Breathing, relaxing, mindfulness. When these words come up, what do you hear? Words that remind us of things we should be doing for our sanity, but who has time to relax, or meditate, and what really is mindfulness?
Mindfulness, quite simply, is the act of concentrating on your breathing, being aware of this breath and being aware of what is going on around you in the present moment. Breathing is the simplest way to calm anxiety and return our focus to where it truly is.
To figure out if this is for you, answer these two questions for yourself:
Do you tend to get so focused on the goal that you want to achieve that you lose touch with what you are doing right now to get there?
Do you then rush through activities without being really attentive, to the point that you never quite reach that goal?
After answering these questions, I want you to sit and take 5 deep breaths in through your nose and our through your mouth. While doing this allow yourself to focus only on the sensation of breathing, how it feels to expand your lungs, and feeling the relief that comes with each exhale. This is a simple practice that you can do virtually anywhere when you are feeling that you are just go through the motions, feeling at a dead end, or losing sight of your goals
The best place to breath is in the gym. When I teach spin, I have at least one song where all my riders simply climb a hill and focus on their breathing. Often afterwards, they tell that is the only time that day they have taken time out to breathe like that, but it helped them power up that hill and remember what their goals were. When we exercise, we can often get caught aimlessly following a work-out without really paying attention to what our muscles are doing. To reap the full rewards of your exercise program, use your breath to coordinate your moves and focus on the feeling of engaging your muscles for a deeper burn.
What you want is right in front of you- with the use of breathing and mindfulness, you can get there even faster!