Making self-care a top priority can seem like an uphill battle when your life already has too many demands, especially on your energy and time. Trying to quiet your inner-being is another struggle as slowing down is out of the norm, making you feel restless and eager. We still have problems maintaining energy and taking care of our physical health, even though we know it is vital to staying on top of our game. Physical activity is the most excellent way to reconnect with what matters the most and to settle our busy brains down.
Going for long runs can help to break up long workdays, which can drive anyone crazy. Stress hormones build up in the body, and the benefits of exercise include releasing these hormones that reduce tension and boosts endorphins in the body that will make you feel good.
Why don’t we use physical exercise more often to tame our overexerted brains? What can spiritual practice do to connect our heart and mind so that we can focus better and more regularly? We can optimize the return on both energy and time so that this cross-training of our heart, body, and soul will pay dividends in the long run and help us to develop long-lasting healthy habits.
Physical Activity Quiets the Mind and Fuels the Soul:
Supporting our ability to focus on the present moment, give appreciation and gratitude, as well as encourage an optimistic mindset through boosting positive endorphins. Physical activity also helps improve heart rate variability and resilience to stress; it decreases tension and inflammation in the body and mobilizes and reduces stress hormones.
Simple Changes to Make Your Physical Exercise Routine a More Mental and Spiritual Practice:
Think about people and things in your life that you’re grateful for and as you exercise and move your body focus on sending them positive energy and vibes.
Put your headphones in and listen to an inspirational podcast or music. Also, just being present and in the moment listening to the sound of nature around you helps.
Be aware of your surroundings, especially if you’re out in nature. As you practice physical exercise, be aware of how your body feels and reacts to the environment. Notice how your mind wanders, but don’t judge yourself and instead come back to thoughts of how you move.
Focus on your breathing and meditate on a personal mantra. Say things that encourage your workouts such as, “I am love,” “I am light,” “I am strong,” “I am connected,” and “I breathe out the chaos as I breathe in calm.”
Focus on things you look forward to doing or things that you’re grateful for. Invite a friend to join you and share with them things that you appreciate about each other.