Many plan to focus on their physical health. These people may schedule time into their day to hit the trails for a run or go to the gym to lift weights. Many of these same people struggle to make regular, planned time for their mental health. After all, it’s easy to forget about mental health needs until we find ourselves battling a serious issue like anxiety or depression. Pushing ourselves further and further into the busy habits of work, play, and fitness can leave little room for mental exercise, but we need to make sure that fitness is a mind-and-body concept.
An excellent way to make sure you are taking care of your whole self is by incorporating meditation into your fitness routine. In this post, we’ll explore techniques to add meditation to your life and ensure that your mind’s health is a top priority.
Make Meditation a Morning Ritual
Our morning routines can really make or break a day. What we do when we first wake up sets the tone for how the rest of the day will go, and leaving the house rushed, stressed, and unfocused nearly guarantees that we won’t be operating at peak performance.
Take a few moments as soon as you wake up to meditate. Spending just three to five minutes focusing on your breathing and clearing your mind of distracting thoughts and stresses can leave you feeling refreshed, motivated, and ready to tackle whatever the day brings your way.
Add Music to Meditations
Tirachard Kumtanom / Pexels
Those who are new to meditation can find them difficult to do. Clearing our minds is not as easy as it sounds, and it can be difficult to get into the right mindset to truly accomplish the kind of clarity and relaxation meditation promises to deliver. Adding calming music to your meditation practice can help set the tone and move you toward a calmer space. Some meditation practitioners have even composed music as a form of meditation itself! That’s how deep the connection between mind and music really goes.
Let Go of Expectations
Sometimes, we can have a lot of expectations about how meditation should feel or how we should experience it. This can be especially true for athletes who tend to be competitive and goal-focused. One of the best techniques you can bring to your meditation practice is releasing yourself from expectations. In fact, putting goals or plans on your meditation can make it really difficult to achieve the kind of present mindfulness that you’re aiming for in the first place.
Raw Pixel / Pexels
Nothing is worse than trying to be present and mindful when you have too-tight jeans digging into your waist or stiff shoes cramping your toes. You don’t want to try to meditate while you’re contorting yourself into an uncomfortable sitting position, either. Give yourself the chance to get comfortable. Wear flexible clothing, take a seat on some pillows on the floor, and really experience the moment.
Bringing meditation practices into your regular health routine comes with a host of benefits. You’ll likely find yourself getting a better night’s sleep and facing the world with a more positive attitude. Although it may be difficult to get yourself into the habit of meditating when you first start out, it’s like any other habit you are trying to build: it gets easier with practice. Start small, and build up to more frequent and longer meditations over time.
Taking care of your body and taking care of your mind are necessarily intertwined acts. Whether it’s by exercising regularly, meditating, drinking H2 water, or finding a way to get a restful night’s sleep, making your mental and physical health a priority will pay off for the rest of your life.