem solving is to have a healthy and good diet and keeping active to reduce the likelihood of getting cancer. Which one is the most effective way of reducing the risk of cancer? Thoughts or action? Similarly, checking flight times, the weather forecast or news sites for plane crashes does not reduce the likelihood of an airplane engine malfunction.

But don’t you perform better if you feel stress? That’s true! For instance, stress can motivate us to practice more or do something about it (i.e. problem solving). It may also make us perform better when we’re doing something demanding. But worrying tends to happen in days, months or even years before what we fear actually occurs — or maybe it never happens at all. If we really think about it, we know that worrying takes a toll on our sleep and energy. We know also that our fears tend to be much more extensive and devastating than things usually plays out. Worries might be crippling, exhausting and strikingly inaccurate. Does that really make us more prepared?

It may seem obvious or even arrogant, but basically worrying is quite useless in itself. If you do not have a problem, there is no need to worry. Let’s say you have a problem. If there is anything you can do to solve it, you need not worry. You could practice problem solving. If there is nothing you can do about the problem, worrying is no solution.

Recognize Negative Thoughts

The challenge for worriers is to first recognize how worrying may tear and wear us down. It doesn’t do us any lasting physical or mental harm, but it is very stressful and exhausting. Furthermore, we must enhance the experience of control by trying new strategies to reduce our anxiety. We have to practice on recognizing negative thoughts but actively choose not to delve into them, or use problem solving instead.

How can we treat thoughts without worrying? You can try the following exercise. Introduce a “worry break” for half an hour every night. This is not a break from worrying, but a break for worrying. The rest of the day you can postpone all your worries until this break. Try to think the following: “There goes a negative thought about […]. The fact that the thought is here is okay, but I do not need to worry about it right now. I can postpone my worrying for later. ’ll handle it in the worry break, but let the thought itself be there now if it wants to.”I

Do not let it become a polar bear by getting annoyed or scared. Thoughts are just thoughts. When you get to the worry break, check if you still need to worry. If you still feel like it, then do it. You can do a lot of efficient worrying or problem solving for half an hour. Afterwards, you postpone “the left-overs” to the break the next day. If you are not worried anymore, you can just skip the break.

This is just one of many techniques to reduce worrying. You can meditate. Practice creating distance to thoughts in order to let them be. Divert your attention in a friendly manner. Reduce checking and seeking confirmation. The possibilities are many and there is good help. It all starts, however, with the recognition that the thoughts themselves are not threatening or “wrong.” It is how we treat those thoughts which is the problem.


 

How to meditate in ten minutes

If you’ve decided to give meditation a shot, congratulations! You’ve also decided to improve your sleep, lower your blood pressure, increase your marital harmony and reduce your stress. In fact, setting aside a little time each day to get to know your mind is a great step on the path to an altogether healthier and happier life.

So let’s get started……

 

1. Get settled

Find a quiet space where you can relax.

Sit comfortably in a chair with your hands resting in your lap or on your knees. Keep your back straight – sitting at the front of the seat might help. Your neck should be relaxed, with your chin slightly tucked in.

Commit to spending the full time on the meditation, whether you find it difficult or easy.

2.  Breathe deeply

Defocus your eyes, gazing softly into the middle distance.

Take five deep, audible breaths: in through the nose and out through the mouth. On the last exhalation, let your eyes gently close.

3.  Check-in

Take a few moments to settle into your body. Gently observe your posture, and notice the sensations where your body touches the chair and your feet meet the ground. Feel the weight of your arms and hands resting on your legs.

Acknowledge your senses: notice anything you can smell, hear or taste, sensations of heat or cold.

4.  Scan your body

Slowly turn your mind inwards. Scan your body from head to toe, observing any tension or discomfort. Don’t try to change what you find, simply take note of it. Scan again, although this time notice which parts of the body feel relaxed. Take about 20 seconds for each scan.

Now turn your awareness to your thoughts. Notice any thoughts that arise without attempting to alter them. Gently note your underlying mood, just becoming aware of what’s there without judgment. If there’s nothing obvious, that’s fine, too.

5.  Observe the breath

Bring your attention to your breathing. Don’t make any effort to change it, just observe the rising and falling sensation that it creates in the body. Notice where these sensations occur – be it your belly, your chest, your shoulders, or anywhere else.

For a few moments, focus on the quality of each breath, noting whether it’s deep or shallow, long or short, fast or slow.

Begin silently counting the breaths: 1 as you inhale, 2 as you exhale, 3 on the next inhalation,and so on, up to 10. Then start again at 1.

While doing this, it’s completely normal for thoughts to bubble up. You don’t need to ‘do’ anything – just guide your attention back to the breath when you realize the mind has wandered off. If you can remember the number you’d counted up to and start again from there, or simply start from 1 again.

Don’t rush the breathing and just allow it to continue at its own pace and rhythm.

Continue until the timer sounds.

6. Allow your mind to be free

Spend 20-30 seconds just sitting. You might find yourself inundated with thoughts and plans, or feel calm and focused. Whatever happens is completely fine. Enjoy the rare chance to let your mind simply be.

7.  Prepare to finish

Become aware once more of the physical feelings: of the chair beneath you, where your feet make contact with the floor, your arms and your hands resting in your lap. Notice anything you can hear, smell, taste or feel.

When you’re ready, slowly open your eyes.

8.  Congratulate yourself

Well done! You just meditated for a full 10 minutes. Recognize how you feel—is it different from when you first sat down to meditate? Remind yourself of this feeling the next time you feel stressed or worried, and know that with just 10 minutes of meditation, you might feel a little bit better.


Mindful Living

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is defined as “moment to moment awareness…being fully awake…being here for the moments of our lives, without striving or judging”. By not striving, we remain present and stop searching for those things in life that have not yet happened. How often have you thought to yourself ‘If only I could go on a holiday, then I’d be happy’, only to go on a holiday, feel happy momentarily, then return to day to day life and the mood you were trying to avoid?   This is sometimes referred to as the ‘Happiness Trap’. Not judging refers to the process of allowing thoughts, whether positive or negative (but particularly negative) to pass into the mind and leave just as quickly. How often do you experience the thought ‘I’m not good enough’, and once you listen to and judge this thought, other similarly negative thoughts follow and you feel a downward spiral of mood?

Another way to view mindfulness is the act of seeing things more clearly, and paying attention moment to moment to moment. When you are mindful, you notice things as they happen, in real time. Doing so creates space and time to respond to these thoughts, feelings, people or situations, with a considered approached, rather than reacting with emotion.

Why mindfulness?

Scientific research is now able to explain some of the benefits of mindfulness. For example:

Physical health:

  • Dramatic reductions in pain levels and an enhanced ability to cope with pain that may not go away
  • Improve digestion and blood circulation
  • Decrease in auto immune responses
  • Improved energy levels

Mental health:

  • Dramatic decreases in anxiety, depression and hostility
  • More effective skills in managing stress
  • An increased ability to relax
  • Greater energy and enthusiasm for life
  • Improved self-esteem

 

Relationships:

  • Improved interpersonal relationships
  • Better ability to respond to situations and problem solve

 

Children:

  • Increased attention and concentration
  • Increased emotion regulation skills
  • Improved confidence
  • Decreased overall stress

 

How do I become ‘mindful’?

Mindfulness 2.jpeg

 

Mindfulness is a journey of self discovery – a process of becoming more and more mindful. It is not really about being mindless and becoming mindful suddenly (although that would be great)! The simple answer is: with practice! Like any new skill, the more you practice the better at it you become.

Mindfulness can be formal or informal in practice. Formal mindfulness practices require dedicated time and space to practice, such as a daily meditation ritual. Informal mindfulness practices can be done anytime, anywhere, without prior organisation. Here are some formal and information mindfulness strategies to help bring mindfulness into your life, TODAY:

 Informal Mindfulness

  • Mindful communication– When you are speaking or listening to someone else, become aware of the sound of your own voice, or the voice of the other person. Each time your mind wonders off into other thoughts, kindly guide your attention back to the conversation without criticizing yourself if you can.
  • Mindful walking– The next time you’re walking somewhere, notice the sense of touch between your feet and the ground. Observe how your weight seamlessly transfers from one foot to the other, almost effortlessly. Smell the roses. Be in the presence of the present moment.
  • Mindful exercise– The next time you’re in the gym, going for a jog, swimming or playing a sport, become mindful of what’s going on. Focus your mindful attention on your own body, thoughts, emotions or the environment around you. Become curious about your experience.
  • Mindful working– Whatever your work is, by paying more attention to what you’re doing, you’re bound to achieve better results. Try reducing the amount of effort you make to pay attention, and let the focus be effortless, relaxed and calm, as best you can.
  • Mindful holidays– It’s easy to spend half your holiday thinking about the next holiday rather than actually being there. Feel the gentle warmth of the sun, put the camera down every now and then and connect with the scenery with your own eyes. Breathe the fresh air. Be grateful for having the time and money to go on holiday.
  • Mindful waiting– You need to wait in a queue in shops, in your car, on public transport. Instead of becoming frustrated, practise some mindfulness of breath. When you’re in traffic, notice the colour of the sky or trees. When in a supermarket, feel the calming sensation of your own breath.
  • Mindful listening to music Get yourself comfortable, switch on your favourite piece of music and simply listen, moment by moment. As usual, after a while your mind will begin thinking of other things – just gently guide your mindful attention back to the sounds of the music. Be aware of both the sounds and the silence between the sounds. Notice how all sounds arise and fall back into the ever-present silence.
  • Mindful accepting of others– Allow other people to be human and make mistakes. Be prepared to accept apologies and forgive others for their indiscretions.
  • Live in the moment– Pause to sniff those roses. Take a break from speculating about the future and sifting over the past. Instead, put the full weight of your attention into the here and now.

Formal Mindfulness

  • Body Scan Meditation– This meditation involves spending about half an hour or so, becoming aware of each part of your body from the tips of your toes to the top of your head, in a mindful way. This meditation is usually practiced lying down.
  • Sitting Meditation– This involves being mindful of your chosen object of attention whilst in a sitting posture. You can be mindful of your breath, your body, sounds, thoughts, emotions, or practice choice-less awareness.
  • Mindful Movement– Taking time to do some yoga or stretching in mindful way is a powerful way of developing your capacity to be mindful, whilst at the same time becoming stronger and more flexible. Walking slowly and mindfully is also considered a wonderful way to practice formal mindfulness meditation. You don’t need to be physically still to practice meditation.
  • The Three Minute Mindful Space – Use this in moments of stress, when you are troubled in thoughts or feelings. You can use it to step out of automatic pilot; to reconnect with the present moment and your own inner wisdom.

          Follow these three steps: