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Pillar of Health: Mindfulness

healthy living life philosophy pilates pillar of health

It’s time to look at another of my Pillars of Health: MINDFULNESS

We’ve all heard the term bandied about but let’s clarify just what it is.

Ahem...

Mindfulness is to be fully present and aware... without judgement. Did you know about that last bit? Me neither but it’s def the part I struggle with.

Do you have it?

The little voice inside your head that narrates what you’re doing, distracting you from fully investing in the moment? I know I do.

Does this sound familiar?

You contemplate the magnificence of a sunset but also tell yourself that "dinner’s not going to cook itself". Or, you take a walk and instead of noticing the breeze through the trees or the feel of your body as you quicken your pace, you mentally write your to-do list or even count down the time until you can get back and "start your day", or "get back to work".

Do you feel as if enjoying and staying present during a walk or being amazed at the world we live in is a frivolous, time wasting act?

Unfortunately I know I sometimes do.

That voice can sometimes be a noisy companion of mine and you know where it/she comes out quite frequently? On my mat, while I’m practicing my Pilates😳

Yep, my mind wanders, judges, and also reminds me of my weaknesses. Dang!!

So:

Each time I lie down to begin my practice I aim to focus on “complete coordination of body, mind, and spirit”.

This is Joseph Pilates’ definition of Contrology, his name for his method - nope, he actually didn’t name his work after himself.

The quote is from the opening pages of his manifesto, Return To Life, written in 1945.

1945! The man was ahead of his time for sure.

photo by Marek Piwnicki 

 

So why should we practice mindfulness? (not to be confused with meditation which is a method to achieve mindfulness)

There are some really, really, really, good, scientifically backed reasons* why it’s good for our well being, health, and quality of life.

Mindfulness can help us to:

be less distracted

regulate our emotions

reduce anxiety*

sleep better

build resilience

manage physical pain

improve our working memory*

be more empathetic

avoid depression*

improve our heart health*


 

So, how does one cultivate mindfulness? (tilling the soil in your garden of health as it were)🙃

photo by Markus Spiske

 

To cultivate Mindfulness, the #1 rule is:

PAY ATTENTION! (I’m not yelling at you, just trying to get your attention, lol)

How? Here are a few ways:

1. Engage Your Senses

- slow down your eating and really taste your food.

- don’t just see but really look and seek out details.

- listen carefully to the world around you as well as inside conversations.

 

2. Focus on your Breathing - yep, no surprise there.

🤎 For my free box breathing guide follow this link and use BOX as your promo code 🤎

 

3. Meditate - even 5-10 minutes can be effective.

 

4. Perform a Body Scan - tune into how you’re really feeling.

And, of course,

 

5. Do some PILATES🤗  - breath connected to movement is a joyous way to practice mindfulness.

 

Catch you next time, Bec x

 

*nerdy study links:

anxiety https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21320700/

working memory https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30999122/

depression https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10965637/

heart health https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28639841/

 

The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this blog are not intended to amount to advice and Rebecca Forde disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this post 

cover & social photo by Alejandro Piñero Amerio

 

 

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