A lot is going on in the world right now and, unless you’re super lucky, there’s probably a lot going on in your personal life too. The pandemic and not knowing what it means for the future is stressful enough; trying to continue working, raising children, or going to school is HARD.
Mindfulness is a tool for regulating emotions.
Mindfulness can help you organize and work through all those emotions you may be experiencing. Letting your anger, stress, and anxiety build up only fuels more negative emotions and can negatively impact your personal relationships.
By practicing mindfulness, you learn how to regulate emotions like anger and anxiety. Instead of being overwhelmed by all your negative feelings, you focus on acknowledging them and understanding their origins. By understanding the “why” behind your emotions, you can begin to recognize your emotional triggers and control your feelings.
Why implement mindfulness now?
The world is often hectic. While things are still quite crazy and uncertain, the world has slowed down quite a bit. Most people are no longer rushing from place to place and have more downtime at home. If that’s you, take time to notice the things you usually wouldn’t. Look for new plants on your everyday walk, notice how the sun feels, or listen for birds.
If you’ve started exercising more in quarantine, you already have the perfect backdrop for implementing mindfulness. (And exercise is beneficial for mental health in its own right!) Think about how exercising makes you feel, both physically and mentally. Reflect on why you’re exercising and what your goals are.
How can I practice mindfulness?
When working out, take time to focus on each body part — what are your feet doing at any given moment? Your arms? What about your lungs? Practice honing in on your breathing. Notice every inhale and exhale. Try to find a pattern or create a steady rhythm.
Take inventory of all your thoughts, but don’t linger on any. Accept them as they come, merely observing to understand, but not engaging. If you’re upset, seek to understand the root cause, not today’s trigger.
Don’t try to push away any emotions or censor yourself. Allow yourself to feel exactly how you need to, but look to understand the true why behind any emotion.
Get started with mindfulness.
It might be challenging to stay disciplined when you first begin. Mindfulness is a new way of thinking and requires you to overcome the old way of handling your emotions.
Be patient and forgiving with yourself. Explore which strategies work for you and which don’t, but keep trying until you find what works for you!
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