When you’re relaxed and feeling good, you are more likely to make thoughtful decisions, understand and remember what you should be doing, and perform well in the gym.
You’ll also be able to view mistakes as learning experiences rather than failures.
This means a stronger, healthier, and leaner body in the long run.
And guess what? You don’t have to wait for positive thoughts and feelings to just drift into your life. You can purposely create them, and a relaxed state, by training your body and mind.
Here’s an easy way to start relaxing!
Focus On Your Breathing!
Here’s a little exercise to do before you go to bed tonight to help you get that good night’s sleep.
Lie down comfortably on your back. Close your eyes. Put one hand on your belly and one hand on your chest. (You can also use a pillow on your stomach, if you like.)
Now, focus on what the belly hand is doing. You want that hand to rise up and down gently as you breathe. The chest hand shouldn’t move much – you want to be breathing deeply, from your abdomen, with your diaphragm fully engaged.
Breathe in – belly expands, hand goes up. Try to expand your belly to the ceiling. Breathe out – belly lowers, hand goes down. Try to push your navel to the ground.
Take twenty slow, mindful “belly breaths.” Don’t rush. You don’t have to think about anything in particular besides your belly hand going up and down.
Notice how you feel, and how the breathing changed your heart rate. You probably feel a bit calmer. You probably feel like you could focus again, and are probably more mentally ready. You might even have conked out by around breath #15. (We consider that a success!)
Once you have the hang of how belly breathing feels when lying down, try it while standing or seated, in daily life. You don’t have to huff and puff, just quietly take 10-20 deep belly breaths. Use this technique any time you need to relax.
(Taking some deep breaths before you eat helps to relax your digestive system, and prime your body to eat the right amount of food for you.)
Part 2 reviews the Part 1 exercises and then shares additional ways to use the roller!