Recently I found that I was losing interest and enjoyment in running, which upset me because it’s a sport that’s great for you and easily accessible, and the one that I’m best at! I know that this is partly because I do the same route every time, and I get bored by this, but I’d still prefer to run in a park than along the roads breathing in all the pollution. I don’t want to stop running, so I’ve tried to make it more interesting. After researching some solutions to this problem, I stumbled across this article by Headspace on Huffington post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/22/meditation-in-action-running-mindfulness_n_3625110.html
I read this, printed it off, read it again and tried to apply these tips when I went out for my usual run. I really applied the tip of being much more aware of my surroundings, just noticing things that interested me, from swooping seagulls to vibrant flowers. Not only did it take my mind off some of the pain, it really helped to take my mind off any other worries and it allowed me to enjoy my run more. I must have done this route hundreds of times, but I’d never paid so much attention to it before.
I also thought that the idea of combining the feeling of pain I was experiencing with myself rather than separating the pain from myself helpful, as it helped my focus and seemed to improve my stamina mentally.
Undoubtedly, my attitude towards this method helped me hugely. I loved the idea of mindful running, and I really wanted it to work. Had I gone running with negative expectations, convinced that it wouldn’t work, I doubt that I would have enjoyed the run as much.
I also took the pressure off myself a bit by leaving my watch at home, as even when I say I won’t push myself, if I’m wearing it I’m often tempted to push myself harder. This particular run was more enjoyable because I took it easy and ran for fun rather than against the time. I’m now looking forward to practising mindful running more!
I’ve downloaded the Headspace app before, but I’ve often given the pathetic excuse that I don’t have enough time. The app offers 10 minute mindfulness sessions, and the truth is, if I have enough time to check my phone for 10 minutes, I have enough time to meditate for 10 minutes. There are also free podcasts which you can download from Headspace.
The app is a great way to introduce meditation into your routine, and already the voice of Andy Puddicombe has become my new best friend. I’m determined to practise meditation until it becomes almost as habitual as brushing my teeth; the proven benefits are too good to miss out on.
If you’re struggling with motivation to exercise, try reading this to find out how mindfulness can help: https://www.headspace.com/blog/view/130/exercise-workout-routines-why-the-mind-matters
For more information, visit: https://www.headspace.com/