Practicing mindfulness and running at the same time is possible. Although the former seems a practice in which it is essential to remain still, this is not necessarily so. In fact, your usual outings to do a little running can be the perfect time to become aware of the present moment and relaxing.
Mindfulness is the practice of conscious or full attention to become aware of the present moment. It is, so to speak, turning off the autopilot with which we perform the most monotonous tasks or actions and pay attention to all the small details of that moment: light, colors, shapes …
Running, precisely, can become a mechanical activity in which, while the muscles work, the head and your thoughts are wandering from one side to another. That is why practicing mindfulness while running can be a very beneficial exercise for you.
Why? Mindfulness enhances your ability to concentrate, promotes creativity, improves memory, develops emotional intelligence and protects your brain. All these facets are useful in your day to day, but especially in your job. You can get to work better with mindfulness and be happier in your day to day work life. If you want, you can even do mindfulness in the office or take advantage of your running time, as we propose, to practice it.
What are the keys to practicing mindfulness while running? Don´t miss our mindfulness tips for runners and remember that, in summary, it is all about enjoying the moment:
1. Control your breathing
One of the simplest ways to practice mindfulness while running is to control your breathing by being aware of it. Watch as the air enters through the nose and down to the throat. Then, when expelling it, notice how it leaves your body slowly and in a controlled manner. Put all your attention on it for at least five repetitions.
2. Pay attention to what your eyes see
Perhaps, every day, when you go for a run, you pass in front of buildings or parks that you have never really noticed. Pay attention to the present and become aware of what your eyes are seeing. Surely you discover new places! If at any time your thoughts take you somewhere else, don´t worry: just go back to the present and focus on what your eyes are seeing.
3. Reaffirm the "I can"
If you have had a bad day or have a problem in hand, use running to convince yourself that you can overcome it. How? Before going out to run, think about what is the adverse situation you want to overcome and tell yourself: “I can deal with it”. Keep that feeling of overcoming throughout the run and repeat the mantra "I can" over and over again. It will help you grow your resilience and find solutions to your problems.
4. Run at night
Darkness puts our senses on alert, which makes us more present in the action we are developing. Going for a run at night will help you put mindfulness into practice.
5. Look for objectives
In addition to practicing mindfulness you can also learn how to meditate while running. One of the simplest ways is to set goals and concentrate on them during the running session. You can vary according to the day: concentrate on breathing, repeat a positive mantra ...
These five mindfulness exercises can become your best running companions to clear your mind, relax and focus on the present moment. This way you will get all the benefits that sport produces in your body, but you will also exercise your mind thanks to mindfulness. So put on your shoes, go running and enrich your running with mindfulness.