Who Thinks of Mindfulness while They Are Having Fun?

You’ve most probably heard of the concept of mindfulness as a method of getting in touch with yourself and your feelings by being aware of the present. Although practicing mindfulness is considered very healthy both for the mind and the body, it isn’t quite that easy to become aware of the present. A factor that has attracted many to this method of controlling the mind is the idea that it can be practiced anywhere. You can start by trying to focus on what it feels like to sit on the chair you are sitting on. While at work, when dealing with chores or when taking care of your home, you might be able get into a routine of paying attention to the present, but what about when you are having fun?

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Mindful exercise can be very productive

When you hit the gym you may do so to get in shape, to still your conscience from indulging in certain foods and of course to have fun. Taking exercise classes such as spinning, aerobics or kickboxing with a bunch of friends is so much fun that you forget about getting tired, but how mindful are you? Do you feel the endorphins set free in your brain giving you all sorts of perks such as an uplifted mood and natural pain reduction?

Have a look at children playing. They are experts at mindfulness while having fun and exercising! They make the same types of movements you might see in a pilates or yoga class, but for them it has very little to do with stretching and strengthening important muscles. “What can I see between my legs with my head upside down?” Have you ever asked yourself this question during a workout that included stretching and bending in various directions?

If you want to learn something about mindfulness and exercise, go to a park and observe your younger siblings or your own children playing. You will soon discover that they are mindful even as they are having fun, working out in the most natural and healthy ways! To illustrate this point, do you recall what items and/or people surrounded you the last time you worked out in group with kettlebells?

It is true that yoga, pilates and similar methods include the workout of the mind more than other sports, but you can make even more out of it by considering how you feel as you go through the workout. Being mindful when playing sports can heighten the joy and stimulation that you feel in a fantastic way.

When you are at the screen playing poker

We spend a lot of time at our screens, and not only for work. Poker might seem like a very relaxing and mindful game. In fact, when you play professional poker you can’t really let your mind glide away to other things. But there are levels to everything, and reading about poker, or watching a poker video, can be an amazing experience if and when we get mindful about it. Coming out of a period of concentration can be like rousing from sleep. You remember what you watched, heard or read, but you can’t recall how you felt while doing it! This is especially true of passive entertainment but even applies when playing or reading about poker, which also transports you away from your bodily sensations.

Next time you are on the screen trying to show your best poker face, learn strategy with a poker video, read up on rules for a tournament, or play a fast video poker game against the computer, stop and think. Are you relaxed? Do you feel tense when what happens on the screen is upbeat, tricky or include a lot of action? You might find that entertainment on your computer or phone reaches new dimensions when you start thinking about how they influence your body and not just your mind.

If you forget about mindfulness as you play a poker game or watch a movie, try at least to think about the feeling you have when it is over. If you begin to notice that a certain type of poker games actually makes you tired and even a bit moody it may be time to change up the tune! Mindfulness can steer you in the right direction so that your screen time entertainment actually gives you the boost and joy that you are looking for.

What does it feel like to read a book?

It might seem silly to you to think of your body and feelings when reading a book. For avid readers, this idea may actually be really quite natural. Books are similar to movies in the sense that they transport us to other realities. It might be fiction or a true story, but your mind will leave your daily life and visit somewhere else. This all occurs in your head, but if you take a moment to ponder how you feel in your body when you read about different scenarios and situations, you might discover that the reading is doing so much more to you.

There are studies about reading that show that it can change our brains and in effect impact our bodily senses! If you read a lot about coffee, perfume and other scents you might actually influence your sense of smell and become more aware of these specific scents. Just reading about a smell will actually stimulate the part of your brain that handles smells. Studies suggest that the reading actually makes our bodies “believe” that they are in the story, much like watching a movie or television. If you never thought about this before, mindfulness could be the key to discovering how much a regular novel can change the way you feel and behave.

Making educated choices for your spare time

Once you become more aware of how your way of having fun makes you feel, you can make educated choices on how to spend your spare time. It doesn’t have to take much time or effort to become aware of how different hobbies stimulate your mind and body. By choosing the ones that leave you feeling happy, energized and satisfied you can benefit a lot more from your recreational time.

Thinking of mindfulness while having fun can also increase the positive feeling, thereby making the activity so much enjoyable. All it takes is learning more about how to get in touch with your body and mind even while you are actively processing information or moving your body to an exercise routine. Learning more about meditation can help, but it is also encouraged to simply stop, think and try to feel and make use of mindfulness in all areas of life.

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