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Beat Stressful Times With A Good Stretch

We could all do with a more peaceful life, and there are many ways to try to get that. One of the most popular ways is with yoga. 

 

Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years and is something that everybody and everybody can benefit from. 

 

Often our attention is pulled in so many different directions. Our family needs us, work has issues, bills need to be paid, and you still need to think about what to cook for dinner. 

 

It all seems small at the time, but it builds up pretty quickly – until it can feel like it is unmanageable. 

 

Anxiety, stress, and feeling overworked and overwhelmed are no way to live your daily life. And when all of these things start to pile up, it can be too easy to find yourself turning to something to help you cope. 

 

One of the most common reasons people turn to alcohol and then to alcohol rehab is to use alcohol as a coping mechanism. 

take a deep breath mother trucker yoga blog

Why should you consider yoga?

There isn’t just one type of yoga; there are many different types, so there is something for everyone. It works on engaging more than just your body and seeks to engage your emotions and mental well-being. And with Mother Trucker Yoga- trucking yoga, it’s all about mindful movements, stretching, and fitness explicitly made for drivers just like you. 

 

Since yoga has many different types and intensities, you can explore what works. Typically, the right yoga style will leave you feeling calm, rejuvenated, and your body will indeed thank you. And as a driver, trucking yoga focuses on small, simple changes, the easy, quick exercises you can do in just minutes a day.

 

Yoga will focus on your breathing and help you learn how to control it. Careful breathing techniques are great at reducing anxiety and helping you focus on the moment. It is perfect for calming loud thoughts too. Trucking yoga focuses a lot on breathing because your breath is your lifeforce, and learning to control your breathing can alter how you think, feel and move every day.

 

There might be some meditation in your yoga practice, which will help you to highlight negative thoughts, what triggers them, and how you can remove them. 

 

And of course, the most significant part of yoga is the poses. The poses will release tension in your body and increase your core strength and flexibility. There are some easy beginner poses, and then there are those that require more focus and effort. 

 

Health benefits of yoga

Everything that we gain from doing yoga is positive, and it is well known for offering some of the easiest ways to beat down your stress levels. 

 

Improved fitness is one of the things you will get from doing yoga regularly. It helps with range of motion, flexibility, and balance. And when it comes to driver fitness, yoga is one of the best ways to get moving again, no matter your age or body type is. 

 

Stress reduction is the number one benefit of doing yoga. After even one yoga session, you will get a sense of calm and well-being, and the more you do it, the more often you experience those moments. 

 

A complete yoga flow will help you calm your mind, control your breathing and work out tension in the body. And it has been shown to help improve anxiety, migraines, stress, depression, and sleeplessness. 

 

What makes yoga a great choice is that each pose can be modified to work with what your body needs. 

 

Small changes like adding a yoga flow or drinking more water make a huge difference to our bodies and minds; read more: National Drink Water Day – 6 Reasons Science Says You Should Drink Water

 

Keeping Your Mind Sharp: International Brain Health Week

It’s International Brain Health Awareness Week

(March 14-20, 2022)

Let’s celebrate by taking care of our brain health!

“Even before you leave the womb, your brain works throughout your life to control your body’s functions and helps you understand and interact with the world around you”.  When you focus on maintenance for your brain you will then help your mind stay focused, clear, and alert when you need it to and train your brain to respect downtime play, and rest when needed!

As truckers you know the importance of heart health, but what about brain health?

Brain health is all about maintaining and reducing risk factors and respecting the machine within. As we get older our brains when not taken care of properly can begin to show their wear which can affect your health, happiness, and overall functionality.

 

How do you keep your brain sharp as a truck driver?

What do you do to maintain and sharpen your brain and mind? Many take this for granted earlier in life but just as important as it is to learn new things, so is it important to give your brain a break, and learn to rest your brain.

Does your brain need sharpening?

Does your brain need resting?

Does your brain need maintenance?

Amazing Study

2.4 million people downloaded an app and played a game called the Sea Hero Quest that involved memory from age 19-75 years old; it was the only study of its kind. After these participants played the game, the research was astounding. 

 

“One key early finding, presented at a meeting of neuroscientists in the US, was that navigational ability begins to decline much earlier than was previously thought – possibly from as young as 19. The study found that 19-year-old game players had a 74% chance of accurately hitting a maritime target. By the age of 75, this figure had fallen to 46%.” 

 

And already, at age 20, our strategic memory recall is beginning to decline, and we may not even know it. 

 

The data published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences notes that our peak mental performance is typically at age 35 and then declines by 10% ten years after that. 

 

We need to sharpen our brains regularly. It’s backward thinking in our culture today rather than thinking of brain health as “preventative care,” thinking of it as sharpening and maintenance. 

Brain Health Mother Trucker Yoga Blog Eat Real Food

What Causes Our Brain to Age?

 

Researchers have discovered several factors that speed up brain aging. Things like obesity, especially in midlife, can accelerate brain aging by ten years! And add in our populations’ high intake of sugar, diet sodas all contribute to poor brain health. But that’s not the only thing that can affect brain health as we age.

Living a sedentary lifestyle, eating a highly-processed diet, not socializing, irregular poor sleep, and not practicing self-care, stress-relieving activities can affect how our brain ages. When it comes to truck driver health what you eat plays a large role in how you feel and how your brain functions, but often gets the back seat to other issues. 

 

Truck Driver Health: 5 Practices to Sharpen Brain Health: 

1. Get out and move

Where can you fit in just 5 or 10 minutes of movement into your day? Don’t overcomplicate it; just move, dance, walk, squat, anything, just move! You don’t realize it, but your brain is tracking with you every step of the way, and that extra boost of oxygen and serotonin, dopamine, and neurotransmitters going straight to your brain doesn’t hurt either. 

2. Socialize

When is the last time you talked with that one friend, your mom, your brother, or rolled down the window and said “hey”? Isolation leads to a decline in our cognitive abilities. Socializing can help improve and impact thinking, memory, and behavior. Just like a young child needs others around him/her to mimic and encourage the developmental process, so does our aging population and those in-between.  

3. Eat real food

When we have a disease, what we have is a deficiency. What do you lack that has caused our body to malfunction. Our bodies are like trucks; we require certain maintenance to our parts, specific fluids, lubricants, and fuel to run optimally. You would never consider skimping on what you fuel your truck with because you know the consequences. If you are living in dis-ese or stress what are you lacking, and how can you refill it? The best and fastest way is to eat living food because you are alive. 

4. Get better quality sleep.

It’s not that you necessarily need more sleep but rather better quality of sleep. What do you need to do to improve the quality of your sleep? Better mattress? Darker room? Headphones with relaxing music? Essential oils? When it comes to sleep, focus on quality instead of quantity. 

5. Engage in de-stressing activities

Stress has become a badge of honor like the girl scouts or boy scouts badges when they sell cookies and build a soapbox car. My advice, slow down to speed up. More is not better, and the more stressed your system is, the less effective you will be, and you will begin to see your body, mind, and actions slow. Consider a walk without your phone, deep breathing, relaxing music, meditation, yoga, a shower, or going to bed early. These may seem small and insignificant, but they can make a huge difference. When you take time for yourself, you make time for the essential things in life. This is why Mother Trucker Yoga focuses on small simple changes and moves that you can do in 5 minutes or less and even things you can do safely while driving. [Try us out for FREE use the code: MTY30 for a FREE 30 days!]

6. Choose intellectually stimulating activities

Do hard things. I’m not talking about an Iron Man, but rather things that challenge you. This is where technology can help! Memory game apps, puzzles (electronic or physical), even crosswords, word searches, board games, and cards are all good ways to keep your mind sharp. If you have kids, don’t just let them plop down on the couch and watch T.V. have family game night. If you are on the road, pull out that pen and do a crossword puzzle. These are time-tested practices that will keep your mind at its best. 

Puzzles for Brain Health Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

Don’t wait. We live in a world that is trained to respond to our health in the form of sick care. But the way to address our aging brain is to practice preventative care and create consistency in our health and health practices. 

 

Don’t wait until you see a decline to make a change in your brain health. 

Don’t wait until you feel less sharp to seek help. 

Don’t wait until you need extra care to decide to care. 

Don’t wait. 

As a driver, truck driver health is essential. And out a fully functioning brain, you may find yourself struggling to safely stay in your lane.

Are you looking for more ways to improve your health, mental clarity, and longevity? 

Check out Mother Trucker Yoga LIFESTYLE JUMPSTART Membership Platform & APP.

Easy videos are designed specifically with a driver’s needs in mind.

No fancy gym.

No expensive equipment.

No stress.

Try us for FREE!

Use code: MTY30 for a FREE 30 days!

Mother Trucker Yoga LIFESTYLE JUMPSTART App and platform image

References:
https://www.mirror.co.uk/science/scientists-reveal-age-your-brain-9274294
https://www.theladders.com/career-advice/this-is-the-exact-age-when-your-brain-function-starts-to-decline
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319185#Therapies-to-help-slow-brain-aging

Healthy Habits to Start the New Year off the Right Way

Working as a truck driver has many benefits, but there is no doubt it is a career choice that can impact your health. Truck driving is a high-pressure role that brings a fair amount of stress to deal with during your working day. The pressure to deliver on time when dealing with circumstances outside of your control can pile on the stress, yet the stress truck drivers face often overlooked. Aside from the mental pressure that truck drivers are exposed to, physical health concerns can damage your health. As driving is a sedentary job, the risk factors for certain diseases are elevated, and truck driver health can be a challenge to put first. Diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure are all associated with a sedentary lifestyle, so being aware of this and taking action to lower your risk factors is vital. 

Healthy Habits to Start the New Year off the Right Way Mother Trucker Yoga Blog 1

Developing healthy habits to improve truck driver health and then maintaining them is crucial to staying at your best when you are a truck driver. Working as a truck driver does not always make it easy to be healthy, but it can support your physical health and wellbeing. So, if you are keen to make this year your healthiest one yet, and to get it off to a great start, here are some of the ways you can make this happen:

 

Deal With Unhealthy Habits First

 

Developing new positive habits is crucial to ensure you get your health on track in the new year. However, it is also essential to address existing habits that may be harming your health. Being stuck in a cycle of negative behavior can sabotage your attempts at being healthier. This can leave you trapped in a negative cycle of behavior, which makes it more challenging to stick with your new positive habits. So, it is a wise idea to take action and deal with these unhealthy habits from the start of the new year so you can move forward more healthily. Seeking professional help from a center such as Sunshine Behavioral Health is an excellent way to get the help and support needed to break free from negative behavior patterns. With the right help, you should soon enjoy all the benefits of a healthier body and mind.

 

Try Mindfulness and Meditation to Lower Your Stress Levels

 

One of the most frustrating parts of being a truck driver is being stuck in tailbacks. Delivering your job late and being sat in a tailback can send your stress levels rising and put you under intense pressure. These feelings of stress not only feel unpleasant, but they could also be damaging your physical health. People who experience chronic stress may be at an increased risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke and are also more likely to experience feelings of irritability and have trouble sleeping. To reduce the risk of these issues, it is vital to take a proactive approach to managing your stress levels. 

 

Mindfulness and meditation can be a great help if you are trying to reduce your stress levels and are among the most effective methods when focusing on truck driver health. Mindfulness and meditation are beneficial, as they are helpful ways to focus your mind on the present moment and stop your thoughts from running away with you. The great thing about using these methods is that you do not need special equipment. Guided meditations and relaxation can be carried out comfortably in your cab, making them an ideal opportunity to reduce your stress levels and improve your wellbeing.

 

Make Physical Exercise Part of Your Routine

 

Working a sedentary job can be considered bad for your health, and you may become tired of all the advice telling you to make time to exercise during your workday. Getting up to move around every once in a while is not possible when you are sitting behind your truck’s wheel. However, learning how to stretch and move when you are in your cab can help you feel so much better and increase your activity levels. Research shows that being active outside of a sedentary job can help reduce the risks associated with long periods of sitting. So, learning how to exercise when you are in the cab, being active outside of work hours, and using guided meditation to reduce your stress levels could provide many benefits for your physical and mental health. Combining each of these methods will help you begin your journey to better health and get your year off to the very best start.

 

World Suicide Prevention Day: 6 Strategies to Improve Driver Mental Wellness

Everyone talks about mental health, and unfortunately, the term “mental health” has a more negative connotation than positive. After talking with dozens of people from various backgrounds, most felt the time “mental health” felt there was something wrong with you, and therefore, you need to take care of your mental health. 

How did we get to this place? This place where we are looking for solutions, answers, and strategies for aspects of our health only when we are in a state of turmoil, anguish, or pain? 

I used to feel embarrassed to tell others that I had “mental health” like a disease. And if I dare mention I need mental health help, I would be mortified of the other person’s response. 

A few years back, I began to change my conversation around mental health. And since the term “mental health” has the stigma of being broken and therefore needing help. I decided to change the term of mental care to mental wellness. 

Mental Wellness is the state in which one makes the state of the mind, thoughts, emotions, and behaviors a priority. Whereas the actions were taken are both proactive and reactive, but really, as a means of a simple lifestyle integration. 

Today is Suicide Prevention Day. It’s kind of a bit strange to have a day focused on this when right next to it is National Hot Dog Day, Love Your Dog Day, and Grandparents Day. But I suppose a day is better than nothing. 

As someone who has stood face to face with suicide more than once, to me, suicide is a feeling of last resort, that all hope is lost, and any other actions taken will not be successful. I believe people are driven to suicide by many factors, and the why is not for argument’s sake, but from my own experience, I reflect on the what and the how. How did I get to that place, and what could have helped or been different? 

To anyone out there that is struggling with their mental wellness, I want you to know that you are not alone. 

I also want you to know that I see you and hear you. The words you don’t speak. The side of yourself you do not show. I see you. 

And instead of posting a suicide prevention hotline number on our blog, I thought it would be more helpful to share some of the mental wellness strategies I have used over the years. And when it comes to truck driver health issues, mental wellness should be a priority. 

6 Things To Improve Mental Wellness and Aid In Suicide Prevention

#1. Believe you are worth it. 

Or at least say it to yourself until you do. For years I didn’t, and I recognize that this was a learned behavior, a lie I was telling myself based on what I saw someone in my own life do over and over again. If you have breath in your body, then there is still a purpose for you. 

This tiny spark inside me kept telling me don’t lose hope. It was quiet and almost impossible to hear or see among the thoughts of self-destruction, self-hate, and sadness. But it was there. Today look in the mirror and tell yourself you are worth it. Despite what the mind says back, fight that other self (I called it my addictive mind) and say it anyway. When it comes to truck driver health, as a driver, you may already feel isolated and alone and that makes it even easier to allow your mind to spiral. Speak positively about yourself every day. 

light - suicide prevention day blog mother trucker yoga

#2. Healthy Expression. 

It is easy for an outsider to tell someone depressed, suicidal, or lost hope to seek help. But the paralyzing effects of negative, depressive, self-destructive thoughts are paralyzing. It can take all you have to get up out of bed and get a drink of water, let alone get dressed and go to work. So rather than suggesting you journal, practice yoga, deep breathe (check out our deep breathing meditation for drivers), meditate, or call a safe friend when you are in that moment. Do it when you are feeling good. You need to cultivate habits in those impossible moments and practice them in the more accessible ones by doing the actions. 

Because our thoughts become our emotions, and our actions become our outcomes, and the cycle continues. And before you know it, every day is the same.

Dr. Joe Dispenza says “that if you keep thinking in the past, you will keep creating the same life”. If you continue to allow your brain to only think about what has happened to you in your life up to this point, you will only get a repeat of what you have had in your life up to this point. That means the same thoughts, emotions, and actions on autopilot. Disrupt that cycle when you are having a good day so that you can do it on those not-so-good days too.

#3. Change the cycle of your day. 

Routine is good when it is good. But routine can also be a toxic habit that leads us down the same pathway we have been down repeatedly. By changing the cycle of your behaviors and routines, you can increase the chances of changing your thoughts, emotions, and now outcomes. 

Start small. Start with something small and easy like drinking a glass of water in the morning, and as you drink it, tell yourself this is healthy for me. Do that every day, and after 90 days, you will have completed 90 new behaviors and told yourself 90 times you are healthy. Do that for a year, and that’s 365 times you have engaged in healthy behaviors and 365 times you have told yourself you are healthy. It all adds up. 

#4. Surround Yourself With Wellness. 

I don’t mean to sit in the middle of a health food store and never leave. I mean, on those good days, make a list of people, places, and things you can do, go to see, listen to, watch, and have that make you feel good. At one point in my life, I found myself consumed with Joyce Meyer’s books. I read them all. I particularly loved the Battle Field of the Mind. I read them over and over. They gave me hope, strength and shifted my thoughts away from the unhealthy cycle and, even if just for a brief moment, into a more healthy one. 

What are you currently doing on social media? If you find yourself consumed with groups and pages where people complain, are angry, and breed negativity. It might be best you delete them immediately. The same goes for people in your life. Find groups, connections, and affiliations where you feel safe and breed a positive vibe, where if needed, you can express yourself and even ask for help. And if you ever find yourself reading a post like that, reach out. Don’t just comment with praying hands emoji or saying I’m here for you. Sometimes the action of half help can make it worse. Instead, reach out directly to them. Private message them and start a conversation, or even call them. You might just save someone’s life.  

What music boosts your mood? I know how tempting listening to the downward spiral number one hit songs where singers share about their pain, hurt, and destruction. But don’t go there. You are only reconfirming how you feel and not allowing yourself to get out of it. What makes you feel good? Surround yourself with it. 

#5 Do It Anyways.

Some things make us feel good AFTER we do them. But getting ourselves to do them is often the problem. The key is not to think and do it. I love how I feel when I do my hair. I also love how I feel when I exercise and go for a walk every day. But the moment I give myself time to think about it, the weight of the world has now seeped in and taken over. So don’t think. And the momentum you feel and receive from the boost in endorphins afterward is the moment that will keep you coming back for more. 

#6 Know when it’s time for more.

I got to the point where I felt there was no hope for me. And although I was not in a place where suicide was on the docket anymore, I felt hopeless, empty, and lost. Physically I felt like I was going to vomit thinking about what I was about to do, but the alternative of living this way any longer outweighed what I was about to do. The day I spoke these three words to someone I trusted, I felt a relief I had never felt before. “I need help.” I had no idea what that helped looked like at that moment, but my ego had finally broken its last piece, and I no longer cared about anything other than not feeling this way. 

Who can you reach out to today? Who is safe? That person didn’t have all the answers that day and what came next was scary too (lots of new things), but nothing is as frightening as where I had already been. I had already experienced hell, so what could be worse? 

I want you to know that there is hope, help, and your mental wellness is a priority. And suicide does not have to be your only solution. Taking care of your mind, thoughts, and emotions is essential and trumps any other tasks you have in your life. Every effort you make is worthy, impactful, and shows you still see that spark at the end of the tunnel. You are worth it. Your mental wellness matters!

Suicide Prevention day mother trucker yoga blog

Truck Driver Health: Guided Meditations for A Happy Mind

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A happy, healthy mind is critical to a driver’s well-being in truck driver health.

The high amount of stress drivers have to deal with day in and day out is often normalized by the industry and never taken seriously. Telling a driver to “exercise” is not a solution and can often lead to more stress, anxiety, and unhealthy practices out on the road.

With the amount of time a driver spends behind the wheel, it only makes sense that they use that time to their advantage.

The entire premise Mother Trucker Yoga is based on is easy three to five-minute moves you can do, strategies you can implement into your day from the cab of your truck. We are the first company to break down fitness and wellness for drivers into bite-size pieces. We have a unique approach to driver wellness because we are not just coming from a fitness, therapy, or exercise background. We are coming from a yoga and functional movement background. Where we focus on the whole person and practical application. And one of those applications is stress relief in the form of guided meditations and relaxation.

Truck Driver Health: Guided Meditations

And while everyone else is compartmentalizing your health, we are integrating it. If you truly want to get healthy, you have to look at the whole self. , Your Body, Your Breath, Your Internal Health, Your External Health, Your Mind, Your Spirit. It would be best if you recognized them all.

The reason yoga played such a big role in my health and wellness journey had nothing to do with a yoga mat and everything to do with what the mat taught me about living and life. And that is what I do with Mother Trucker Yoga.

And when it comes to truck driver health, guided meditation can play a big role in your overall health and happiness.

Because we have to address the mind, or nothing you try to do will ever stick.

We are currently running our 2nd Annual Going the Distance Health Challenge for Truck Drivers and helping support our drivers more during this challenge; I have created several guided breathing, meditation, and relaxation practices to help support the need for mental health mental wellness.

What is Mindfulness?

When you Google the word mindfulness, you get the following:

mind·ful·ness
/ˈmīn(d)f(ə)lnəs/
noun
  1. 1.
    the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
    “their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition”
  2. 2.
    a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

 

While driving, there are dozens of distractions, and they all take you away from the present moment of driving. There is a difference between something you need to pay attention to while driving and a distraction. Do you know the difference? Can you tell when you are distracted VS paying attention to something while driving?

Distractions ask you to leave what you are doing and bring your attention elsewhere. They often lead your mind down the rabbit trail of other emotions linked to the past, future, or something outside of what you are doing currently driving.

I created a driving meditation to help support truck driver health. With the time you spend sitting in the driver’s seat, you might as well do something that builds you up, leaves you happy, and supports your health.

A Mindfulness Driving Audio For Truck Drivers

This audio is not meant to distract you or make it more difficult to focus while driving, but the opposite. Give it a try and let us know in the comments what you think.

4 Simple Steps to Mindfulness In A Stressful World

The idea of being “mindful” is now just as common language as “ya all” or “selfie”. What used to be the art of paying attention has morphed into the art of mindfulness. But what exactly is mindfulness? But what does mindful mean? And I know what you are thinking. I’m not about to ask you to wear yoga pants, sit on a yoga mat, and chant the night away (although it might do a few people some good).

Dictionary.com says

mindfulness

mahynd-fuhl-nis ]
Is the state or quality of being mindful or aware of something.

Psychology.

  1. a technique in which one focuses one’s full attention only on the present, experiencing thoughts, feelings, and sensations but not judging them: The practice of mindfulness can reduce stress and physical pain.
  2. the mental state maintained by the use of this technique.

This way to mindfulness blog mother trucker yoga

The simple art of paying attention, being alert, present, and aware in a non-judgemental way. In yoga and mediation part of the practice is to observe, notice, and just take in. For most of us, we cannot help but float back into the past and drift off into the future when various things arise. The idea of replaying what happened, or predicting what will all while mixing in our feelings with what is.

To me, mindfulness is the practice of separating from all of that. Not to be dull and lacking in life. But the opposite. The art of seeing, feeling, and being a part of what actually is. I believe that nearly all frustration comes the moment we step out of them now. Mindfulness says stay with me, breathe and take it one breath at a time.

Mindfulness also asks us to be kind. To be kind to ourselves, to others, and to the world. [Check out The Daily Meditation and what Hope had to say about Gratitude…]

One of the best ways to practice mindfulness is to apply this idea to the little things. Because it’s the little things that add up to big things over time. If you don’t want cavities when you are older, focus on brushing your teeth today, and when brushing your teeth, do just that. Treat your teeth, the action of brushing with the utmost reverence and importance. And notice how you feel afterward.

4 Simple Steps to Mindfulness

1. Start now. Start simple.

Many people decide to step into mindfulness and create this elaborate plan of how they are going to meditate 20 minutes twice a day, and go for long nature walks, and do an hour of yoga daily. Adapting all those things has never done any of them, even in the slightest is a recipe for failure. Most won’t even get out of the gate and decide that it’s too much. I prefer to focus on keeping things KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid. Now I’m not insulting your intelligence, but rather suggesting we start simple.

Instead of starting to apply the practices of mindfulness when you are the most stressed, the most overwhelmed, the most distracted. Start when it’s easy, when and where you don’t have to change much of anything. When you brush your teeth, only brush your teeth. When you go to the bathroom, just go to the bathroom (I know crazy right). When you are cooking, or eating just do that one thing. Pay attention to every aspect of it. Be present. You may be surprised by how you feel after. Taking an everyday task you already to and turning it into a mindful one.

 2. Approach With An Open Mind.

We as humans like to predict. We like to know all the answers… Well most of us do. And I want to challenge you to approach one situation each day for a week with a completely open mind. Notice if you start to predict how the situation will play out in your head before it’s over. Take note if your mind has already predicted the future before anything has even happened.

Take inventory of your feelings before, during, and after and how do you feel? For me, the practice of mindfulness is not sitting on a cushion in a dark quiet room. Mindfulness is me being more present, more alert, more aware, and more engaged in what I am doing, how I am feeling, and despite all of that continuing. Mindfulness has given me more confidence in hard situations, ones I would normally avoid otherwise.

3. FOR Peace Breathing.

Pause F.O.R. Peace Breathing was introduced to me when I first started on my yoga journey. It wasn’t fancy, it wasn’t complicated, and it didn’t require any equipment. All it needed was you and your willingness to step back and breathe.

When you stop and take a breath in a stressful situation, you stop the hormones released by the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight response) and start to live again. It is a simple tool that you can use every single day to prevent and release stress when it starts to bubble up.

Steps of F.O.R. Peace Breathing

Pause F.O.R. Peace Breathing un-complicates what our minds often make complicated. It makes you STOP and use the tool you were born with to deal with stress in your life.

What Does “F.O.R.” in Peace Breathing Stand For?

1. FOCUS

Focus on one, long, deep breath. Inhale deeply, feeling your diaphragm and belly expand (not your chest). Exhale through your nose or mouth for the same count, or longer. Be fully conscious of this breath.

2. OBSERVE

Observe your mind. Does it wander during this breath? Where does it go? Can you try again to be right here, right now?

3. REFOCUS 

Refocus if you need to. Bring your mind back to your breath. If your mind wanders, return to one deep breath.

4 Ground yourself physically.

Sounds silly, but we are all a part of something greater than ourselves. And science has already proved that we are all made up of energy. And when we are in nature our bodies have a way of restoring that energy within us with the positive energy around us. Ever been around someone who you felt like just zapped the life right out of you? Have you ever gone into a building, or slept somewhere were you just felt drained the next morning. Or the opposite. You are around someone who just lifts you up. Or slept somewhere and said that was the best night’s sleep ever. That might not be a coincidence.

Today, take inventory of who and what you surround yourself with. If all you do is spend time in a concert jungle, it might be time to step out into nature. Pull off at an oasis with a small park or grassy hill. Layout in the sun, or take a bit of time and reconsider who you surround yourself with. Being mindful asks you to do things with a purpose. And that purpose may be for you to take better care of you.

Take the Mindfulness Challenge!

Do you want more practical tips for being more mindful and peaceful in a stressful world? Join our 5-day Mindfulness Virtual Challenge September 7-11, 2020! Click HERE to sign up to join us!

 

What does mindfulness mean mother trucker yoga blog

Continue down the mindfulness path to a happier and healthier you with some of Mother Trucker Yoga’s other great content!

14 Ways to Reduce Stress and Overwhelm Blog

10 Tips for a Functional Body Blog

10 Steps to Goal Setting as a Truck Driver

 

Did you love this article?

Leave us a comment on what you thought. Or ways you work to stay more mindful.

14 Ways to Reduce Overwhelm and Stress | As a Truck Driver

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Overwhelm and stress. Stress can be overwhelming and even debilitating. It can cause headaches, muscle tension, difficulty sleeping, irritability, and negatively affect our immune system. We all know that stress isn’t good for us physically or mentally. However, how do we keep stress from manifesting itself into our daily lives?

Reduce Stress and Overwhelm Blog MTY

Life Is About Choices

The great American philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson, wrote a letter to his daughter who was worried over a mistake she’d made. This is what it said:

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders, losses, and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can.

Emerson’s quote serves as a reminder that we must give ourselves permission to make a few mistakes, be imperfect, and “fall off of the wagon” from time to time. Accept what you were able to accomplish and leave yesterday in the past. Do not let stress and mishaps prevent you from moving forward. 

An article that appeared in Medical News Today discusses how “overwhelm and stress, in common terms, is a feeling that people have when they are overloaded and struggling to cope with demands. These demands can be related to finances, work, relationships, and other situations, but anything that poses a real or perceived challenge or threat to a person’s well-being can cause stress.”

You may not always be able to control what happens in your daily life, but you can practice healthy habits to manage stress.

14 ways to reduce stress and overwhelm get up early MTY blog post

14 Ways You To Reduce Stress and Overwhelm in Your Life:

  1. Get up a few minutes earlier than planned and take some time to be silent, meditate, and visualize how your day is going to be great.
  2. Learn to say “no.” Say no to projects that won’t fit into your schedule, your vision, or may compromise your mental and emotional health.
  3. Allow others to help you. If they didn’t want to help, they shouldn’t have asked. And that my friend is not your concern.
  4. Have a backup. Have a backup plan, a backup car key, a backup babysitter, a back up a ride home. We think that it takes too much time to prepare. But did you have the time to figure out a half a$$ solution thereafter?
  5. K.M.S. (Keep Mouth Shut). This single piece of advice can prevent an enormous amount of trouble, concern, and pain. Ask yourself: “is what I am about to say helping or hurting”? And go from there.
  6. Eat right. Start with one right choice. An apple. A glass of water. No need to bulldoze your life today. Just add in one new food or drink more water and see where it takes you.
  7. Listen to relaxing music or guided meditations (Check out MTY’s guided meditations made just for drivers). Choose uplifting or motivating broadcasts or shows. Stay away from music, radios, and entertainment that only causes more pain, confusion, agitation, and anger. You can choose what you listen to.
  8. Laugh—every single day. Laugh. Laugh so hard you cry. And better yet, laugh with a friend. Laughter releases endorphins that you desperately need to stay happy.
  9. Keep a gratitude journal. When is the last time you stopped and reflected on all you have to be grateful for? The news and social media do an excellent job of showing us where we are imperfect and lacking. Remind yourself you have so much to be grateful for.
  10. Surround yourself with people who lift you rather than tear you down.
  11. Take ONE DEEP BREATH before you say or do anything more.
  12. Be kind to unkind people. Kindness matters. Being kind doesn’t mean you agree with them or even want to be their best friend. But if you won’t be helpful, then who will be?
  13. Slow down. Most of us are all in overdrive in multiple areas of our lives. What’s the hurry? What if you will get there at the exact right time, every time?
  14. Meditate, pray, practice yoga. When is the last time you unplugged with something that will plug you back in? Make sure you check out Mother Trucker Yoga’s Online Membership site were drivers just like you can come together and get fit- inside and outright from the cab of your truck

Finding the best overwhelm and stress relief strategies may take some time. Don’t give up if one doesn’t work; move on and try another. However, it’s essential to keep looking for the tools that will help you manage life’s ups and downs healthily. Keeping stress at a manageable level is vital for your overall well-being. 

Surround yourself with people that support you in your journey and leave those that don’t, behind. You won’t regret it. 

Resources: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/145855.php

Benefits of Meditation — And Simple Ways To Start Meditating

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When your profession demands for you to be on the road for the majority of the year, your physical and mental health can take a turn for the worst. As previously mentioned on the Mother Trucker Yoga blog, “while out on the road, movement can be limited and stress can be high.”

Thankfully, Mother Trucker Yoga has brought mobility and good health back in drivers’ lives. But if you would like to practice another stress-relieving method in addition to our easy workouts, consider adding meditation to your daily routine.

You might be asking yourself, why choose meditation? Can’t I just take deep breaths whenever I feel stressed? Though a post on Pain-Free Working indicates that simple breathing exercises could temporarily alleviate stress, practicing meditation strengthens the mind to cultivate inner peace and improve mental well-being in the long run.

The Benefits of Meditation

The benefits of meditation are limitless, and given the sedentary lifestyle of truckers, there’s a lot that can be gained. The road is long and lonely, and it can negatively affect your state of mind and physical health. However, with the help of meditation, truckers can get the job done while still taking care of their mind and body.

Based on scientific studies, here are the benefits of meditation, as shared by Healthline:

  • A good way to manage stress
  • Minimizes anxiety
  • Improves self-image and promotes a positive outlook on life
  • Increases self-awareness
  • Increases your attention span
  • May decrease age-related memory loss
  • Promotes kindness
  • May help battle addictions
  • Improves sleep
  • Helps manage pain
  • Can decrease blood pressure
  • Can be practiced anywhere

Different Forms of Meditation

Believe it or not, there are numerous forms of meditation; so if one form doesn’t work for you, there are still plenty to choose from. One of the more well-known forms is yoga meditation. The controlled breathing exercises and postures focus the mind on the practice and calm the mind, all the while promoting flexibility. Yoga is also a type of movement meditation, which is where you draw mindfulness from movement. Tai chi and martial arts also fall under this category. Spiritual meditation is often a huge part of Eastern spiritual traditions, such as Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism. For religious meditations, this often involves prayers to divine power. For non-theistic traditions, self-awareness and self-actualization are the focal points of the meditation.

Another form is zen meditation. It can be part of Buddhist practice, where meditators must be mindful of their thoughts without judgment. At the same time, focus on their breathing and maintain a
comfortable position. According to Medical News Today, zen meditation requires more discipline and practice, and practitioners often prefer to study under a teacher, considering all the steps and postures that must be followed. With that in mind, this may not be the best meditation form for truckers. To see what other meditation forms could potentially work for you, check out this blog post on MindWorks.

Tips for Beginners

As straightforward as deep breaths in and out may seem, meditation is not as simple as you would think. But by starting off small and practicing every day, you’ll get the hang of it, and eventually, you’ll open your mind and body to new techniques.

To help you get started on meditating, here’s what you can do:

1. Designate one area, a comfy chair or cushion for meditation

Getting into the habit of meditating can be difficult; however, creating a small relaxing environment can help set you up for a successful practice, whether that’s just a chair in your living room or a cushion next to your bed. Cushions are definitely recommended for truckers since you can take them with you wherever you go. Eventually, you’ll have the ability to meditate anywhere, but for now, setting up the scene will help you get in the right headspace.

2. Start with just two minutes every morning

Before you go about your day, begin your morning with meditation. Doing it first thing in the morning will naturally become part of your daily routine, giving you a positive mindset to tackle the stressful drive ahead. As for the meditation itself, rather than following a specific type or technique right away, just spend two minutes listening to your own breathing. Take note of the movement of your body as you breathe in and out. When your mind wanders, and it will just bring your thoughts back to breathing. You could even count each breath. Do this for the first week or two, increasing to five minutes in the following, then possibly move on to guided meditations.

3. Stay connected with a meditation journal

A journal is a great way to track your progress, as your entries offer clarity and insight on how you might need to adjust your meditations and how far you’ve come since the beginning. Daily journaling gives an opportunity to reflect, gain perspective, and most importantly, be positive and kind to yourself. As for the entry format, it’s entirely up to you. It can be as simple as including the date, type of meditation, and comments on the practice, or you can use a guided format. With all these benefits and tips in mind, it’s clear that regular meditation is an easy way to achieve a good work-life balance, practice gratitude, and maintain a positive mindset as you trek across the country on your own.

 

4. Benefits of Meditation

If you are wondering how has meditation helped others? Check out Healthline’s benefits and stories from people just like you. And learn how meditation has impacted their lives. HERE

Article written by Mandy Rudd
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