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How mindful exercise can help depression and anxiety

How mindful exercise can help depression and anxiety

When you are intensely focused on your breathing, and Pilates form, and the effort to maintain these, there is no room for your mind to wander and ‘get busy’ with other things. 

Anxiety and depression are so prominent in our society and we all know someone that has suffered, or is suffering from these terrible feelings, which they feel they have no control over.

‘How can I help them?’ ‘What can I do to make them feel better?’ ‘What is it that is triggering these feelings for them?’ - These are all questions that run through our heads when we see our loved ones going through an awful period in their life or living with anxiety or depression long term.

What triggers depression and anxiety?

The trigger for depression can often be playing re-runs of the past or lingering with feelings of deep regret, guilt or shame over things that have happened.

Anxiety arises when we play ourselves fearful future events. It's easy to get caught up in this, in the current circumstances!

Both of these essentially force our minds and bodies to live through 'worst-case scenarios' over and over.

These are tricky to deal with emotionally, as we really don’t have any control over what has already happened in the past, and the future is yet to present itself. 


‘If it is in the past and there is nothing I can do to change it,
and if I am worried about the future that hasn’t even happened and potentially never will,
what can I do to stop this terrible feeling I have?’


The antidote for both is reprogramming the brain and body to work in the present, and focus on the things that you can influence right now.

We know this sounds too simple as this beast you are facing is so much more complicated than that, but it really is that simple. Being mindful and present takes away the power of the past and the future to overwhelm your mind and feelings.

How can Pilates help?

Pilates is Mindful Exercise. When you are intensely focused on your breathing, and form, and the effort to maintain these, there is no room for your mind to wander and ‘get busy’ with other things. 

Our clients often tell us that one of the many side effects of what we do at Suna Pilates is to  improve their ability to 'be present'.

Suna clients finish a workout feeling happy and calm - because we’ve only let them think about what they are doing’ in the now’! 

At Suna, breathing to connect mind and body is a major focus, because when you are controlling your breath, you are being mindful, you are working in the now - and you can’t think about the past or the future.

This is where reprogramming your mind and body takes place as you are here and nothing else is real except your body moving and you controlling your breathing, which is calming for both your mind and body.  Mindful exercise bestows a great feeling of peace and calm, because that ‘busy’ mind has been switched off for an entire workout.

Exercise improves production of our happy hormones like endorphins which are your body’s mental and physical painkiller and makes you feel elated and amazing. Exercising at night will raise serotonin levels (a mood stabilising neurotransmitter) which helps you sleep better and improves your mood.

If you add in a higher protein breakfast and stabilise your blood sugar mechanisms for the day (these help you deal with stress and food better), you will feel so much better – try it for 3 days and you’ll see a difference. If you don’t fancy bacon first thing try adding hemp powder to your scrambled eggs for a plant based protein boost. (You can discover your Metabolic Type with our free quiz here).

Don’t take our word for it, read the study about how Pilates helps depression.

We are here for you

We care. What we do is for you. We employee Instructors who want to make a difference in people’s lives – they are not just here to get a paycheck, they  truly care.

You are not alone, we are all going through a journey of some sort and I can guarantee you, some of our team have been through what feels like insurmountable feelings of depression - but they are making it through and so can you. 

Talk to us!

We will explain how Pilates has helped others, and tell you about our holistic Wellness methods that have helped thousands of people through their wellbeing journey.

You are not alone, and life can feel amazing again.