Why Mindfulness Matters

When living a healthy lifestyle, not very many people realize how much of an impact being psychologically in tune with one’s body can have. Although positive thinking has been proven to improve athletic performance, it can be extremely beneficial to combine a meditative state into all aspects of a person’s life. This practice is known as mindfulness and takes concepts and exercises from meditation but is adjusted so that it can easily be incorporated into an individual’s daily routine, and can, therefore, heighten one’s general satisfaction with life.

Sally Powis-Campbell, psychologist has devoted her life and career to meditation and general mindfulness with specific specialization in nutrition, eating disorders, and sport psychology.  She got into mindfulness because from a young age as she suffered from anxiety, agoraphobia, and ADHD. With the help of her father who has a background in neuroscience and martial arts, Campbell was able to quiet her “worried mind” through meditative breathing exercises and visualizations. Currently Campbell is the founder of Wholistic Health YYC, a company that incorporates mindfulness with psychology.

In the past few decades, there has been a tremendous amount of research that backs the science of meditation and the benefits of incorporating just ten minutes of it into your daily life. By practising meditation and mindfulness one can gain a deeper experience in almost all aspects of life. It can help with creating healthier eating habits, tuning senses when playing sport or exercising, becoming a better listener for loved ones and friends, or generally grounding one’s self physically and psychologically. Due to the wide range of goals and needs that people have, there are many different ways to incorporate meditative practices. Some of the different meditative practices include body scans, flow state, stillness activities, self-compassion coaching, blood flow visualization (for injured athletes and pain reduction), mindfulness based cognitive psychology (for mood disorders and depression), and journaling (for food and eating habits).

One of the reasons why people find it difficult to start incorporating meditation and mindfulness into their life is because it seems like another daunting task to add to one’s never-ending list of things to do. However, mindfulness focuses on simply being present and in the moment so it can easily be worked into some of your everyday activities. As a result, this helps anchor the activity of mindfulness into a habit that becomes natural. For example, tapping into one’s senses while enjoying a morning coffee or tea is one simple way to incorporate mindfulness into a daily routine. Although it does not sound like a very complicated task it requires ten minutes of silence, meaning no morning news or screen time, while focussing on one’s senses, such as feeling the warmth from the mug, the smell of the beverage, and of course the taste. Those ten minutes can allow an individual to simply enjoy some moments of silence, a cup of coffee, or even appreciate what it is like to slowly wake up since morning coffee is commonly an activity that is done while multitasking, such as preparing breakfast or lunch, driving, making lists, scheduling, or reflecting on the past and future. By consciously “sprinkling” mindfulness as a meditative practice into daily activities, one can intentionally become more present and appreciative of the small, insignificant moments that we complete daily.

Whether you’re struggling with stress, missing that psychological edge when training, recovering from a physical injury, or are simply interested in living a more balanced lifestyle for you and your family, meditation and mindfulness can be useful tools.

If you’re interested in learning more about mindfulness Campbell has several events in the Calgary area.

  • Sage Event @ Cross Iron Mills – Incorporates mindful movement and meditation with inhalers of essential oils. Date: February 18th, 2018. Tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite.
  • Bend & Brunch @ Wymbin Yoga – Family friendly mindful movement and nutritionally conscious food that is provided by SPUD. Date: March 3rd, 2018.
  • Kananaskis Retreat – Focuses on “disconnecting to reconnect with nature and each other” with an emphasis on trail running. Date to be announced in February!

Sally’s new book Mindfulness for Families will launch this summer and focuses on incorporating mindful and meditative activities that are accessible to the entire family!

Stay tuned for an article on meditation and mindfulness apps.

Picture from Heidi Forbes Öste. Creative Commons License.


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