WAC Magazine

JUNE | JULY 2015

Issue link: http://www.wacmagazine.com/i/519795

Contents of this Issue


Page 25 of 71

26 | Washington Athletic Club Magazine | JUNE / JULY 2015 A s humans, our productivity, innovation, and stress-management rely on our brains' ability to focus—a cornerstone of mindfulness. The more we focus, the better we operate. There's a scientific reason for this. When our brains concentrate acutely on something they release a chemical called norepinephrine (aka noradrenaline), which, in turn, helps us concentrate even more. Mindfulness—or a moment-by-moment nonjudgmental awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment—helps us focus. Practicing mindfulness can begin small, such as a few strategic breaths taken over a single minute, and expand exponentially. Not only will such practice improve our mental performance, but it can also reduce blood pressure and kick-start weight loss among a host of other advantages. So how can we improve our mindfulness? The following five tips provide practical and achievable steps. 1. BREATHE DEEPLY Holistic and sports medicine experts advocate a wide variety of breathing techniques for a myriad of goals. The common denominator is to exhale longer than you inhale if you need to release stress, or to inhale longer and retain breath if you need to focus. Take a minimum of five long deep breaths through your nose several times a day to help combat the sympathetic nervous system's release of cortisol when the body Wellness By Julia Freimund I t doesn't matter—it's in the past! Most of us spend way too much time ruminating about the past, good times or bad. We also like to spend a good deal of mental energy pinning hopes and fears on what the future holds for us and our loved ones. It is surprising, then, that most of us do not work harder at attaining our most powerful state-of-being—to be fully present in the moment. Many ancient traditions recognized the powerful advantages of being present even before modern-day studies proved the significant health benefits. Mindfulness, as it has come to be termed, also improves our ability to innovate, learn and integrate in a more positive way with our environment. This month's Wellness article gives us some step-by-step instructions about how we can tune in to the here and now. The more you practice these exercises, the more you'll be able to live in a state of creative and calm focus. Tamela Thomas, Wellness Manager tamelat@wac.net 206.464.4639 Respecting the here and now Mindfulness matters Follow these five steps for a better life every day

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of WAC Magazine - JUNE | JULY 2015