Chapter 3: Relaxation
Rhythmic Movement and Mindful Exercise
The idea of exercising may not sound particularly soothing, but rhythmic exercise that gets you into a flow of repetitive movement can be very relaxing. Examples include:
For maximum stress relief, add mindfulness to your workout While simply engaging in rhythmic exercise will help you relieve stress, if you add a mindfulness component on top, you’ll get even more benefit.
As with meditation, mindful exercise requires being fully engaged in the present moment—paying attention to how your body feels right now, rather than your daily worries or concerns. In order to “turn off” your thoughts, focus on the sensations in your limbs and how your breathing complements your movement.
If you’re walking or running, for example, focus on the physicality of each step—the sensation of your feet touching the ground, the rhythm of your breath while moving, and the feeling of the wind against your face. If your mind wanders to other thoughts, gently return to focusing on your breathing and movement.