Feel like fall is flying? If the hustle and bustle of back to school made it seem like September went by in a nanosecond and launched us at warp speed toward the holidays, here’s a way to stop the madness and help your family experience all the season has to offer: mindfulness.
Jon Kabatt Zin — considered the father of mindfulness-based stress reduction — defines mindfulness as “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” Mindfulness can be summarized in three words: Be. Here. Now.
Studies show mindfulness increases gray matter, improves anxiety, depression and chronic pain, and makes positive measurable changes in the brain regions involving memory, learning, and emotion.
Here are three ways to use this beautiful season to practice mindfulness.
Take a mindfulness walk to observe the changing colors of leaves. Notice how they feel underfoot. Spot the bright orange and red colors. Collect your favorites and make pressed leaves together.
Pick different varieties of apples, then taste test. Notice the texture and mouth feel of each variety, the degree of sweetness or tartness, the consistencies of the flesh.
Sip some warm apple cider garnished with a cinnamon stick. Savor the sweet spiciness on the tongue. Smell the aroma of apples and cinnamon. Feel the heated liquid flow all the way down.