Everybody seems to be talking about wellness lately. Meditation, yoga, and mindfulness practices are commonly understood as essential tools on the path to success and transformation. More people than ever before are listening to thought leaders such as Eckhart Tolle and Thich Nhat Hahn.
But what can mindfulness really do for you?
Think about your typical day. You get up, maybe get a home workout or a run in before anyone is awake, then you prepare breakfast, for yourself and your partner and kids, if you have them. You clean up, make lunches, get ready for work, maybe you have a commute or you work from home. If you have to drive, maybe you have to deal with traffic, kids whining in the back seat, or fighting, or ALL the red lights, or a full on traffic jam and you will be late for work.
Then if you're lucky, there is calm again, once you arrive at your desk. Perhaps at work you talk to people, pace yourself, try not to check social media, cross off tasks, answer emails, each lunch at your desk, maybe go outside.
You have meetings where you say something, and meetings where you don't have anything to offer. You have questions asked of you about whether reports are ready, or the next step in a project, or why isn't something done? Whose responsible for the hold up? What is the next step, what's the plan?
Stress rises and falls throughout your day.
You can take any given moment in your day and think, "I got this! I am calm and in control!" But it is impossible to spend an entire day in a state of serenity. The only way to come close to such a blissful existence is to learn how to curb the sudden flood of cortisol and adrenaline, the stress hormones that causes our heart to beat faster, our breath to shorten, and our blood to rush to our limbs. This is a flight response, and it is leftover from when stress meant danger and the need to flee and hide.
How to stop the rush of stress hormones using your body:
This is where the mind-body connection becomes super important. Here's how it works, in a nutshell:
Use your mind to Slow you Breathing in order to Slow Your Heartrate in order to Calm Your Body which will Calm Your Mind.
Your mind is an incredibly powerful tool, and most of the day, we put it in the service of others. You can make it work for you, any time you like. If you inhale deeply when you feel your heart rate rising, then very...very...slowly let your breath out, then repeat once or or twice, you can slow your heart down. This will decrease the production of stress hormones which flood your mind with a chemical wash that causes chaos and panic.
Your body is simply one big chemistry experiment.
Hormones, acids, minerals...there is a constant battle inside of you caused by the reactions you have to your environment and thoughts, your own DNA, your level of exercise, and the food you put into your body.
We hope this one small concept will unlock your understanding of how your mind can help you overcome every hurdle thrown your way...so long as you learn the tools and use them when you need them.
If you are just starting out with the concept of using your body to calm your mind, consider working with a fantastic, warm and inspiring teacher like Deanna. Her Vinyasa Flow for Beginners will change you forever, from the inside out.
Check out the first class for FREE here