Improve Your Physical State to Improve Your Mental State: Part I

What you do with your body has a direct impact on your mental state. This means that by adopting the right physical habits you can be happier, more confident, and more energetic. Studies show the link between physical activity and mental health and anyone who exercises can feel the beneficial effects on mental state. In his excellent book, The Body Keeps the Score, Bessel Van Der Kolk details the physical practices that he has used successfully to treat trauma. In their book, Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes your Mind, Brain & Body, Dan Goleman and Richard Davidson, discuss the latest science showing the benefits of meditation on mental well being. Here, I will provide three of these modalities. These practices can serve as part of a morning routine or as stand alone practices anytime that you want to feel better.

Breathwork

Breathwork describes methods of utilizing the breath to physically change ones mental state. Much breathwork is based on Pranayama, an Indian Yogic practice that has been around for over two thousand years. Modern celebrities like Wim Hoff (The Iceman) have popularized breathwork. Here are a couple of excellent videos by Taylor Sommerville of Symmetry that provide some breathwork routines.

This Video Describes a Number of Breathing Practices and Gives a Morning Routine
This Video Provides a Great Short Routine Any Time you Need a Quick Boost

Yoga

Yoga can also be a great way to start your day positively and get your blood flowing. Here are a couple of quick Yoga routines from Juliana and Mark at Boho Beautiful!

Great Yoga Workout Video
Awesome Morning Flow With Stunning Natural Beauty

Qui Gong

Chi Gong is a Chinese breathing and movement practice that can provide a very peaceful way to begin or end a day. Here is a quick Qui Gong routine:

Excellent 10 minute Morning Routine with Lee Holden

I hope that you find these practices help bring you more positive energy. You can add them into a morning routine or into any space in which you need more positive vibrations! Next week, I’ll discuss another group of practices to help you muster your resources and bring your mental A-game. Until then, keep living your best life!

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