When hearing the word mindful, many people instantly think of meditation and breathing exercises that are performed on a yoga mat. But quite often that’s not the case. And certainly not if we combine mindfulness with physical activity, like running!
Mindfulness is a pretty straightforward word. It suggests that the mind is fully attending to what’s happening or what you’re doing, and where you are. The annoying fact is that we so often get distracted. Our mind takes flight, we lose contact with our body, and our minds are easily occupied with thoughts about something that happened in the past or might take place in the future. And that may cause stress.
When applying Mindfulness you consciously shift focus to what’s happening and what you are doing at that very moment. It actually begins and ends in the body. When we take time to pay full attention to where we are and what’s going on, this will always start with being aware of our bodies. What do we feel?
Consciously paying attention to our bodies can cause an instant calming effect. Especially if we allow ourselves to take a moment alone, close our eyes, avoid getting distracted and then (in our minds) “scan” our different body parts one by one. Think less, feel more! Become aware of tensions in muscles, the touch of our skin to the surface that we’re sitting on. We can feel our chest moving up and down with every breath, and hear and feel our heartbeat. Just observing our bodies like this will make us feel more relaxed. There is no need to do or change anything, just observe.
Use all senses
Once we have checked on our body, we can shift focus to what we see, hear, smell, taste, and feel. It will make us more aware of the world around us and what’s happening at that very moment. Y0u’ll be surprised about things that you’ll notice, that you wouldn’t have if you hadn’t consciously paid attention to them!
5 Facts about Mindfulness
- Anyone can do it. Anyone can consciously shift focus to what is happening right here and now. Mindfulness practice does not require anyone to change their beliefs. Everyone can benefit.
- Mindfulness is not a difficult thing to do. It’s not something exotic or vague. All of us already have the capacity to be in the current moment. It is easy to learn. With simple practice, we can be more aware of it, do it more often, and enjoy its benefits.
- We don’t need to change. It doesn’t require us to change who we are. Mindfulness observes, recognizes, and cultivates the best of who we are as human beings.
- A way of living. Mindfulness is more than just a practice. It brings awareness and caring into everything we do—and it cuts down needless stress. Even a little makes our lives better.
- Evidence-based benefits. Both science and experience demonstrate the positive effects of mindfulness on our health, happiness, work, and relationships.
Benefits of mindfulness
In the rush to accomplish all necessary daily tasks, we may find ourselves losing connection with the present moment. We might be missing out on what we’re doing and how we’re feeling. Mindfulness is being examined scientifically and has been found to be a key element in stress reduction and overall happiness. The benefits of mindfulness are:
- Reduced Stress and anxiety.
- Improved memory.
- Better focus: sustain attention and suppress distracting information.
- Less negative thoughts and decreased depression.
- Improvement of managing emotions
- More cognitive flexibility.
- Stronger relationships due to fewer judgments, more acceptance, and more empathy.
- Enhanced self-insights and intuition.
- Better physical health due to lower stress levels.
Mindfulness during activities
You can easily combine Mindfulness with various activities: eating, cooking, swimming, listening to music, walking, cycling, talking, and running. When you’re fully focused and aware of whatever it is that you are doing, you’ll be much more in the current moment. MoreFun2Run offers you the opportunity to learn to combine mindfulness with running.
During a mindful run, we pay full attention to your body, mind, and environment! To prevent wasting any energy, we focus on a correct posture and light, efficient running techniques. We consciously practice calmer, slower breathing. Various breathing techniques can and will be applied before, during, and after running. Check out this MINDFUL RUN VIDEO
Mindful runs are non-striving: we set no athletic goals. We don’t need to be fast, there is no need to achieve anything. All we want is to clear our heads and feel better, more energized. We do this by focusing on the movements and sensations of our body parts, our heartbeat, and breathing. But also by paying attention to what we see, smell, taste, and feel along the way. We activate all our senses.
Results of our Mindful Runs
A Mindful Run workout with MOREFUN2RUN is so much more than “just” running! Yes of course it contains running, and it also includes breathwork, but most of all it’s outdoor fun with varied physical activities and games. After 1.5 hours you’ll experience the following result:
- Less stress and more energy throughout the day
- Run with less effort which leads to More Fun 2 Run (and run again!)
- Faster recovery
- Glowing cheeks & a smile on your face.
- Better breathing in general
Better breathing throughout the day- Less stress
We can use breathing techniques to bring our heart rate down again after an intensive run. We can also apply this same breathing technique when experiencing other stressful moments throughout the day. Because calming down our breathing will not only help us recover from physical stress but also releases mental and emotional stress. Our breathing can function as a “regulator” of our heart rate and the level of stress that our body and mind are experiencing.
If this article inspired you to find out more about the combination of Mindfulness and Running, please check out our page for our upcoming Mindful Run Courses, Workshops, or personalized sessions. From Autumn 2022 MOREFUN2RUN will be operating in Ljubljana Slovenia.
Please feel free to share this post with other runners and on social media. Thank you! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me at an*******@mo*********.com or leave your comment below.