Body - Brain & Mind.
The importance of the body, brain and mind working together as one, cannot be emphasised enough. Failing to maintain it, over time, can only lead to a break down.
A large percentage of us have stopped moving, studies show that the benefits of exercise are quite amazing on mental, not just physical health.
The great outdoors.
Cycling, running or walking gets you outdoors. In the fresh air, the sun and nature. The benefits on health are amazing. After a stressful event, stress is reduced, you relax once you start to appreciate the natural environment. Relaxing, then getting back to the task and completing it becomes easier.
Vitamin D from the sun aids in the body absorbing Calcium, 99% of which comes from the food we eat, the body cannot produce its own calcium.
Activities such as this, give you time to contemplate, make decisions in an environment where there is less distraction. Giving you the opportunity to live in the moment, exercising mindfulness, nothing matters, other than what you are currently doing.
As I've gained more knowledge and understanding of how the body, brain and mind work in unison, my brain activity was slowing down when I was out riding. This hadn't happened naturally for years; my brain became coherent. Functioning became easier, intrusive thoughts dissipated.
You can use these activities to attain your weekly exercise goal, reaching your cardiovascular target outdoors is simply incredible, having an overall positive effect on your body, brain and mind.
When we achieve what I've been discussing, we are in flow, the zone, the place where we have a peaceful mind. We can achieve this in any way we are comfortable with, it doesn't matter what it is. When we achieve it, we experience transient hypofrontality, this is a temporary lowering in activity in the frontal cortex of the brain. The focused thinking part of our brain shuts off and other parts of the brain become active.
We get to look at life from the different perspective we are looking for, to make decisions, link ideas that we have together.
This where we can we determine who we want to be, answer or generate questions.
Working as a partnership, we can realise these ideas, moving your life forward.
These forms of activities inevitably lead to achievements and goals you set for yourself. It's important to remember why you set the goals in the first place, it's quite easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to everyone else. It becomes a competition; you're losing the point of why you started doing these activities in the first place.
If you aren't careful you will become unhealthily competitive, when you aren't competing. If you find yourself in a position where it's active competition you are looking for, and you've signed up for an event, remain consciously aware that you are meant to be enjoying yourself.
Competitiveness is something which is easy to fall into with the advent of exercise trackers, I've spoken to cyclists and runners I know, who were comparing themselves to segment times on fitness apps, I too was involved in this behaviour. Pretty soon that’s all you're doing is chasing time's which aren't realistic. Or it could be, you are ‘beating’ people you don't even know, in an unimportant, imaginary race, that never existed. If you take it too seriously, you'll end up missing the point of it all.
If used correctly these activities can be used in an extremely positive way, they will allow you to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Achieve things you never thought possible, the opportunity to travel with these kinds of sports are also prevalent. With many tour operators offering organised trips, giving you the chance to meet likeminded people. Participating in these activities will undoubtedly mean you will achieve, the achievements and lessons learned from them being applicable to life. Enabling you to change your perception of yourself.
Tibetan singing bowls have been used for centuries, the sounds and vibrations they produce, help restore our body and mind, when they are diseased, or their vibrational frequency is out of harmony. In a sound bath, or a sound therapy. The sound generated by the cymbals, gongs and singing bowls, are a type of energy that promotes healing from anxiety, depression and stress. The energy waves syncing with our brain waves, creating a meditative state.
A sound bath is a highly relaxing experience, the only issue being, there will be another ten or more people in the same room.
Where this can be an enjoyable way to meet people, who could be suffering with the same issues that you are suffering with. For some people the thought of being in that room could be too much.
I am fortunate enough to have a friend that works in sound therapy, which enabled me to experience this, at home, in my lounge. If you aren't in a place where you feel confident enough to get out and experience this in public. This is a fantastic alternative, where it's you and the practitioner in a room alone.
Heart - Brain Coherence.
Have a heart.
There has been extensive research done over the last forty years, on the effect of heart activity on the brain. By elevating positive thoughts and emotions while breathing through the heart area. We can learn to generate heart rhythm coherence, our heart sends coherent signals to our brain, the brain and heart become coherent with each other. This has an overall positive affect on our body as a whole. It also helps with perception, thoughts and feelings. Achieving it triggers the release of positive hormones.
There are numerous methods of achieving results, if you are experiencing anger, anxiety, frustration or stress, there is a quick coherence technique to resolve these issues.
I have a Heartmath monitor, which measures and scores you on your heartrate variability and coherence.
The aim being to give us an idea of our inner balance and health.
If the outdoors isn't your favourite place to train right now, there's always your local gym, or health and well-being centre. It's a great place to train before or after work. Training in the morning gets our body moving, which gets our mind going, making us feel energised and ready for the day ahead. It's also a fantastic place to meet likeminded people, who are interested in their own health and well-being.
We need to participate in resistance training, it can strengthen our bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Maintaining muscle also aids in managing our weight, our body's burn more calories when they have more muscle mass. Repairing muscle also burns more calories, this in turn tones our muscles and protects our joints from damage. Training with weight can also build stamina and improve your posture. As with any exercise, it has a positive effect on mental health. Having the ability to aid us in improving our self-esteem and confidence. Anxiety, depression and stress, along with insomnia are also affected in a positive way.
Always good after a workout in the gym, the hot tub and spa have many benefits. Obviously you don't have to exercise prior to this. A visit to the spa is extremely relaxing, the hot tub relieving stress through the heat and the massaging properties of the moving water. Studies show soaking in the hot water, could also lower blood pressure. It's also a great place to socialise, there are often many regulars there.
Then there's the steam room or the sauna, after a quarter of an hour in either, you feel like a different person. Relaxed and revitalised, on many occasions the conversation on the journey home, was how great we were feeling.
The steam room has the ability to
- Improve circulation
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduce stress
- Clear congestion
- Beneficial after a workout
- Boosts our immune system
Meditation and the brain.
Studies show that meditation is proven to change the brain over time, dealing with anxiety, depression and stress can be helped by making this practice a part of your daily routine. The beauty of meditation, you don't need any special equipment to do it, you don't have to leave your own home.
Consciously you may want change in your life, to make lasting change, you must get past the analytical mind (the part between the conscious and the subconscious), allowing you access to the subconscious. By the time we are thirty-five, we spend ninety five percent of the time, running our lives from the sub-conscious mind. Meditation allows us to achieve this, slowing our brain waves, calming your mind. Once you've achieved this, your brain waves reach a level, that they were at when you were a child. Where your programming took place, when you were suggestive, now real progress can be made.
When we meditate the default mode network, the part of the brain containing the annoying voice, activity is reduced, or shut off. This continues for hours after we've stopped meditating, we become less judgemental of others and ourselves.
Immediate benefits of meditation.
- Increased relaxation
- More focus
- Enhanced creativity
Common Meditation Forms & Benefits.
- Description: Mindfulness involves paying full attention to the present moment without judgment. It often focuses on the breath or bodily sensations.
- Benefits: Reduces stress, improves focus, enhances self-awareness, and promotes emotional regulation.
- Description: Metta meditation involves generating feelings of love and compassion for oneself and others, often through repeating affirmations or phrases.
- Benefits: Increases empathy, reduces negative emotions, and fosters a sense of connectedness and goodwill.
Chakra - Energy Centers.
- Description: Chakra meditation focuses on aligning and balancing the body's energy centers (chakras) through visualization and affirmations.
- Benefits: Promotes emotional and spiritual well-being, enhances energy flow, and supports self-healing.
- Description: Also known as yogic sleep, Yoga Nidra is a guided meditation that leads you into a state of conscious relaxation, often done while lying down.
- Benefits: Reduces stress, improves sleep, and enhances self-awareness and creativity.
- Description: Mantra meditation involves the repetition of a specific word, sound, or phrase to calm the mind and induce a state of meditation.
- Benefits: Increases concentration, reduces stress, and can lead to spiritual growth.
- Description: TM involves silently repeating a mantra to reach a state of deep relaxation and transcend thought.
- Benefits: Reduces anxiety, promotes relaxation, and may improve creativity and problem-solving
- Description: Guided meditations are led by an instructor or recorded voice, directing your thoughts and imagery to achieve a specific goal, such as stress reduction or personal growth.
- Benefits: Helps beginners learn meditation techniques, provides structure, and can address specific concerns.
- Description: Zen meditation involves sitting in silence and observing thoughts without attachment. It often includes koans (paradoxical questions or statements).
- Benefits: Enhances focus, cultivates mindfulness, and encourages insight and enlightenment.
- Description: In a body scan, you systematically focus your attention on different parts of your body, often starting from the toes and moving upward.
- Benefits: Promotes relaxation, helps identify and release tension, and improves body awareness.
- Description: Vipassana involves observing bodily sensations, thoughts, and emotions without attachment. It's often practiced in silence during extended retreats.
- Benefits: Enhances insight, deepens self-awareness, and can lead to profound personal transformation
The choice of meditation style depends on personal preferences and goals. Exploring different forms can help you find the one that resonates most with you and provides the specific benefits you seek.
Cycling has been a fantastic way of resolving many problems, my competitiveness being one. I'd also spent hours, disassembling most of the issues I had in life.
Making important decisions, while being in flow or the moment. Also spending time focusing on my future, creating it in my mind.
Understanding I wouldn't have the time, to ride as I had been. I required another place, that offered me the opportunity to be present.
Meditation, where it achieves the same goal, is different, calm, and quiet.
With less sensory input, less noise, no taste, no feeling of the wind in my face, or the beauty of the surroundings.
In the deepness of the present moment, without normal thought, you can create your future.
What you imagine, you become. I participate in some form of meditation daily.
An effective way of changing your mood quickly, is listening to relaxing music, or making your own. Doing this changes your current state of mind, to a preferable one, almost instantly.
Listening to vinyl is a love of mine now, the interaction with the record, turning it over, cleaning it. This makes it more of an experience, more therapeutic. It doesn't matter what you listen to, or what medium you use to do so, it's about the result.
Playing an instrument, making your own music, is something different. I myself have started to play the bass guitar; this is a skill I never mastered when I played the double bass in school. Creating your own sounds, is excellent, learning to play means you must make a commitment to it. The rewards are fantastic, the sense of achievement when you are playing is amazing. You can interact with other people you may know that play, learn from them and enjoy yourself.
Disscusion and help.
I can guarantee, participating in these activities will be beneficial to your health and well-being. Where exercise is an effective and enjoyable way of dealing with mental and physical health needs.
You will probably find, when your brain activity calms down, you will have answers to issues you are experiencing, you will also have questions. What should you do next, how are you going to move on in life?
This is something we can discuss, if you ride a bike, we could ride together, we could go to Majorca and do it there. We could go and walk up Snowdon, or some other peak. Another option of course, is walking somewhere you feel comfortable, a local park, or we could walk on a beach. It's about getting you the answers and giving you the support, you need to make these decisions.
The possibilities are open and endless, let's have that conversation.