Mindfulness has found its way into a variety of societal facets in recent years, from the workplace to the gym and beyond. This notion is not surprising, as present thinking is proven to better one’s quality of life; it has already been identified as a natural remedy for mental illness, excessive stress, and general awareness and sharpness.

Therefore, it is not surprising that mindfulness is experiencing increased application to fitness- and nutrition-based training regimens, where discipline and focus are key in pursuit of self-betterment. I have already stressed the importance of an “inside-out” approach to training and nutrition, and mindfulness is a great way to become more mentally sound — which in turn will lead to more efficient workouts and smarter nutritional decisions.

Shutting out distraction

Whether it is an unhealthy craving, a lingering stressor from work, or a bout of temptation from your inner couch potato, we all deal with occasional distractions as we work to maintain a healthy and consistent lifestyle. That said, mindfulness is perhaps best known for its curative potential in deterring unwanted thoughts or feelings, and fitness and nutrition regiments are excellent an proving ground for honing such abilities; they serve as a natural complement to one another. The repetitive nature of physical exercise, for instance, externally mirrors the process of knocking the mind back in place and eliminating distraction.

Practicing habitual positivity

In a previous blog, I explored the importance of positive self-talk — especially in times of frustration stemming from a recent cheat or similar setback. By employing mindful thinking, you will have an advantage in limiting this inner criticism and avoiding a perpetual cycle of unhealthy self-judgement. Mindful exercise, when boiled down, is the process of diverting thoughts, regaining focus on the present, and ultimately teaching the mind to remain concentrated amidst a storm of distractions and obstacles — a developed muscle memory of sorts — and this will ensure your intrinsic knee jerk reactions remain both positive and rational with regards to your long term goals.

There are a variety of ways to practice mindfulness, covering all experience levels, work schedules, and personality types. You may already have a successful method for keeping yourself focused throughout the week, but if you find yourself lacking in this regard — or you simply want to take your mental approach to the next level, these exercises may be a helpful addition to your training repertoire.