If you read my blogs you’ll know that I was diagnosed with a condition called
Fibromyalgia a loooong time ago. I am lucky that Pilates and mindfulness I have been able to manage this. But I know that symptoms are made much worse by stress so I make it a priority to be as “zen” as possible…not always easy but it’s a good goal to have.
I don’t get stressed very often but when I do I can find it quite hard to get “un stressed”. Once you start on that negative cycle breaking it can be hard. And especially in the last year I have found Pilates to be so powerful in helping to break this cycle.
If I start to feel a bit stressed or am having a bad day I’ve started to reluctantly pull my mat out and just do something! I set my timer for 10 minutes because who has the motivation for a long workout when they are stressed? I get on my mat, fed up and not wanting to do anything, and to be fair sometimes I do just lie there. But most of the time I do a little bit of gentle Pilates with a BIG focus on breathing and after 10 minutes I can definitely feel the benefit.
So here are a few of the reasons why I think Pilates can be great for stress, anxiety or just those days when you are feeling a bit ugh!
It’s relaxing- focusing on your breathing and taking full, deep breaths relaxes your nervous system…a win against stress or anxiety!
Although it’s relaxing it doesn’t mean you can just switch off – you need a strong mind/body connection , not in an airy fairy way but because your mind needs to be completely focused on what each part of your body is doing, you can’t just fling yourself about, it’s all about control.
It gives your brain a break! Because your brain is so busy focusing on what to move, what to keep still, what your core is doing and so on it can’t really drift off to your to do list, or the non napping baby or whatever it is that was stressing you in the first place. Doing Pilates is a nice way to give your brain and your emotions 5 minutes peace!
And of course there are the lovely exercise endorphins…everyone knows that exercise = happy hormones and happy hormones are a great way to kick stress out of your life!
Last but not least, it makes you feel good! Even on the most rubbish days where you don’t want to get out of bed if you can say to yourself “oh I did 10 minutes Pilates today” you’ll feel that little bit better, more productive and healthier.
So if you are feeling stressed or having a bit of a bad day why not take a few minutes to do some really gentle moves and see how you feel after? Watch this space as I will be sharing a short 'Pilates to de-stress' video soon :)