For centuries people have been using the power of their mindset to shape their abilities and overcome their fears.
Fire fighters use it to harness enough courage to head into, rather than away from flames. Surgeons use it to remain calm when making life and death decisions. Professional dancers use it to engage confidence, allowing them to complete superhuman movements across the stage.
With many decades of watching these real life examples of mindset play out in front of us, we are beginning to see the importance of harnessing mindset in everyday life including in our workouts.
Here are my top 5 reasons to apply mindset practices to your workouts:
1. Control your weight
When you have a healthy mindset you are more likely to have a well functioning Endocrine system. Think of this as your chemical control unit within the body. When you give the mind a positive focus, you will see drops in your stress hormone Cortisol. Cortisol slows down your metabolism when triggered. This is your survival mechanism at work, because your body assumes during times of stress, that you may go without a meal or two. So it effectively holds onto food and drink, storing it as fat, just in case you need it. So if you head into your workouts with a negative mindset, you are making any possible weight loss goals that much harder to achieve.
2. Build resilience
When you attempt something new at the gym or at home with your body you are applying a demand on its resources. Very often the mind will give out before the body will. In fact one guides the other. So if you really want to learn to do that handstand, or lift heavier weights, you will want a mind that is resilient, backing you and keeping you in that game for that extra set or 100 m on the treadmill. Every workout builds your body, but it also builds your mental resilience at the same time!
3. Find your “Normal”
By applying mindset practices to your workout, you change your understanding of, and appreciation for, what your body is capable of. Harnessing Mindset practices has been shown to give people the power to workout at a higher intensity. You will also increase your understanding of what is ‘normal’ for your body, which means you can assess more accurately if something within your body is wrong and adjust accordingly. This prevents injuries and burnout, and reduces the risk of a physical plateau in your exercise journey.
4. Boost your Confidence
The mind will reinforce anything it thinks about regularly and it will manifest that within the body. When you workout and regularly achieve your goals as part of that process, the brain is rewiring itself to think about and manifest success. This changes how you feel about yourself and your worth; leading to greater confidence in your physical capabilities and your ability to see true value in yourself as a person.
5. Breathe your way to unity
Tap into your mindset by learning a breathing technique. Not only does this change your mood, but it helps you to think clearly, keep focused and at the same time, tap into the core muscles that wrap around your ribs and organs which gives you a better workout! By keeping your head in the game, with a connection to your breathing, you start to allow your body and mind to work together as one unit. It’s a form of moving meditation that makes workouts a perfect way to process and let go of emotional stress whilst also teaching you that your body and mind can be the best of friends instead of mortal enemies!
Using mindset practices during workouts is a gateway to a life of Wellness; where your body is your friend and your mind is your greatest supporter. So get out there and thrive by bringing them together!
Image credit: Ayo Ogunseinde