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3 Ways Mindful Jogging Makes You Calmer and Happier

3 Ways Mindful Jogging Makes You Calmer and Happier

Nowadays, mindfulness is all over the place. From new age psychology books to eating habits, people are urging others (and themselves) to live in the moment and awaken their present self. However, not all people exactly know what mindfulness is actually all about, and more importantly, how to achieve it. 

WHAT IS MINDFULNESS?

Being mindful  basically means being able to fully live in the “now”, achieving complete mind presence and awareness of what we do and experience, while not being very much influenced by what’s happening around us. Although it’s considered a basic human ability, this kind of thinking has become extremely challenging, mostly since we live in the world of constant distractions and mental stimuli. No wonder it’s become so hard focusing on what you’re doing and truly living what you experience.

What’s ,more, our mind clings to stressful situations and problems as fast as it can, making our brains a bee hive of  anxious and depressing thoughts. This is why learning how to put these mental pressures aside and live in the present is very important for staying healthy and achieving mental bliss and serenity.

How does running fit into all of this? You’ll be surprised how beneficial jogging can be for practicing mindfulness and making it part of your everyday life. Mindful running is a form of meditation, but including more aspects of healthy living as well. Here are 3 ways in which jogging leads you to a more peaceful, fulfilling mind.

JOGGING IS GREAT FOR IMPROVING MOOD

Research has shown that moderate intensity physical activity, like running, is highly beneficial, since it helps in releasing chemicals like endorphin, the mood boosting hormone, without being too intense and demanding for the body and the mind. Jogging in this sense represents moderate exercising and relaxing at the same time. Since it is rhythmic, repetitive, consistent  movement, it gives the brain relief from ruminative thinking ( thinking repetitive, unhappy thoughts).

When running, one should make it a meditative, calming experience. Bringing awareness to deep and even breathing with each step can make jogging an enlightening process, giving the sense of almost achieving superhuman fitness. Notice the sensations in your body, observe how your heart rate increases, your muscles contract and your whole body experiences a positive change.  In time, you’ll notice a great change in your mood - the more you run, the less restless and bothered you’ll feel by hectic and stressful situations that you encounter. Soon you won’t feel the need to be worked up and agitated all the time. You can easily turn it into a healthy routine. Instead of taking a medicine, eating sweets or having a cigarette, jogging can be your half-an-hour drug to put you into instant good mood for the day.

3 Ways Mindful Jogging Makes You Calmer and Happier

IMPROVING MOTIVATION  FOR BEING FIT

A lot of people struggle with finding solid reasons for exercising regularly and sticking to it in the long run. The lack of motivation usually exists due to the fact that we tend to focus on the rough and exhausting part of the whole experience.

When you take up running, what you deal with is initial physical pain, discomfort and tiredness. Your mind drifts off and the goal seems so far and unattainable. Mindful jogging can help in motivating you to stay on the right track. It then becomes not only a means of getting fit or losing weight, but also a way of giving your mind a rest, connecting with your body, improving your wellbeing and offering yourself time to appreciate your surroundings. That sounds very different, and presents a run as a positive opportunity, rather than an obstacle.

On top of that, jogging brings other joys that come on the side, like meeting other joggers and running enthusiasts. The running community is very big and there are various sites and forums helping runners become better and more skilled at what they do, offer support and encouragement and share their experiences and struggles. The sense of belonging to a goal-oriented group that shares same interests and passion can do wonders for improving motivation and will power. Resources like Jogging Addiction and others are great for getting informed about the best gear and equipment suitable for your running proficiency and preferences. Being comfortable and feeling care free about what you’re wearing is very important for making positive and pleasant emotional associations with jogging. If you’re chafing or struggling with blisters and injuries, the whole experience can become daunting, rather than relaxing.

FIGHT STRESS AND ANXIETY

Beginners to mindful running may experience a completely opposite effect to calmness and peace in the beginning. As soon as you finally collect the strength to actually run, you can find yourself calculating the time for meetings, obsessing about to-do lists, and even bringing to the surface some painful emotions, difficult decision and much more. The whole thing soon becomes very stressful and torturing.

This process is inevitable and completely normal. What’s important is fighting through the initial distress and getting to the other side, a place of bliss and comfort. When you remove the physical and emotional obstacles, jogging actually becomes very enjoyable and its true properties are revealed. Soon you’ll learn how to identify negative thinking and mindfully jog through them. Create your own guided meditation by visualizing stress as something tangible and movable. With each step you take, release a bit of the tension and anxiety, imagine yourself letting go of every bad thought you come up with and negative thinking that consumes you. Jogging can become your own self-made, free therapy.

Next time you feel grumpy, sad and just miserable - try being present, just for a little while. Awaken your conscious self and live every moment of your life. You’ll see that nothing in the present is horrible and irreversible and that lingering in the past and the future is the main problem. Make a firm decision and find your will power to introduce positive change in your thinking process for good. Take up jogging and you will never look back – only to see how far you have jogged your way out of despair.

About the author:

Sofia Alves is an avid runner, conveyor of messages, sunshine addict. Guided by the belief that health is a choice, she recently started sharing her knowledge as a contributing writer at Jogging Addiction. In her free time, you can usually find her sharing stories with friends over a glass of dry wine and a plate of her favorite pesto spaghetti.

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Submitted to CrystalWind.ca by Sofia Alves © 2019 crystalwind.ca

About the author:

Sofia Alves is an avid runner, conveyor of messages, sunshine addict. Guided by the belief that health is a choice, she recently started sharing her knowledge as a contributing writer at Jogging Addiction. In her free time, you can usually find her sharing stories with friends over a glass of dry wine and a plate of her favorite pesto spaghetti.

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