Happy 2018 – Day 177 – Exercising? Suffering? Here’s what to do:

Exercise is hard!

And it’s often made much harder by the inner-monologue of can’ts and complaints in our own minds, encouraging us to “Make it Stop!

So here’s a tip: Next time you’re moving, no matter what you’re doing, just notice when your brain chatter is telling you that you can’t; that your legs will break; that your heart will stop; that you’ll pass out; that you have to stop right now!

Notice this from a distance; like you’re watching a rather irritating TV channel. You’re not inside the TV – you’re watching from the sofa.

If you do find that you’re a little too invested in the thoughts; that you’ve been pulled in; acknowledge this and congratulate yourself for realising. Then pull your attention back to watching from a distance.

When you’re watching these thoughts, remind yourself that just because you think something, doesn’t mean it’s true.

Returning to our TV viewing anology; when you turn on the TV, you don’t expect to like the first channel that comes on – or even the first 10 channels; nor do you expect the information to be fact-based. You go into it knowing that you’re probably going to have to wade through some trash before you find something agreeable.

Finally, I think it’s important to mention that these words in your head, as miserable as they may seem, do come from a good place. Remember – your brains’ job isn’t to keep you happy, but to keep you safe.

It’s only natural that the brain reverts to overprotective ‘Smother’ mode, becoming increasingly desperate to protect you from pain and discomfort the more challenging the exercise becomes. The brain wants you to be safe and comfortable.

Like any overprotective parent, the brain just needs some reassurance.

So once you’ve heard what it has to say, try telling your mind that you hear that it’s worried but it’s all going to be okay. Tell it that if you notice any pain, rather than discomfort, you will stop. Tell it that you want to do this; need to do this; for both of you. Just to prove that you can.  


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