Be Here Now

Embracing mindfulness can pay off with less stress, more healthful behaviors, and even weight loss. Here's a look at the benefits.

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It's a word we're hearing a lot these days, but as trendy as mindfulness seems to be, it's also a very simple concept. Being mindful simply means being present in the here and now. Simple—but powerful. As your WW Freestyle weekly points out, the benefits of mindfulness are many for body, mind, and spirit.

Mindfulness can....

 ...make it easier for you to focus and pay attention, which in turn can help you keep your goals top of mind—whether for work, family, health, weight loss, or something else—and be more aware of how your choices are helping or hurting your progress toward your goals.

 ...improve your self-esteem. And feeling good about yourself makes you more likely to pick up healthier behaviors—and to lose weight and maintain weight loss.

...prompt you to notice changes on and off the scale, as an effect of the healthier habits you’re forming.

...diminish stress, which in turn has been linked to overeating.

Tune in

Speaking of stress, it's ironic that when we are stressed and anxious, we often try to escape those feelings by watching TV, surfing the web—or even, yeah, eating. But fleeing the mental tumult doesn't help in the long run. A better, if counterintuitive solution: Tune in, not out. Paying attention to your surroundings, your food, and your actions can help right away (you slow your racing pulse, enjoy food more, and are even less injury-prone), and over time by helping you make more thoughtful choices. In fact, being mindful is part of self-monitoring, a skill that helps you lose weight. The two-minute breathing exercise in your Weekly offers a more beneficial way to ease stress, and it's an instant relaxer to boot.