Think about a typical day in your life.
How many of those hours are geared towards your happiness?
Most of the time, we are simply moving through the motions of the working day.
School runs, work, family commitments- the list goes on and on.
We know how tough finding ‘me’ time can be, but moving from the mayhem of the day to your exercise mat might just be your path to greater happiness.
Not sure how? Allow us to step in.
Here are 5 ways to find more happiness from your exercise mat.
- MAKE EXERCISE YOUR PRIORITY
Rather than cramming exercise into your day, try to prioritize it instead.
Even if it means rolling the exercise mat out in the middle of your kitchen during lunch hour, make that time your own.
Self-care means making choices for the best of our physical and emotional wellbeing, so make it a conscious choice.
We sit under stress for increasingly long periods of time. Our stress mode, also known as fight-or-flight, is therefore activated for great lengths of time!
What was once a hardwired response to danger is now a survival instinct switched on by anything, from an argument to a stressful work email.
When we take the body down from stress-mode we can recover and recharge; exercise is a great way to do it.
- INCLUDE ACTIVE RECOVERY
Overtraining leads to increased risk of injury, training plateaus, and burnout which can mean increased levels of stress and overwhelm.
Doesn’t sound like fun!
We already know how important exercise is for our mental and physical wellbeing, but active recovery can be equally as important for our happiness.
Something as simple as stretching can still get the endorphins flowing and help move the body into a more positive mental space.
- JUST TURN UP
Bringing yourself to your mat each day, and simply allowing your body to move, is a kindness.
When we practice repetitively, even down to the same movements, we allow ourselves to move more intuitively and free the mind to experience the now, rather than future stressors.
As adults, we often forget to be playful. Now is your chance.
Pump the music loud, try a new class, or even dance. But just turn up!
- ACCEPT YOU’RE NOT PERFECT
There is no such thing as perfection and our determination to strive for it can often leave us wanting.
When we attach an expectation to something it tells our mind that there is an opportunity to fail.
Yoga is a practice built upon the very foundations of dropping expectation during practice. Asana (physical practice) and pranayama (breath) form the connection of body and mind.
This mind-body connection can have extraordinary effects on our wellbeing because it allows us to simply step onto the mat, forget the external noise, and move in harmony.
Approaching any form of exercise like this allows us to truly enjoy the experience and focus less on the end result. Enjoying movement for what it is can be a powerful tool for happiness.
When we feel as though we are enough, we enable ourselves contentment.
- TREAT EVERY DAY AS A NEW DAY
Each day, our mat is a blank page. This is brilliant for cultivating a positive mindset towards exercise.
When we let go of the past, our present is populated with new possibilities and something that felt impossible yesterday might feel possible today.
This allows us to drop the dread when it comes to exercise and enjoy what we can achieve on a new day!
True happiness comes when we are in our most rested and rejuvenated state, not through burnout.
Every morning we have the opportunity to change the course of our day just by showing up and moving our bodies. So let’s try to do just that.
Athlete wellbeing is an in important part of a holistic approach to sports performance. Check out our wellbeing category to find sports performance professionals who can help you find happiness on the mat.