by CASSIE MCINTYRE
We are still at the beginning of 2019, breaking into the start of spring, and waiting to get outside into the nicer warmer weather. Many of us have been avoiding the cold and it seems we’ve been stuck in a Netflix and couch potato mode. Mentally, the winter can be draining for some with dark days and chilly nights, but as spring grows closer it’s time to refocus the mind and get resettled into our routines.
An untrained mind is like flipping through all the channels on your TV. You don’t know how but at some point you end up binge watching the same reality show train wreck and falling asleep on the couch.
Our thoughts and emotions are like TV shows constantly playing on the inner screen of our minds. How do you change the channel and find a “program” you like instead of picking out/watching the same nonsense? The solution is simple; it’s mindfulness.
Refocusing your thoughts and turning your attention to the inner world can help you find a sense of peace, balance, and a stress free attitude that can positively affect your day to day life. If you leave your thoughts to themselves or ignore them entirely it will often steer you towards negativity, fear, drama, anger, and unhappiness. Be willing to take the time to settle your thoughts and confront them. I know how tempting it can be to shove all your unwanted emotions into a box but when we let ourselves feel we are surrendering to our practice of mindfulness and creating that space for inner peace.
It takes a lot of strength to be able to sit down for a few minutes every day and refocus the mind. You have to be willing to embrace your own darkness if you want to be able to have a better mental and physical balance in your life.
Not everyone loves meditation but most see the benefits of quieting the mind. While many of us might feel like we need to push through and force it, when you’re taking that time for yourself, it’s important to pace yourself with those thoughts and remember kindness. You have to be kind to yourself in order to live a happy and fulfilling life.
If you’re constantly thinking you’re not good enough or you are constantly putting yourself down your mediation will not be as beneficial as it could be.
My homework for those of you working on your mindfulness this March is to try to sit and think of five positive things about yourself. Focus on your breathing while you are going over what you are good at, what your favorite feature is, or what you did well at work or school that week.
Five minutes a day can change the way you see your world and positively impact your work/life balance. One day at a time is all it takes to better yourself.
I hope we can all take this month to be more mindful positively impact our upcoming spring season.
Cassie McIntyre is a NASM certified personal trainer, yoga instructor, and nutritional coach at The Edge Fitness in Bristol.