Mindfulness, in the world of Psychology, is the practice of being in the “here-and-now” – grounding oneself in the present moment rather than having your mind wander to the past or the future.
When we think of practicing mindfulness, we might think of buddhist monks, yoga, or meditation. In actuality, implementing mindfulness can be much easier than that and doesn’t have to take extra time from you day (I think most people would agree that finding even 5 minutes of absolute peace and solitude can be challenging with all the noise and clutter going on around us).
That is why I love baking so much – it grants me a few moments (or long moments, depending on complexity!) of being centered. Baking is my way of practicing mindfulness and de-cluttering my mind. From the moment I enter my kitchen and look at my recipe, I ground myself in the ingredients from the list and gather them all on the counter. By focusing on those ingredients, by default, my mind cannot wander to any worries! And once I start putting all the ingredients together, my senses come to life and ground me in a whole different level. I take a moment to appreciate the smells, the colors, the textures, the tastes, and even the sounds (there’s something very relaxing to me about my Kitchen-Aid Mixer at work!). Nothing else matters in that moment, except making sure all the ingredients mesh together in perfect synchrony. I have to be mindful of the measurements, of timing, of my surroundings. I get to sit with the feelings that are coming up for me, that perhaps I hadn’t noticed before when I was too busy running around. I get to fully experience what it’s like to live as Ana.
How often do you get to have these moments during your day? I invite you to take a moment to appreciate an activity that you already do…brushing your teeth? Getting dressed? Walking your dogs? Folding your laundry? Writing an e-mail? Because it truly isn’t about what you’re doing – it’s all about enjoying the little things you miss in the details of your day because you are used to running on automatic. If you look for enjoyment and to fully experience whatever it is you’re engaging in right now, I can assure you that you will find a way to appreciate it!