If you’re anything like me, you deal with a lot of stress, daily. I found ways to handle stress and anxiety naturally, even in my most anxious moments, and I’m excited to share them with you.
As part 2 of my 6 part Pilates Series, I want to talk about all the ways Pilates has helped my body and mind. Last week we talked about how Pilates has helped my body and reduce pain, and so I wanted to talk about how it has helped my mind this week.
Below you’ll find some “home exercises” to help quiet your mind and find a way to relieve stress and anxiety, quickly, at home. You’ll even see a video from one of my favorite instructors and be guided through a quick 1 minute activity you can do anywhere to reduce stress and clear your mind.
Plus you’ll hear first hand how I learned how to handle stress and anxiety during my book release, media tour all while balancing it with family and a painful nerve disease.
Why I love Pilates for Stress and Anxiety Relief
Pilates uses intentional, fluid movements of the body to gain strength and flexibility. These intentional movements can also help you find stress relief. It’s great for the mind and the body, below I’ll talk about (more like gush over) why I love Pilates to reduce stress and anxiety.
Shut Off Your Thoughts
Pilates is certainly a challenge for your body, but it’s also a challenge for your mind. You have to be present and listening intently to your instructor, and if you get a good one you’ll love doing just that!
There is a lot of choreography, and verbal cues from your instructor, and to get the best workout you want (and also so you don’t slow down the entire class) you can’t let your mind wander, but it’s easy because you’re already challenging your brain.
I love that in Pilates, I easily shut off my wandering mind and listen intently to the teacher. There is too much going on and I naturally push everything out of my mind for one glorious hour. Ever want to turn off your thoughts? Try Pilates!
So you’ve done your class, and for a full hour you didn’t have the time to think about your problems… but now, as you’re walking to your car is the most important moment.
Really listen to your brain, let it come naturally. Often after you have stopped over analyzing something you “awaken” with new mental clarity on the subject. Kind of like when you “sleep on it” and wake up with a new perspective.
You may find that you don’t even think of what’s been causing anxiety as you walk away, try to let it go in that moment. Perhaps it was an argument you had earlier in the day, you can stop thinking of the perfect comeback and just move on with your life.
You’ve probably heard of “runner’s high” by now, and it’s recently been proven, exercise does release endorphins giving you a natural “high.” So does meditation and controlled breathing exercises… ding, ding, ding, Pilates hits on all 3.
Now I’m not that gal who’s always is looking for the next thrill seeker high (not knocking it, you all kick butt) but in times of stress and anxiety, flipping that switch in my brain helps reduce stress.
Endorphins trigger positive feelings, and can help create a more positive outlook on life. So when in doubt, move your body babe! Get your body moving and let your body help your brain out a little.
Feel Strong and Confident
In Pilates I’m constantly challenging my body and with that gaining strength. I feel invincible after mastering a new exercise or kicking butt in class. like nothing can stop me! Something like that is very important in my line of work.
When your body feels strong, you feel confident and that confidence can help you make a tough decision or carry out a task you’ve been dreading.