The Mental and Physical Benefits of Mindfulness
Mindfulness (noun): the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.
A quick Google search on the topic of mindfulness will find over 56,000,000 results. As society becomes more inundated with new technologies, it becomes harder to disconnect and truly be present. People are overwhelmed and desire a simpler way of life, thus seeking mindfulness, which is also a form of meditation, as a solution to their stress. Mindfulness has been proven to aid with stress, anxiety, and depression and also helps us process emotions, makes us more compassionate individuals, and allows us to sleep better.
However, mindfulness has physical benefits as well. It has even been proven to improve one’s focus and performance during exercise. Some studies say that those who practice mindfulness consistently are more satisfied with their workouts because they are less focused on perfectionism and external distractions. This then motivates them to exercise more regularly and maintain a holistic healthy lifestyle.
Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll even uses mindfulness tactics as a way to encourage his players to go beyond the competition and focus on their inner self. Alongside a trained sports psychologist, the team works “on being present, grounded, and connected—and sometimes training our minds to envision what we’d like to experience.” Players credit mindfulness with increasing confidence, gaining consistency, and heightening their awareness for emotionally sensitive issues both on and off the field.
While most of us do not have access to a trained sports psychologist, there are still ways that a mindful practice can help you in your everyday workout.
Tired of running the same three miles on the treadmill? Mindfulness helps boost creativity and can help you brainstorm new ways to exercise that will exert both your physical and mental muscles.
Can’t catch your breath? Proper breathing technique is the foundation of your mindfulness practice and will easily transition into your workout.
Easily distracted? Drown out the noise and focus on the present moment by placing one foot in front of the other.
What are you waiting for? Challenge yourself to a fifteen-minute mindfulness practice for one week and see how it affects your focus, your energy, and your attitude about exercise.
Visit one of our locations below to view our various mind body classes, designed especially for you and your practice:
Charlottesville | Eagleview | Germantown | Hunt Valley | Midlothian | Short Pump | Timonium | West Chester