Keep Your “Mind Full” of Positivity
Three Tips For Staying Mindful While Running
Mindfulness is “paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.” (Jon Kabat Zinn) When we think of Mindfulness, we typically picture meditation and for good reason: During meditation we pay attention to our thoughts and breath. Especially right now, it might seem hard to live in the moment and appreciate your immediate surroundings. However, practicing mindfulness can lessen stress, cultivate presence, and boost overall wellbeing.
For athletes like us, it is incredibly important to find a tie between our minds and our bodies. Mindful running can help us foster the connection between mental and physical engagement. What is mindful running? This is simply being in the present. We do this using all five senses. Asking ourselves simple questions: what do we see, smell, hear, feel, taste? Playfully focus on each moment right as it is happening: each step, breath, and thought. Instead of thinking about the finish line, we can choose to enjoy what is happening in the present.
There are plenty of benefits with mindful running. By paying attention, we notice what matters. This may be physical sensations in the body, our breathing, and negative thoughts. We can build awareness and make wise choices about our training instead of guessing. Mindfulness also allows for us to cope with the entire experience. Finally, greater possibilities unfold, including self-belief. We can pay attention to negative thoughts as they pop into our minds (“I am so tired”) and replace them with thoughts that mimic sideline cheers (“I am amazing!”).
Barbara Powell, MA, NBC-HWC
LT MindCoach, MA Integrative Health and Wellbeing Coaching, (almost) 10x marathoner and 2x Boston Marathon Qualifier