Guest Blog: Coach Elyssa Swann on Using Mindfulness to Break Through Burn Outs (part 1)
It has happened to us all. We start out the first of the year with all of these great health goals and then about 3 months in, we start to burn out a little or maybe even give up on them. We give it everything we’ve got, then it can start to fade. Why?
There are many things that can contribute to us falling off the train, but one I’ve experienced most with my clients and Yoga students is not having a practice based in mindfulness.
What is mindfulness? By definition, "mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations."
How does this relate to our health goals? Let’s break it down…
BRING MORE AWARENESS TO YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH FOOD
When we become aware as to why we choose the food we choose, it can start to get easier to make healthy choices. We can start to see how sometimes we made food choices from an emotional state, or because we are bored, or just unconsciously eat food when it’s in front of us. A practice in mindfulness is a great way to help us uncover those deeper connections we have to food.
GET A DEEPER UNDERSTANDING OF YOUR BODY
This is huge! Having a steady mindfulness practice helps you become more familiar with your body and how it takes up space. Like when we tense our shoulders and are not aware of it, or when our knees cave in as we squat. Or when your trainer tells you to straighten your back, and you swear that you are, but he insists that you are not. Having a heightened level of body awareness helps you fine tune your workouts, posture and all around movement patterns. Implementing a practice in mindfulness will help you develop an increased level of body awareness. Some aspect of body awareness is an understanding we are born with, and as we age we become more and more disconnected to it.
IDENTIFY YOUR STRESSORS & HOW YOU MANAGE THEM
Without a mindfulness practice in place it’s easy to let the little things bother us. And those little things can put big stress on to our bodies and minds. Having awareness with how you react to a situation can make or break your day. If you allow yourself to get worked up over nothing you are building stress up in your body which can lead to all sorts of ill effects. When you can approach stressful people or events with a calm manner, you have the upper hand in how your body will react. The more you practice, the easier it gets. All mindfulness practices can help with this.
Mindfulness starts with the individual and is something you have to do everyday. In my next blog, I’ll share the top 5 ways you can start practicing mindfulness to reach your goals.
LEARN MORE: For more from Elyssa, visit her blog here.
ABOUT COACH ELYSSA SWANN
Elyssa Swann has been a dedicated personal fitness & lifestyle coach and health activist since 2002. Her specialization in training focuses on body fat reduction, functional strength training, pre/post injury rehabilitation, and mobility. More recently, she has been working as an enthusiastic yoga instructor. She hopes to continue her passion as a yoga instructor and grow her practice. She believes her personal training background and yoga experience helps her better understand how the body functions. The two complement each other well and provide a balance between strength and focus.
Elyssa’s knowledge in personal training and yoga are not the only things that make her a unique coach; she finds importance in creating personal connections with the people around her. She has a positive, energetic outlook on life and she strives to encourage others to do the same. Her workouts can be tough but are often filled with laughter. She strongly believes that a healthy lifestyle does not solely consist of the physical, but rather a well-rounded connection between mind and body. In her off time, she enjoys traveling, indulging in creative projects, and pursuing the richness that the world has to offer.