The Key To Being Present

Mindfulness is the top way to begin being more present in our lives.

Everyone has been told to “live in the moment” or to “be present” before, especially in times of increased stress. While those reminders are well known, they are sometimes difficult to practice and implement. Mindfulness is practicing being in the present moment without distraction or judgment. The key to this is allowing yourself full awareness of your mental and physical state and being able to meet yourself where you are in the current moment. This concept seems straight-forward, but as mentioned above, is much easier said than done!

Mindfulness is a great practice to improve your mental health because it allows you to connect with your emotions. For me, practicing mindfulness has allowed me to work through stress, anxiety, and other difficult emotions I might face. Improvements to your mental health will also help improve your workout routines and help you create healthy, sustainable workout goals. Using mindfulness is a great way to improve your workouts by helping you generate more body awareness, increase focus, and allow you to find more enjoyment in your workouts. 

Ways you can incorporate mindfulness into your life and workouts are by practicing different mindfulness activities. Not all of these activities may work for you and that is okay! Choose what is right for you and resonates with your current situation. Similar to working out, choosing an activity you don’t enjoy will make it very hard to keep it in your routine.

Below are a list of activities I have found helpful for me when I am trying to be more mindful: 

  1. Set clear intentions- Intention-setting exercises are a great way to incorporate mindfulness into the gym and your daily life. Before you open your laptop, pour your coffee, or start your workout, take a moment and reflect on what you need at want to get out of your day. In the gym, it can be something as big as hitting a new PR or as small as just feeling more energized! Your intentions should align with what your personal needs and you are always encouraged to share your intentions with us before starting your session. 
  2. Deep breathing exercises- Have you noticed that we give you breathing exercises in between your heavier lifts? While those breathing exercises are used to help you rest and better utilize the muscles required in your lift, they can serve as a great mindfulness tool. Next time you are doing your breathing exercise focus on your breath instead of going through the motions. You can count your inhales and exhales- I tend to use a five-count method by counting to five for every inhale and exhale. Use this time to do a mental check-in with yourself and see how you are feeling before you start your next set. 
  3. Grounding exercises- When you start to get distracted or anxious plant your feet flat on the floor. Focus on how the sensation feels on your feet and then focus on how other parts of your body are feeling. This exercise can also be a great way to do a form check-in at the gym. When you set yourself up for an exercise, take a second to recognize how you feel before you even start the movement. When you start to move, continue to focus on what you are feeling, and if you aren’t feeling what you should take a second to reset. 
  4. Embrace the moment- If you notice your mind is starting to wander, try to focus on what is going on around you. I tend to use this exercise the most! For example, if I am in the shower and I feel my mind racing I try to ask myself questions like; “What does the soap smell like” or “How does the water feel”. It may seem silly at first but it can help regain mental clarity. While working out, it is easy for any of us to get distracted by things going on outside of the gym. When we notice ourselves doing that we can start to ask ourselves some questions to get out of our heads: “What do I hear”, “What muscles do I feel working”, or “What/who can I see”. 

Mindfulness is a great tool to focus on what you need and can be beneficial in all aspects of your life. It might take a little practice to learn how to become more mindful, but I hope some of these tools can help you get started. If you have any questions or want to learn some more mindfulness tools you can always ask me or the other coaches!


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