Last week mum and I went on a puppy walking date, minus my puppy because he wouldn’t come out from under the couch, it’s too cold for his sensitive little feet. Anyway what started out as a slightly overcast day started to get darker and darker as we walked until it was just lightly spitting rain. I said to mum I think we’re going to really wet soon, and she said no it won’t rain, think positive! Yeah ok mum… So we get all the way home without getting rained on and Mum turns to me and says see you just have to think positive.
I love that my mum thinks she can control the weather with her positive thinking, who I am to say that she can’t? She is a big believer in the “power of positive thinking” and it’s something I’ve always been brought up with, even though at times you really don’t want to hear it.
It’s probably because of this that I was absolutely loving a Ted Talk I saw recently by Shawn Achor called the Happy Secret to Better Work. Shawn is an expert in positive psychology and his talk is about the science of happiness, something which he and his team has put massive amounts of research into.
If you haven’t seen his Ted Talk you better check it out here but in short Shawn talks (very quickly) about our how when we are happy we are more engaged, creative, motivated, energetic, resilient and productive. Which is awesome right? But here’s the best bit, Shawn insists that happiness is an inside job, he says –
“it’s not necessarily our reality that shapes us but the lense through which your brain views the world that shapes your reality.”
When you approach your life in a positive way you’re more likely to have a positive experience, it’s such a simple but powerful idea.
What if we approached our workouts this way? What if we said I’m going to workout because I love the way it makes me feel, it gives me a break from my desk and helps me clear my head, I always feel amazing after working up a big sweat and love that post workout glow.
If you go into your workout with that mindset and truly believe it then I promise you’re going to love your workout and you’ll be rushing back for more!
It’s not easy to change your mindset instantly but Shawn says we can rewire our brain to focus on positive rather than negative and this will actually make us happier. There are five action steps we can take, do these (or as many as you can) for 21 days.
3 Gratitudes: Each day note down three new things you are grateful for, I use the gratitude app.
Journaling: Each day journal about one positive experience from the last 24hours that brought you happiness, this allows the brain to relive the experience.
Exercise: Got that! It teaches your brain that your behaviour matters, plus it releases endorphins and endorphins make you happy!
Meditation: Allows the brain to overcome our habit of doing multiple tasks at once and teaches us to focus on the task at hand.
Random Act of Kindness: Create a ripple effect of kindness and positivity.
I love writing down my three gratitudes each day or even just taking some time out at the end of the day to focus on the things I am grateful for. We often can get caught up in the stresses of day to day life and we forget how lucky we really are, there is so much around us to be happy about.
Here’s my challenge to you, even just for a week write down three things each day that you are grateful for and make a couple of them workout and body related because these are areas where we focus on the negative all too much!
Here are my three for today –
I am grateful for my nice warm house because it’s so cold outside!
I am grateful for the ability to be able to workout inside so I don’t get wet.
I am grateful for the lovely smiling faces at my local grocers, they make veggie shopping such a nice experience, plus I’m so grateful they’ve recently changed location and are now within easy walking distance!
Take some time to write down your three, or download the Gratitude App (I think you can even set reminders). Bring some extra positivity and happiness into your life :)