This week is Mental Health awareness week, promoted by the Mental Health Foundation. What better time to start practising Tai Chi, Qi Gong and Meditation?
The mental health benefits of these practises are now quite well known. They include relief from depression, anxiety, chronic stress and insomnia, as well as improved concentration. For many of us, the ability to calm our minds and feel a sense of quiet is key to our enjoyment of Tai chi. This is a mindful practise and is often referred to as a moving meditation.
When we spend our lives in a state of chronic stress, always on adrenaline, Tai Chi, Qi Gong and Meditation give some respite. They all help to activate the parasympathetic nervous system – our ‘rest and repair’ function. Harvard Medical School recommends Tai Chi as a way to combat long term chronic stress, and my previous post looks at why this is.
People also find the improvement in their physical health from practising Tai Chi, and this benefits their mental health – long term chronic physical illness can have a really negative impact on our mental health.
Approximately 15% of us are Neurodiverse. My own personal experience is that, for people with conditions such as Autism and ADHD, the calming benefits of Tai chi, Qi Gong and Meditation can have a positive impact on our mental health and help to calm our racing minds.
This year, the focus of Mental Health awareness week is Nature, and the Mental Health Foundation provides some top tips for getting out into nature, including exercising in Nature. We run a weekly Tai Chi in the park class on a Tuesday evening in the summer months (weather permitting), and we still have some limited spaces available. If that doesn’t work for you, then we have regular Tai Chi/Qi Gong and Meditation classes online throughout the year. These will return to their venues in September 2021.