Try It Out the Next Time You Receive an Armed Forces Gift Box
Mindfulness is rooted in a Buddhist concept from about 2,600 years ago and has only recently found popularity in today’s psychotherapy world. While very few studies strongly support the benefits of mindfulness, those who practice it say it has helped their tolerance, concentration, mental clarity, and kindness toward oneself.
Proponents of mindfulness say that its related meditation technique can help former military members cope with the emotional and mental health ramifications of enlistment, deployment, and war. It’s easy to practice, with no requirements for equipment. You truly need only your mind.
What is Mindfulness?
The American Psychological Association defines mindfulness as “a psychological state of awareness,” but more specifically, “a moment-to-moment awareness of one’s experience without judgment.”
In simplest terms, when you practice mindfulness, you simply focus your awareness on what you’re sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpreting or judging. During mindfulness, you can practice relaxing breathing techniques or use guided imagery. Researchers believe that mindfulness meditation can help practitioners decrease rumination — dwelling on negative thoughts or ideas — help regulate emotions, and reduce stress.
How Can I Practice Mindfulness?
Mindfulness practitioners use a variety of methods, the easiest of which you can do during normal daily activities!
Start by simply paying attention. Slow down and notice things with all five of your senses. Focusing on your breathing also can help you process negative thoughts and relax.
Try practicing mindfulness while eating a snack from your military care package from My Hero Crate. Open your favorite treat, and take your first bite. Hold the bite in your mouth and pay attention first to how it tastes. Focus all your attention on it.
Then, start to notice the texture. Move your tongue over it.
Bite into it. How does the crunch or other sensation feel against your teeth? Notice whether the texture changes. Feel the temperature of the food.
Return to focusing on the flavor. Don’t try to identify what the flavor is; simply notice it.
Repeat the process with each bite, for as long as you’d like.
How Often Should I Practice Mindfulness?
You can practice mindfulness any time, anywhere you wish, especially simple types of meditation like mindfully eating.
The more often you practice mindfulness, the more naturally it will come to you. Set aside time every day. It’s a valid form of self care that takes little resources, so it’s a great addition to your mental health care program.
Try Mindfulness Techniques As You Open Your Monthly Military Gift Box Subscription
Now that you know how to practice mindful eating, you can apply mindfulness techniques to other activities. As you open your monthly military care package subscription, find ways to practice mindfulness with each item.
Over time, you just might notice a change in how you feel — hopefully for the better.
Learn more about our monthly care package subscription, and be sure to thank your loved one who sends you these military gifts!