We talk to ourselves all the time. It is time to take advantage of these conversations!
If you recorded everything you said to yourself, you might be surprised at the degree to which you are negative. The use of negative self-talk can create unnecessary tension and anxiety which can build and reduce your motivation to exercise. When you are starting a new exercise program, it is important to remain positive and reject those negative thoughts when they occur.
The negative internal dialogue that many novice exercisers have includes the most common excuses people give for skipping exercise.
Stressful days. Don’t forget that exercise can reduce stress and re-energize the body.
- Negative self-talk: “I had a long day at work. I am so stressed out. I just want to go home.”
- Positive self-talk: “Even though my day was long and I’m tired, my workout will provide me much needed stress relief.”
Bad weather. We would encourage you to keep up with your exercise routine whenever possible (as long as driving conditions are advisable, rain or a little snow shouldn’t keep you home).
- Negative self-talk: “The weather is so crummy today, I’ll just go to the gym tomorrow.”
- Positive self-talk: “I don’t like cold, windy, rainy days but that won’t affect my inside workout”
Boredom. Jumping into a new program is a novelty that soon wears off, just like a shiny new gadget. However, it is up to you to make it fun.
- Negative self-talk: “My exercise class is so boring. We just do the same things over and over again.”
- Positive self-talk: “I can try 0ther classes like Zumba to make my workout more fun this week.”
Hopefully you get the picture. You have always had these psychological tools to rejuvenate your exercise motivation. Now you just have to remember to use them. Its up to you to keep a positive mindset!