Do you struggle to clear your mind? We've all tried those breathing exercises with the promise of a calm, relaxed mind, but just as you start to finally get the hang of it, your daily to-do list starts popping into your mind. Did I pick up the dry cleaning? What should I make for dinner tonight? Oh, the floors really need to be mopped. Has that frame always been crooked? Ugh I really need to paint my nails. Is that my stomach growling....
Before you know it you've completely forgotten what you were even doing on the floor with your legs crossed. Are you doing it wrong? Is it just not meant for you?
Why we need to stop and smell the roses!
From our phones, to tablets to computers to kindles, our world never slows down. We are constantly living with one foot in the future and one foot in the past and it isn't good for us. Research shows that 15 minutes of meditating each day for several weeks produces detectable positive changes in our brain. It also reduced stress, anxiety and an enhanced sense of well-being.
The goal of meditation is not to clear your head, it's about focusing on one thing. When the mind wonders, the meditation hasn't failed, you just need to catch your brain and put it back to the object of focus.
Yoga, Pilates + Mindfulness
Yoga is basically active meditation, and the same goes for Pilates. Instead of letting your mind race, you're focusing on your breathing and performing the movements. It's been proven to help keep blood pressure in control, reduce pain, release stress and improve quality of sleep. It helps to keep anxiety and depression away, boost positivity, enthusiasm and greater clarity in decision making as well as productivity.
Meditation in your daily life:
Walking/ Running meditation - Focus your attention on one item, the sounds of cars, birds or even the wind, when your mind wanders catch it and just return it to your focal point.
Eating/ Drinking Meditation - Savor the moment! Focus on the flavour, the texture and just how good that chocolate or piece of cake tastes.
Task-Related Meditation - Folding laundry, washing your hands, brushing your teeth, these can all serve as moments of meditations. Focus on what's happening now, pull yourself from the river of thoughts.
Arts & Crafts - Colouring (yes, they have adult colouring books now and they're amazing), pottery and knitting are all examples of something productive that can divert your energy. Don't worry about how good it looks, just let yourself be creative and your attention will move away from worrying to relaxation.
Writing - Especially helpful before you go to bed, turn off the tv and instead right down your thoughts to relieve the pressure they're causing on your mind.
Check out our Yoga & Pilates page for more information.