5 common mindfulness misunderstandings

woman spreading peanut butter on bread

Is weight loss on your to-do list? If so, “mindful eating” may be your best path to success.

If the term mindfulness makes you think incense, communes and meditation, it’s time to get the correct information.

Mindfulness is NOT:

1. Doing everything slowly

Slowing down does help you see how you reflexively think and react. It does help create a gap in time allowing you to make a new choice, but you can be mindful anytime and in any situation.

2. Achieving a permanent state of not thinking or only having positive thoughts

Mindfulness is actually a natural way of being in the world. With mindfulness you become aware of your habitual thoughts, emotions and sensations, and then change how you relate to them.

3. Religious or designed to turn everyone into meditators

Mindfulness is a non-religious teaching, designed to be accessible to everyone from any faith tradition or no faith religion. It is not owned by any specific religion. Meditation can support us in becoming aware of the present moment but there are many ways to do this.

4. Fixing something that's broken

Mindfulness doesn't reject parts of yourself as bad or broken. With a friendly curiosity, you turn toward your present-moment experience to attend to what is showing up. Mindfulness helps you develop the tolerance and stability to do this.

5. Just a fad

Although mindfulness is a big buzzword currently, that doesn’t mean it's a bad idea. Mindfulness is an idea whose time has come. Mindfulness is serious business and takes trained teachers years of study and practice, in and out of the classroom, to be qualified. 

Attend a mindfulness class at Salem Health

You can learn mindfulness from Nina Meledandri, N.D., who is part of a growing number of physicians teaching mindful eating. She supports you in discovering a non-diet approach that is focused on nourishing all aspects of your body, heart and mind. Dr. Meledandri is a naturopathic physician and licensed acupuncturist who has used mindfulness for the past decade.

Salem Health’s four-week mindful eating series includes eating activities, discussion and simple guided mindfulness exercises to help you consider food habits and connect with your body's innate wisdom of hunger and satisfaction. You'll discover a variety of practical ways to integrate mindful eating into your daily life.

Classes are held at the Community Health Education Center and cost $20 for the series. To sign up for the next Mindful Eating series at Salem Health, visit our class and event portalor call 503-814-CHEC (2432).

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