As a result they often don’t do enough to look after themselves. That’s why it’s so important to take a moment or two out of every day to be mindful.
All this involves is a few minutes to stop, close your eyes and think of nothing. Just let thoughts pass through your mind, slow your breathing and bring all the focus inward to you.
This is also a critical part of fitness and health as in order to get results, you also need to allow your body to recover and relax.
In 28 by Sam Wood I outline various mindfulness techniques you can do each day and provide 28 minutes of daily fitness guided by me and all supported by a dietitian approved nutritious and delicious meal plan.
Our mindfulness activities are just two to eight minutes in length which is long enough to escape the outside world, switch off, recalibrate, re-focus and de- stress.
It’s amazing how powerful that can be!
Here then are my top tips for developing a restful and positive mind.
1. Practice short meditations
The most effective way for me to deliberately press pause every day is to make a time for meditation.
The aim is to allow my brain and body to get the full benefits of slowing down and stepping out of “doing” mode, even if it’s just for a little bit. When you have a couple of moments – whether it’s just sitting in traffic or waiting in line, pause and take five deep, slow breaths.
Feel the full rise and fall of your belly. Focus your attention on your breath, forget emails, forget paperwork, forget your plans for the weekend and bring your mind back to the present.
It sounds very … zen, I know. But for me, doing this immediately calms me down when I really need it. Our meditations in 28 by Sam Wood are narrated by the comedian Lawrence Mooney – people just love him. He actually has a very soothing voice and you feel like you’re getting guidance from a mate which is real and relatable.
For those who haven’t experimented with meditation, or found it too hard, our style is a great place to start.
2. Do a sleep visualisation at bedtime
Many people – particularly women – don’t get enough sleep. The result is that they’re only running on around 60 per cent efficiency when they’re awake.
The most successful and highly productive people are usually the ones who get good quality rest at night. It is so important to let your mind and body recharge. Sleep visualisations are a great way to ensure you get a great night’s sleep.
One of my favourites sounds so simple, but it’s a powerful technique to help you unwind, relieve stress and (obviously) fall asleep.
Start off by imagining a place you have been where you felt calm and peaceful – it could be the ocean, a mountain, or even just a favourite room.
Recall all the sensory details like colours, texture, sound, warmth or coolness and even people that you would have there who make you feel safe. Visualise this place before you go to sleep.
3. You need to de-stress
We live in this crazy world where we’re juggling kids, jobs, family and all sorts of commitments.
Sometimes it’s not easy to calm yourself down, but you need to make an effort to try. Filling up with good food and getting active every day will give you the energy and resilience to tackle stressful situations.
If you begin worrying or overthinking, pause and bring your attention back to the present moment, just like a meditation. Tell yourself that in this moment, you’re safe and everything is fine.
This is a habit of mine and, honestly, it works wonders. Remember it’s DE-stressing not DI-stressing!
4. Keep up the positivity
Practising gratitude everyday ensures I am reminded of the great gifts I have been blessed with and creates an inner peace and happiness.
Practising gratitude has even been shown to improve symptoms of depression. You can have a crack too, it’s super easy; each night write down three things you’re grateful for.
These could include things you’re happy to have in your life, something nice that happened specifically that day, or just something that makes you smile. You’ll be surprised at how good this makes you feel!
Throughout all my years of training I’ve often noticed that a lot of women who want to lose weight are just not in the best head space. If you’re really ready to change you need to be in the right state of mind.
One of the benefits of practising all the elements of mindfulness is that it gives you clarity of thought and purpose.
In time this will help you to focus on the positives and block out the negativity which will help you get the most out of your health and fitness journey.