Who's starting with us?
With a dizzying deluge of emails and the distraction of, oh, the entire internet, at our fingertips, it's no surprise that people are finding it increasingly hard to feel present and grounded throughout the day. Ready to change things? Below, Group Fitness Instructor Danielle Koblinski of the River Oaks Equinox in Houston, Texas, offers some simple advice to slow your roll.
1. Carve out time daily for meditation.
Even a five-minute break to focus on your breathing or a 15-minute stress-melting track on apps like Simple Habit or Headspace can lift you into better spirits and help you create a stronger connection with your body. "You don’t have to be a pro to meditate. You don’t need to shut your mind off completely to gain insight; in fact, it’s almost impossible to shut the mind off completely," says Koblinski. "[At] the end [of a meditation session], I get to come out of it and go on about my day with new breath, a softer heart, and a greater connection to myself and those around me."
2. Instead of taking pictures, take a moment to look, see, and appreciate.
You'll be amazed at what a difference this easy practice makes. "I recently traveled to Breckenridge, Colorado. I took three pictures total. A picture of the beauty I saw does that city no justice. I’ll always remember what the mountains and the colors of the leaves looked like because I actually just looked," says Koblinski. "Let’s put the phones down and take mental photos. Those are the best kind!"
3. Swap any “I don’ts” in your thoughts for “I dos."
This mental shift encourage you to reframe any negatives in your life into positives. "I currently don't have a truck with a working transmission. I currently don’t have a working vehicle. While walking to work feeling bummed about my situation, I thought to myself, 'I do have working legs, I do have the opportunity to Uber, I do have a community of people who support me when I need help,'" shares Koblinski. By doing so, Koblinski was able to turn a would-be difficult situation into a moment of gratitude.
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4. "What has happened in the past has happened. What will happen in the future, will happen. All we have is the here and now."
"This mantra is something I turn to daily. After being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at 28, I quickly realized that all I have IS the present moment. I woke one morning not being able to see or feel from the waist down. I’ll never forget that," says Koblinski. "I can't control my diagnosis, but I CAN control my outlook on the situation. I can see and I can walk and feel my legs again. I’m going to bask in that glory for as long as I can. What will come, will come. I’ve still had a pretty amazing life!"
5. Break a sweat.
"It’s true. For me, a cycle class offers me the time to think only about what we’re doing for 45 minutes. It's a moving meditation," says Koblinski. Of course, cycling classes aren't for everyone, but all people can find a class or physical activity that resonates for them. "Whatever your moving preference is, let yourself have that reward of 'me time.'" Some days — yes — bubble baths count.