Several different factors affect your physical and mental health. And probably the first two that come to your mind are regular exercise and good nutrition. Just as important are other factors like proper recovery, quality sleep, and effective ways of managing stress.
When it comes to managing your stress levels, one effective way to get some relief is by practicing mindfulness. According to Mindful, mindfulness is:
“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.”
Sometimes, it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed. But when you’re able to practice staying mindful, then you are more able to manage stress, and you ultimately improve your overall health. So, here are a few suggestions to help you practice more mindfulness:
1. Focus on the present.
The goal of mindfulness isn’t to ignore or escape from the current moment. Instead, it’s your ability to focus on the present moment and be aware of what’s going on. Rather than pretending like you’re not stressed, it’s becoming aware of your stress and what’s causing it. Then, you can do something about it. At the same time, if you’re focused on the present, then your mind is less likely to wander to the past or future. Let go of whatever happened in the past and realize that you can’t control the future.
2. Be intentional.
If you’ve been to a yoga class, then you might’ve heard your instructor ask you to set an intention for your practice or class. Setting an intention creates a purpose for what you’re about to do. You can set an intention before starting a workout or eating a meal. It works for commutes, family time, date nights, and your workday. Whenever your mind begins to wander (because it’s not a matter of if, but when it will), an intention gives something to redirect your focus toward and keep you in the current moment.
3. Take deep breaths.
When we get stressed, one of our body’s reactions is to tighten your muscles. This muscle tightening can make you hold your breath without even realizing you’re doing it. Stopping for just ten seconds to breathe brings in more oxygen, relaxes your muscles, and clears your head. Whenever something takes you away from the present, focus on your inhaling and exhaling.
Start your journey towards health and wellness at Contender CrossFit or Contender Whitecap! Between our two locations, we offer a variety of programs to suit your fitness goals. To learn more about what we have to offer, contact us today.