Your mind is the taskmaster of your muscles and if you can’t set your software straight, your hardware will decline. Here’s why you should readjust your thoughts for a stronger body.
Are you the type to hit the snooze button so many times you miss your workout? Do you give up even if you have two more reps in the tank? Is your inner voice critical? If you answered yes, you’re the secret villain in your own story. Your brain is in control of your actions, thoughts, words, and feelings. So, do you train your mind or do you let it unknowingly undercut your life? Training your brain doesn’t mean brushing up on calculus. It involves gearing it towards thinking positive thoughts, a process so effective an entire branch of psychology called cognitive behavioral therapy is devoted to it. This challenges negative thought patterns to boost happiness. The natural overflow to your fitness and health levels is something you’ll notice immediately. This is why.
Body and mind
Your mind is all powerful and needs training. Much of the health and fitness battle has to do with your thoughts so it’s wise to train your brain to create a positive feedback loop and nix those bad thought patterns. The very basic judgments you have about your physical activity may impact your health and well-being, according to research in the journal Health Psychology. The study revealed people who thought of themselves as less active had a higher chance of dying than those who viewed themselves as healthier and more active. The way you think may even make you healthier, according to research in the journal General Hospital Psychiatry. So, if you think positive thoughts, you’ll feel better. And, if you feel better, you’re more likely to work out regularly – it’s the snake eating its tail scenario.
Not convinced? Have you ever been in a foul mood, but forced yourself to go out with friends anyway? You forced a smile upon your grill and realized you actually were happy and forgot about the mood you were in earlier. You forced yourself to change your thoughts and therefore changed your feelings too. So, what if you’re already a positive thinker, but are just exhausted? Well, one of the best solutions for chronic fatigue is a combination of exercise and cognitive behavioral therapy as shown in the journal of Clinical Psychology Science and Practice. Therapy has the reputation for only being for the mentally-ill, yet everyone can benefit – even if it’s self administered. At this point, you better not be thinking, “Ahh this won’t work”, but rather, “Heck yeah, let me give this a try!” You’ve heard the saying, “You are what you eat,” but it’s just as valuable to appreciate that you are what you think!
Here are some thoughts you want popping up in your head and some you want to banish immediately!
- I will feel better after working out.
- Cardio is good for my heart.
- I have one more rep in me.
- Stretching will help increase my strength by allowing greater range of motion during exercise.
- The feeling after my workout will make my day better.
- I have enough self-confidence to complete my workout to the best of my ability. Who cares if someone is looking at or judging me?
- I’m proud of my body – including its flaws.
- Everyone starts somewhere.
- Most people in the gym want me to succeed too.
- Even a small amount of time has a big impact.
- I don’t feel like working out today.
- Cardio is such a waste of my time.
- Why bother pushing myself to get the next rep?
- Stretching won’t do anything.
- I’m having a bad day, I don’t feel like exercising.
- I hate going to the gym because people are watching me.
- There’s no way I can wear that.
- I’m too out of shape to go to the gym – people will laugh.
- Workouts take too long and I don’t have that time.
About the author: Zane Hadzick is a NASM-certified trainer, Bodybuilding. com and NutraBio athlete.