• Tips for an Active Lifestyle: Mindset Matters

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March 22, 2016

“A negative mindset, will not lead to positive results”.

The process to living a optimal life begins with your mind. Often times as a trainer and life coach, I find that individuals, especially those in pursuit of achieving a better level of health and fitness, refer to themselves in the negative sense. We all, unconsciously and routinely, use damaging statements in relation to our goals, such as “I’ll never be able to eat healthy”, “it will take forever for me to reach my goals” or the most common “I hate the way I look and feel”. When I hear clients speak negatively about themselves or others, I respond with a challenge: for every negative statement, they have to text me four positive things about themselves before the completion of their day.

The reason I stress the importance of positive thinking is due to the significant role it has on weight loss and overall health. Studies show that negative thoughts can lead to self-sabotaging behaviors, such as going off your diet or skipping workouts. Promoting destructive mindsets and behavior leads to all types of inflammation within your body. Further, when one has negative images of themselves, they often feel unmotivated, fatigued, and uninspired. A negative mindset can have a negative effect on one’s ability to visualize goals, making it that much more difficult to complete the goals.

Many scientists are beginning to study the effects of positive thinking on individuals’ lives. Studies have shown that a negative mindset can make the process of losing weight, improving fitness performance and living a healthier lifestyle more difficult. I truly believe that the change happens when you focus, not on what you don’t like about yourself, but instead on the things you love. Even during the growth process on the pathway to achieving goals, we can still learn to be grateful and enjoy the health that we have. It’s important to make conscious efforts to surround yourself with positive reminders throughout your day. Listed below are few tips I use to ensure I stay in the best possible mindset:

Turn your radio off: Unsurprisingly, a lot of the thoughts we are fed unconsciously come from media platforms. When you’re in the car, take the opportunity to engage in mindful driving, slow down, and avoid the radio. Advertisements, political opinions, and loud music often exacerbate an already stressful situation. Instead, use that time to listen to an audio book or to your favorite motivational speaker.

Mental Anchor: What is a mental anchor? A object or image you keep with you throughout your day that reminds you of your goal to keep a positive mindset. Personally, I use a piece of onyx because it’s small enough to fit comfortably in my pocket. Prior to beginning a training session, I empty my pockets, so I’m consistently reminded of this anchor.

Meditation: I can not stress the importance of meditation enough. Meditating has completely transformed my life and the way I experience my day. Prior to incorporating meditation, I gave in to the busy chatter we all endure in our minds. Meditation allows me to focus on eliminating outside distractions  and gain better control over my thoughts, emotions and stress levels. Meditation can also help us sleep better at night. People who have better levels of control over their behavior and emotions during the day have “lower activation levels” at night, which allows them to decompress quickly.