Jogging is a critical part of my life. One important reason why I run regularly is that I want to be healthy and look after my family.
It allows me to have more energy so that I can grow my business and do my best for everyone around me.
But I jog for more than the physical benefits it gives me. I also jog because it’s part of my meditation and mental health practice.
We often think of meditation as an activity that you have to do only while seated and with your eyes closed. However, you can also meditate while moving. I do it every time I go for a run. And in this post, I’ll break down the mental exercises I run through as I jog.
When you practice meditation regularly, you start to develop a more disciplined mind. And in time, this creates mental and emotional benefits that will lead to long-term mental resilience.
How to turn your jogging into a meditative practice
When I jog, I don’t allow my thoughts to wander around mindlessly. I ‘run’ through specific mental exercises as I jog. Here’s how it goes:
The act of being consciously grateful pulls you up and boosts your mood and motivation. I like to think about my family, my business, the people I work with, my health, and other things.
When you run, deliberately focus on what is good in your life and be thankful for them. And every time you run, think about something different.
For example, I sometimes express the gratitude that I was able to take my part-time effort of building a product and grow it into a full-fledged business. Something that happened because I met the right people and also focused on solving a need.
On another day, I’d think about my children and the joy they bring into my life.
In this way, every day you run can have a different focus for your gratitude practice, making it lively and interesting.
Visualization for future accomplishments
Running is a perfect time to project what you want to accomplish in the future.
As I run, I mentally visualize what I want for my life, my family, and my business in the years to come.
You can make this activity organized by thinking about different time periods.
What do you want to accomplish today? Then, what are your goals for the week?
In a step-by-step way, I deliberately create powerful visualizations for things I want to do this coming quarter, the next year, the next three years, and five years from now.
This practice engages the brain and gives it important information to focus on. As a result, at an unconscious level, your mind will start to find ways and pick up information that will make these goals come true.
Observe your environment
The main focus of meditation is to make you present and be in tune with your thoughts and the environment.
And jogging is the perfect time to meditate in motion.
Start by looking at objects around you. List off the following as you run:
- Name the different things that you can see as your jog
- What can you hear?
- Notice aromas and different smells
- Can you taste something in the air as you run?
By engaging your senses, you stay present instead of having your thoughts wander. This type of jogging meditation grounds you, frees up your mental energy, and will make you productive throughout the day.
Jogging is a key part of my life that enables me to become a better leader, parent, and husband. And it’s not just because of the physical benefits you get from running.
If you plan your regular exercises to include a mental component, you’ll get the benefits of boosting your mental performance too.
In this post, I’ve laid out the ways in which I meditate while running. You can use this as a template for your own exercise practice or make changes that suit you.
Just give it a go and make it a part of your everyday routine and in a very short time, you’ll see powerful benefits.