Our tae kwon do practice provides us with a lot of things that are good for our bodies. Strength. Flexibility. Endurance. Although we may not be thinking about it during a physically challenging class, these are exactly the kinds of qualities that we are internally cultivating as well. And thank goodness for that!
Strength, flexibility and endurance are key pieces for our physical, mental, spiritual and emotional resilience during this time. One common definition of resilience is the ability to “bounce back” after a stressful event or challenge has happened. But a newer definition takes resilience to a higher level. Resilience can be thought of as the capacity to prepare for, recover from and adapt in the face of stress, challenge or adversity. I like the word “capacity” in that definition, because it means that resilience is not an “all or none” thing- it fluctuates like energy in a battery. In these times of challenges, we build our mental and emotional resilience capacity and have more to draw on when we need it, just like we exercise our bodies in class and become stronger physically.
Creating simple daily ways to recharge mentally and emotionally can be extremely helpful, and they have the extra benefit of improving our immune system function and quieting our body’s stress response. If you can, go outside or open a window. Spend 5-10 minutes or more focusing on the sound of the birds, or the feel of the sun on your face. Or focus your attention on your heart, and imagine that your breath is moving in and out of your heart or chest area. These types of meditative, centering exercises help calm and rebalance our nervous system.
Other free options include:
Kaiser Permanente free meditation audioguides–
HeartMath Global Coherence app and Inner Balance app – www.heartmath.org-– can download these from the app store for free. Both have audioguides, and the Global Coherence App has two audio guides specific for coronavirus.
Other smart phone apps: Breathing Zone- Mindful Breathing, Breathe2Relax, Insight Timer-Guided Meditations app, Calm app
Strength, flexibility, endurance, resilience: even just a few minutes taken to support ourselves mentally and emotionally can make a big difference. See what you think!
Dr. Danna Park specializes in Integrative Medicine, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. She received her M.D. degree from Tufts University, completed a combined residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics and is a graduate of the Residential Fellowship in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona. She is Board-certified in all three specialties. Dr. Park provides integrative consultations for adults and children with a variety of medical conditions and also works with people who want to take an active approach in maintaining their wellness. Dr. Park has specialized training in mind-body medicine, vitamins and supplements, nutritional approaches for brain-based disorders and integrative cancer care. For more information, call 828-333-3339 or go to www.mountainintegrative.com .