A lot of people including myself, even to this day dread exercising. We despise getting our shoes on and sweating for an hour straight, but…. We do it. Why? Because exercise isn’t just about looking good and feeling the burn (although these definitely aren’t unwelcome) exercising is about the mind and body connection. To see what we mean, read on!
BACK TO THE BASICS
Let’s do a quick recap of some brain science – when you exercise you release feel good chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins give you energy and help to release more serotonin/dopamine throughout your day which ultimately make you HAPPY! So with these feel good chemicals in your body (3+ times a week) you are slowly but surely reversing the overflow of bad chemicals that may make you anxious and/or grumpy like cortisol (stress). This allows you to go through your day with a clear mind, more awareness, and control of your decisions and mood.
APPROACH WITH POSITIVITY
Think of exercise as something you are giving to yourself. Think of exercise as a way to heal, thank, and push yourself. There truly is no downfall to exercising (except maybe possible injury). For many people exercise is a way to let go of the days stress or it’s a way to help create focus and enhance the performance of your brain. It’s a wonderful tool to have in your kit for the rough days and the good ones too! 30 minutes of high intensity exercise per day (or however many days you choose) is all you need to improve your mindset, mood, and overall quality of life. Don’t think of exercising as a task or hassle, think of it as a way to treat yourself and teach yourself!
Whether the word ‘exercise’ evokes positive or negative emotions in you, there are ways to make it positive all around! Creating positive self talk in terms of exercise may be challenging when you think of it as a sweaty, painful, mess of limbs, but like any skill, positive self talk can be learned!
There are 3 words that most likely trigger a negative response. Those three words are have, need, and should. They give you a sense of obligation and pressure. Realistically, you don’t have to do anything! You can replace have with choose or you can replace should with get and need with want. Switching these words around really makes a difference in how you view things! E.g. “I have to workout before noon today.” That leaves you feeling pressured or obligated and often negative. “I am choosing to workout before noon today,” sounds positive and puts you subconsciously in control over your initial reaction/response to exercise.
Obviously it won’t be easy and it doesn’t come right away, but being able to catch those negative thoughts and controlling them is a fantastic start to approaching fitness with positivity!