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Episode 118: Mindfulness in Faith, Relationships and Health with Natalie Tysdal

Brief summary of show:

In this episode, we explore the transformative power of mindfulness and its benefits in our fast-paced world. Discover mindful breathing, eating, movement, and communication techniques, and how they can enhance well-being and relationships.

Uncover the profound impact of mindfulness on creativity and self-expression, as engaging in creative endeavors becomes a path to self-discovery and personal growth. Additionally, explore the integration of mindfulness practices into your faith journey, deepening your spiritual connection and nurturing your sense of purpose.

Join us as we unravel the transformative power of mindfulness, inspiring you to embark on a mindful living journey where you cultivate inner harmony, enhance well-being, and embrace the present moment.

Listen in as we talk about:

  • [1:50] What is mindfulness?

  • [2:25] The benefits of mindfulness

  • [3:20] Benefits of mindful breathing

  • [5:00] Eating mindfully

  • [6:40] Integrating mindful movement

  • [8:10] Prioritizing mindful communication

  • [9:40] Creativity and self expression

  • [11:15] Integrating mindfulness practices into your faith journey

Notes from Natalie:

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View Transcript for this Episode

Natalie: Mindfulness is a practice of focusing your awareness on the present moment. How can you make it work for your faith, relationships, and health? That's next on the podcast.

Natalie: Hi everyone. It's Natalie. Summer is in full swing and it is glorious. I'm grateful for the freedom to travel, be outdoors, go on walks, play with my kids, and write whenever I want. You know, I love structure during the school years, so the unstructured days, they're wonderful, but they can also be challenging.

I'm not complaining though. I'm enjoying every minute of it. Today I wanna talk about something that relates to that, though mindfulness in a structured or non-structured environment, and I'm doing it in six parts for you. Before I get started, thank you so much for being here, for supporting the podcast and for being a part of this.

Community. If you wanna learn more about what we're up to, head over to natalie That's N A T A L I E T Y S D A And there you'll find more podcasts, articles, and if you hear about something that you'd like a link to, you will find Forward slash favorites. Okay.

Mindfulness, how it can benefit your overall wellbeing. We hear this word. We understand the

idea of course, behind mindfulness, but let's go deeper today. Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing your awareness. On the present moment while calmly acknowledging and accepting your feelings, your thoughts, your bodily sensations.

It's a practice that's been around for centuries with roots in ancient Buddhist and Hindu traditions. Today, though it's gained widespread popularity because of its many, many benefits from mental and physical health. Don't get caught up in the history because really, Any faith can practice mindfulness, and I'm gonna talk about that in just a minute.

Research has shown that practicing mindfulness regularly can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, while also improving your ability to concentrate, make better decisions. And enhance your emotional intelligence. How about that? Even more so, mindfulness has been linked to improved immune system functioning.

So we're gonna be healthier also. We're gonna get better sleep, and we certainly need that in the big circle of how we feel. By learning to be more present and aware, you can cultivate a greater sense of inner peace and resilience, which then can help you navigate all of life's challenges with more ease and grace.

So let's talk about these six areas of your life where you can begin working on being more mindful and what that would look like in each of those categories.

So let's start with mindful breathing, because this is really the platform that all of the others are going to stand on. Mindful breathing is a simple, yet really effective technique that can be practiced anywhere, anytime it involves. Focusing your attention on your breath as it flows in and out of your body, allowing you to anchor yourself in the present moment.

So by doing this, you're gonna create a space to step back from the constant chatter of your mind and the stresses of daily life. The beauty of mindful breathing. Is it simple and it's accessible no matter where you are or what you're doing. You don't need any special equipment. You don't need a dedicated space.

Whether you are at work, maybe in line at a store, even sitting in traffic when you're stressed out there, taking a few moments to consciously focus on your breath can have a very calming effect on your mind and your body.

When you're feeling overwhelmed or anxious, mindful breathing can act as an emotional reset button, helping to dissipate those negative emotions and bring you back to a more centered. State. If you're somewhere where you can close your eyes, certainly do so. But if you're driving or maybe you're in a meeting and that would look weird, don't worry about it. Start with taking a few really deep breaths, inhaling through your nose, and exhaling through your mouth. Then allow your breath to return just to its natural rhythm, and simply observe as it flows in and out of your body.

If your mind begins to wander. Gently redirect your focus back to your breath, and just a few minutes of this can help.

Next, let's talk about mindful eating. This practice really elevates our relationship with food and it creates a greater awareness and appreciation for each and every meal we eat. We wanna engage all of our senses when eating.

I know that sounds funny, but it's going to help immerse yourself in the experience of eating, savoring each bite. Without judgment, without emotional attachments, don't go mindless when you're eating. The benefits of this go beyond just tasting the flavors of your food. Practicing mindful eating helps us stay in tune with our hunger and our fullness cues, preventing unhealthy food choices and unnecessary overeating.

The process also helps distinguish between. Physical hunger and emotional hunger. Sometimes you go for that ice cream, and it's not because you are physically hungry. It's because you know that ice cream might make you feel better for just a moment. Often emotional hunger is driven by stress or other factors, promoting a more balanced emotional state. So the trick is to be wholly present before, during, and after eating, focusing on how your food looks and taste.

While also paying attention to your physical sensations of hunger and fullness. And don't worry, mindful eating isn't about counting calories or restricting yourself. It's all about cultivating a healthy relationship with what we eat and listening to our body's needs. Although it might take some effort, the rewards, believe me, are undoubtedly worth it.

With regular practice, we develop a shared understanding of our physical and emotional hunger cues, ultimately allowing us to appreciate food even more.

Okay, mindful movement is next. This is gonna help us create inner balance and personal growth by incorporating simple and effective exercises like yoga, maybe Pilates, Tai Chi.

Any exercise, you're going to strengthen the connection between your mind and your body. Improving physical wellbeing is just the beginning, though. Engaging in mindful movement allows you to become more present, more focused, and in tune to the sensations of your body, ultimately cultivating greater self-awareness. More importantly, though, mindful movement can help you develop. Compassion and resilience and release that pent up emotion and stress, allowing you to calm your mind and achieve a more relaxed state of being.

I have to tell you this summer, I have been very mindful about my movement, and for me, this is in the form of walks before I get my day started, and often after dinner I have a tendency to talk myself out of things like this, but my new practice is just to put on my shoes. And walk outside naturally this leads to a walk down the stairs and then maybe a walk around the block, sometimes even a few miles.

So let me encourage you to take that first step of mindful movement. You will develop physical and mental flexibility and an overall happier feeling.

Next is mindful communication. I love this one. Communication is really the cornerstone of healthy and meaningful relationships, right? Whether it be on a personal or professional level, developing better communication skills can help you become more aware of your emotions, your thoughts, and the power of your words to impact those around you positively.

So, What does this mean? Express yourself more clearly. Listen. Attentively show empathy. I just had a conversation with my kids when they had a little tiff about, okay, it was kind of a big tiff, but it was about understanding versus needing to be understood. That's what I was trying to explain to them. My son wanted so badly for his sister to hear his side of the story and vice versa.

I tried to explain how having the goal of really under. Standing the other person is so much more valuable than having it your way listening until the other person is just done talking without interrupting. That's a hard one, but mindful communication will strengthen your relationships. It's gonna help avoid misunderstandings.

It's gonna help you navigate those difficult situations with grace, and also support an environment for open and honest dialogue. Mindful communication enhances your emotional intelligence, makes you more present and engaged in your conversations, and it helps you truly understand the perspectives of others.

Okay, let's jump from communication to creativity.

Mindful creativity can be a game changer when it comes to personal growth and self-expression. It unlocks our innate creative abilities while amplifying the present moment and also just increasing our engagement in the world. Interesting, right.

Mindfulness thrown into creative activities like writing, painting, playing. Maybe for you it's music or cooking. It can cut down on all of the distractions of life and improve your focus. Also, it can bring out your inspiration on a deeper level. This heightened awareness nudges us to perceive our creative quests with a new, fresh perspective.

It unlocks new ideas and innovative solutions that we might have otherwise overlooked. Mindful creativity. It's not about. Improving our artistic skills. It's really an in-depth practice that sets us on the path to self-discovery by encouraging us to explore our passions and interests without any judgment or expectation.

So hear those words again without any judgment or expectation, because what it is, That you really love to do, or what you really love to do might not be what someone else wants you to do or you feel like you need to be doing. As we become more self-aware and mindful, we uncover potential that might have never been noticed.

We break through those limitations and become better versions of ourselves. So I encourage you to explore those passions with self-awareness.

Okay, next, did you know that integrating mindful practices into your faith journey can help you cultivate a more profound sense of presence, awareness, and certainly a connection with God?

It's true, Mindful faith is a powerful way to practice your faith. Prayer, for example, is a very important part of developing a mindful faith practice. Prayer helps us to express gratitude, ask for guidance, and create an intimate connection. Scripture tells us that the Lord is near to all who call upon him.

In truth, the importance of spending time with God is emphasized throughout the Bible. The Book of Psalms stresses the significance of meditation and prayer in deepening your relationship with God. Matthew 6 33. Jesus urges his disciples to seek first the kingdom of God in his righteousness, indicating that time spent with God should take priority over all other things.

Colossians four, two. Christians are instructed to devote themselves to prayer, keeping watchful and thankful hearts. Talk about releasing our worries. God calls us to cast our cares on him because he cares for us. That's one Peter five, seven. Ultimately, mindful faith invites us to become aware of the presence of God in our lives no matter what season we are in.

When we make that space for God in our hearts and our minds and we're very aware of it, he will work in us to bring a greater sense of peace, joy, and hope. I hope this episode has given you ideas for incorporating more mindfulness into your life. I know more than anyone in our fast paced world, it's really hard to find the time for just about anything, but I promise if you make an effort to be still and to let go of distractions, God will meet you in those moments.

He is faithful. He loves us with a boundless love that is bigger than anything we can imagine. If this episode resonates with you, please share it with someone you think could use it. That's it for this week. Thanks so much for listening.

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