Do Nothing! The Hardest, Most Powerful Workout You Will Do
By Unite Fitness Retreat Dietician, Brooke Bouwhuis
Uniting Mind and Body is a core value at our fitness camp. In order to achieve your goals, we have found you are much more successful when you tap into the power of your mind as you are moving your body.
Mindfulness begins by paying attention to the breath and being present in the moment.
You don’t have to be vegetarian, sit cross legged on a hard floor, have incense burning or even have an affinity for Kung-Fu to tap into this power.
When scientist have studied the noggins of meditators, they have discovered that meditation changes the structure of the brain making it more powerful – think greater ability to stay calm in stressful situations, more creative ideas and improved memory.
Negative thoughts and feelings are born in the amygdala of the brain – this is where “fight or flight” takes place. Meditation has been shown to shrink this fear center. Undeniably incredible don’t you think.
Keep in mind, most of our behavior is from unconscious reactions – programmed by strong neural connections that make our reactions to life the same time after time. How do arguments, frustration and stress make you react? Is it predictable?
Changing those strong neural connections comes from changing your brain by creating new connections making new habits strong and automatic. This is how we begin to learn how to react differently to stressful situations or negative thought patterns.
It all sounds great but how do I really do this? Mindful meditation is a balance of focused relaxation allowing thoughts to come and go.
Getting Started with Mindfulness Mediation
- Sit comfortably
- Close your eyes
- Breathe naturally
- Focus on how your breath moves naturally in and out of your body
- Notice the movement of your body as you breath
- If your mind wanders, return your focus back to your breath
- Try it for 2 or 3 minutes to start and stretch it to 10 minutes as you get better at the practice
Mindful.org is an outstanding resource, Calm and Headspace apps have guided meditations to help with anything from anxiety to sleep to stress to relationships to self-care.
It’s super tough to only concentrate on your breath. On average we have about 50,000+ thoughts per day and 98% are repetitive from the day before. Upward of 80% are negative. This leads to unhealthful behaviors.
More creativity, empathy, memory, learning and confidence, focus, calm and clarity. These states of mind are cultivated with mindful meditation. The hardest, best 10 minutes of your day.