Like many people, the thought of exercising does not necessarily get me all excited. I am not particularly eager to jump right out there and sweat, burn, or any of that exerting myself stuff! In fact, even though my higher brain functioning rattles off all the benefits of exercise (improved sleep, health, mood, increased life expectancy…) exercising, and particularly getting back into a routine feels more like torture, pain, and a battle not worth losing. It’s just easier not to have to change. (Sound familiar?) And no amount of re-framing has seemed to get me anywhere.
(If you had any doubts that I wasn't going to be completely honest on this blog, I hope you’re willing to reconsider now!)
Drawing on my love for a creative outlet, my reciprocoach had me listing all the things a power walk gives me. I’m not talking about the elevated heartbeat, either. Quickly, I was drawing on my creative juices and describing the sights, smells and sounds of a good walk. I imagined myself exploring new trails, smelling the rich soil and leaves after a rainfall, feeling the breeze on my face, and listening to soothing music from my ear buds. I could feel the dirt and stone pass under my feet with the rhythmic cadence of my stride. I could imagine what walking used to give me – before I began prioritizing other things over my health and wellness. It became less about that horrible ‘e’ word and soon became a source of mindfulness and serenity. It was about finding peace in solitude to think about whatever came to mind. I felt restful (not tired). I felt calm (not harried). I found joy (not torture)!
It makes me think – how else can I use this practice of visualization? Where else do I get stuck in my own negative self-talk and pessimism?
Where do you get stuck? How do you apply your strengths and joys to areas in your life that feel like a struggle? Imagine yourself rediscovering a secret pleasure. How does it motivate you? How do you draw energy from it? How can it shift you out of the sticky muck of pessimism and self-doubt?