I cannot recommend exercise enough to centre the mind and increase confidence and self-esteem. Here I touch on the one thing that got me through the stress and anxiety of stage 1 Covid restrictions.
This is an essential question, and I’m sure many of us have our interpretation of it. Covid has forced many us to adhere to gyms closing for months on end and forbidden to train outdoors. This is extremely tough for people like us, that are very active and use the activity as part of the stress and anxiety relief. Exercise can do that for you, and once it stops, our brains and bodies stop making these “feel good” chemicals. It can become a big blow to your mood, state of mind and health for that matter.
I have used exercise for years to work out my way to better health and reduce stress, relieve anxiety, and make me confident enough to take on the world. Well, this is how I feel after I exercise. I think a lot better emotionally, physically and mentally. These results showcase in my attitude every day, and my ability to create higher levels of energy and positive outlook to whatever is thrown my way.
What I regularly did when gyms shut down, was take a long walk in a local park. This was during wintertime, and it was freezing, but the icy cold, crisp air, my meditation prompts on iTunes and deep breathing, I was able to calm and centre my mind. During that period, I was not in the right place at all. I had lost my job, and I was anxious about when I was going to get another job and how we would pay the bills. This was directly the only thing I did almost every morning, which allowed me to clear my mind and become more focused on the outcome that I wanted. I focused hard on asking the universe for what I wanted, and slowly every day, my state of mind became calm and collected. I saw the good in every moment that I was faced with a challenge. During this time, I was fascinated that nature, walking and listening to positive speakers and meditation seemed to lift me higher than what I ever was. This is why I do recommend anyone suffering from stress and anxiety, who is also in a rough spot, takes themselves into the stillness of nature and continually listens to re-enforcing positive words that make them feel good. We all need repetition so that we can start thinking and saying these positive words to ourselves.
Exercise can do many people, but each of us has a specific positive outcome regularly. I have a lot, and although stress is a big one for me, I also believe that exercise helps the mind to prepare for the day ahead. I am never one to rush into work, after being asleep just 30 minutes ago. I need time, space and some activity to get things moving. Exercise is a perfect way to move the body, increase blood flow and begin to bring those creative juices out of their slumber.
When I lift weights regularly, I love the chances that take place in terms of my tonality and strength. Consequences are a big motivator for me, as they increase my inner confidence, and help me to believe that I too can lift a particular weight, or that I can perform a specific exercise, which was impossible for me a few months ago. I LOVE seeing the progressions in strength. As you build your outer strength, you also increase your inner power of self-belief and self-reliance. I don’t have a trainer, and although I am one, I believe I can motivate myself to push that little bit further, so I make sure all my self-talk is hugely positive, encouraging and drives me to churn out that extra rep or set.
When it comes to exercise, I believe we can much more than what we are doing now. Slowly, as the years progress, you will come to realise just how far you’ve come from day one. Transformations are the most rewarding part of life. As they say, it’s not about your destination (because fitness and strength) is a constant ever-evolving journey — one that you grow to love and becomes a particular part of your life.
Whatever exercise does for you, keep at it, keep working hard and permit yourself to be proud of what you’ve done for your health, body and mind.
I do hope that this article has helped you. I don’t want to write about the obvious scientific reasons because I wanted to provide you with valuable life experiences. I feel that this will be a lot more valuable, and perhaps you can adapt some of these ideas into your everyday life. If you appreciate this post, please feel free to upvote it, and do come along and get your complimentary goal setting guide for 2021. I’m also on social if you are active in that space.