There's a great quote by Dale Carnegie that says "Today is life - the only life you are sure of. Make the most of today."
Mindfulness, or being fully aware of the moment is a wonderful way to help improve mental and physical health, reduce pain, and eliminate/decrease stress in our lives.
At is simplest, mindfulness is the ability to direct your attention on the activity you are doing when you are doing it.
Did you know that your mind is somewhat like a muscle? In order to achieve the full benefits of mindfulness, you must work it out!
How often have you eaten a meal and not really tasted it? Worked out without feeling it? Completed a chore or driven to work without really paying attention? I've done it and quite frankly it's horrifying when I realize I was behind the wheel and can't remember driving!
When we are awake, our thoughts drift to topics unrelated to whatever we’re doing and our day can pass us by while our minds are elsewhere.
Are you Mindful, or is Your Mind FULL?
I know I certainly rush through too many of my own life experiences, and personally I am actively working at slowing down to enjoy the present.
Some may think that mind wandering is a pleasant experience, but recently Harvard University researchers found that only when we are fully present in the moment are we truly content.
Matthew Killingsworth, a doctoral candidate in psychology at Harvard University who studies the subject intensively states "How often peoples' minds wander is definitely a big predictor of who's happy and who's not happy".
Killingsorth found that the more a person takes him/herself out of the present moment, the less happy the person is. He goes on to say “A human mind is a wandering mind, and a wandering mind is an unhappy mind.”
Psychology Today recently published an article called The Art of Now: Six Steps to Living in the Moment in which they also discuss some of the many benefits of mindfulness. A regular practice of mindfulness is shown to:
- reduces stress
- boosts immune functioning
- reduces chronic pain
- lowers blood pressure
- helps patients cope with cancer
- shown to reduce the risk of heart disease
The article goes on to say that:
"Studies have also shown that individuals who practice regular mindfulness have higher self-esteem and are more accepting of their own weaknesses. Anchoring awareness in the here and now reduces the kinds of impulsivity and reactivity that underlie depression, binge eating, and attention problems. Mindful people can hear negative feedback without feeling threatened.They fight less with their romantic partners and are more accommodating and less defensive. As a result, mindful couples have more satisfying relationships."
I'm all for encouraging mindfulness and living in the moment and would like to encourage you too to stay aware and fully focused on what you are doing. Just take a look at those amazing benefits. In today's world it's a gift you can give to yourself each day.
Practicing mindfulness is especially important part if you want to achieve success when working to overcome chronic muscle and joint pain with a corrective exercise program.
In order to become PAIN FREE and break the complexity of the chronic pain cycle, my clients are all coached and encouraged to fully connect to the present moment.
Being fully aware and mindful of what you are doing (the corrective exercise menu) and how it connects to how you feel (less pain, more mobility, better self-esteem, lighter on your feet, breathing easier, etc) helps to change our thoughts, actions and habits.
These are the Three Keys to Overcome Chronic Muscle and Joint Pain you must take and activate in your life to successfully achieve a Pain Free life and living.
The added benefit? Once you learn how to incorporate these skills you can be apply to any facet of life. Give it a try. Your mind, body and spirit will thank you and I'll be joining you on the way!
Be well... stay strong.... and please leave a comment and let me know if you have questions. Remember, we're in this together, and I am here to help!
Stock Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
Head Photo Credit: Ruby and Roxy Photography
Deb Preachuk is a Chronic Pain Pain Relief, Posture Restoration and Athletic Performance Enhancement pro specializing in corrective exercise, applied biomechanics, STOTT Pilates and functional movement patterns.
Founder of Pain Free Posture MN, Deb helps real people transform real-world chronic pain challenges into achievable results. Deb infuses her teaching with an honest, open and down-to-earth mix of chronic pain relief therapeutic modalities training techniques to make the concepts of pain relief and body/mind transformation accessible and achievable!