How Exercise Can Help You With Mindfulness
Gone are the days when exercise was only about pumping iron, sweaty gyms, and bulging biceps. Today, gentle yet effective exercises like yoga and Tai Chi are gaining popularity as people realize their ability to improve mental and emotional health. In fact, mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is a form of therapy that uses mindfulness exercises to help people cope with stress, anxiety, and pain.
What Exactly is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the quality of being present and aware of the moment. It's about being aware of your thoughts, feelings, and sensations without judgment.
If you take a closer look, we're constantly living in the past or daydreaming about the future. As a result, stress and anxiety can take over, leaving us feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. Mindfulness help breaks this cycle by training our mind to be more focused and less easily distracted.
How Can Exercise Help With Mindfulness?
While yoga and meditation are most focused on mindfulness, any type of exercise is a powerful mindfulness tool. You only need to practice being present and aware of your body during your workouts. And you don't need to be a monk to do it!
The next time you're at the gym, focus on the sensation of your feet hitting the ground as you walk or run. Feel the stretch in your muscles as you move through each yoga pose. Listen to your breath as you power through a set of reps. The more you focus on the present moment, the more you'll train your mind to be quiet and find a sense of calm.
Exercise also releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting and pain-relieving effects. It also helps to reduce the stress hormone cortisol. Not only will you feel calmer and more present, but also enjoy the benefits that come with regular exercise, like improved sleep and energy levels.
Examples of Mindfulness Exercises
There is no magic formula for mindfulness, and its don't stop at a yoga mat or a gym. Instead, you can take this new awareness with you throughout your day-to-day life.
Some exercises you can try:
Running: Pay attention to your breath as you run. Focus on the movement of your legs, be aware of the air hitting your face and the sensation of your feet hitting the ground. If your mind starts to wander, gently bring it back to the present moment.
Pilates: As you move from one exercise to the next, focus on your breath and the muscles you're working on. Pay attention to how your body feels and be aware of any changes in your breathing.
Yoga: Yoga is based on mindfulness principles and can be very helpful in training your mind to quieten down. In each pose, focus on your breath and the sensation of your body. Try new poses and flows to keep your mind challenged and engaged.
If you also want to start your journey to a calmer, more present mind today. Start your own mindfulness exercises with an S36 Workout Mat. It'll be your perfect partner for a more present and aware you.