Mindful shopping, mindful living

Mindfulness is the act of being more aware and conscious of something. For example when making a choice instead making a decision, you become aware of the choice you want to make, and then you make the decision. Meditation and yoga are a type of mindfulness practice.

When you’re in meditation or practicing yoga, the mind is present and aware. The more you become mindful of your choices, the less likely life will bring outcomes that you did not want to create. Living a healthy lifestyle requires adopting mindfulness, when we are aware of our food choices, we are less likely to participate in purchasing items that conflict with our diet.

It’s not just simply choosing only micronutrient rich foods, it thinking through the choice and understanding the consequences of the choice. When someone first adopts a healthier lifestyle from their prior diet, it may have been moments when they purchased the same items out of habit. When someone becomes mindful they notice that maybe I do not need the chocolate this week because they may have had it last week.

The way I grocery shop is, I create a list. That list is created from a menu of items that my family and I choose to have for the week. I have all of my breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks planned for the week and I grocery shop based on that list. When I go to the store I do not deviate from the list. I am laser focused on my choices which helps me be mindful when I find items outside of the list.

In those moments I ask myself, “is this a need or a want?” Most of the time it’s a want and then I ponder the last time I had a dessert or low nutrient rich snack, then that determines my decision. Like for instance, every grocery shopping day, I pick up my favoirte snack from Wholefoods and Trader Joe's, since I do not snack during the week, I know that I can enjoy these snacks mindfully without judgement of myself. Also, if I choose to enjoy anytype of food, I am always mindful of the meal so that I am aware of what I am consuming.

It takes time to get to this point, but the more someone becomes aware of their choices the easier mindful living becomes. Mindfulness is a "Buddhist practice that dates back 2500 years. (https://www.physio-pedia.com/An_Introduction_to_Mindfulness#Origin_of_Mindfulness)

With the busy and fast pace generation more people are missing the concept of being in the moment. Due to this, the rise in mental health has increased and continues to soar. According to Mental Health America "19% (47.1 million) of people in the U.S. are living with a mental health condition." (https://www.mhanational.org/research-reports/2021-state-mental-health-america)

Though the numbers have increased more people are seeking a holistic alternative to managing mental health illnesses. Simply practicing mindful living can help improve your mental health. “Hoffman et al. conducted a meta-analysis of 39 studies that explored the use of mindfulness-based stress reduction.” Research “found that the participants who experienced mindfulness-based stress reduction had significantly less anxiety, depression and somatic distress.” (https://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/07-08/ce-corner)

How to mindful shop and live a mindful life?

  • Create a Grocery list

  • Carefully think about the choices of each grocery item before making a decision

  • Be aware of your choices

  • Leave distractions in the car, choose not to answer the phone, or avoid activities that will prevent you from focusing on grocery shopping. Writing a grocery list out on a sheet of paper is one way to eliminate the urge to use an electronic device.

  • Throughout the day take moments to just breathe

  • Incorporate one or two days of a mindfulness practice. Feel free to increase the number of days

Essentially mindfulness is simply being more present in your life. Stop thinking about the future and stop worrying about the past because all we have is now so why not enjoy every moment . We miss beautiful days when we our mind is somewhere else.

Do you practice mindfulness? If so, what are somethings you do daily to invite mindfulness into your life? Comment below

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Enjoy your day!