When I was sick a few days ago, the hardest thing was that I had to stop training. My daily runs came to an abrupt halt. Forget running, not being able to move much was the hardest thing. Physically, I was a wreck. But mentally, I had a clear choice to make. Luckily I train mentally and physically every day.
I started thinking: all this from a stupid throat infection. I was frustrated and in terrible pain, but then something switched. My mind turned to curious, wondering, observing my state and then positive about the advantages of the situation. I could go on with a negative stream of thought, but I didn’t. It simply was too much to handle being both physically and mentally at rock bottom.
I had to find another way to cope that would get me through that hard time. Note that we all go through hard times and can quickly, very easily, make them worse. So I am proposing another way. My mind, trained as it is, I guess, switched from negative to positive quite quickly. It might have been much more difficult if I hadn’t been training for this all my life.
Thoughts like it’s a chance to rest and let the body recover, time to read, which I love so much and never have enough time to, an opportunity for the boys to take care of me for a while instead of the other way around.
Usually, we train physically; we know we have to. Not everyone does. I have a body so used to training that it kind of asks for it when I don’t. It wasn’t always like this. I trained my discipline, too, through the years.
When you train for something as extreme as a trapeze performance or a world tour with the extra stress on the body it entails, you need to “have the mind for it,” too.
Here’s what Janelle Smiley has to say about having a positive mindset, when she became the only woman in history to cross the Alps on skis: “I continually made the decision to find the good in each situation. I had to – it’s what carried me through”.
So here are some tips that could work for anyone, I think. You’ll let me know in the comments below:
1. Start your day with a meditation/breathing session. Find a dedicated, preferably quiet space for it. Take as much time as you can. Even one minute is a start. You may need to wake up five or fifteen minutes earlier to do it. But, it will be worth your while. Download a meditation app if you need one.
2. Breath deeply during the day – from time to time, stop what you’re doing and take three deep breaths with closed eyes.
3. When you feel your mind filling up with negative thoughts about anything or anyone, observe them and tell yourself, “that’s interesting.” We usually don’t like the situation or person when we have these thoughts. Make a switch, and think about what you would like instead.
What are you missing at that very moment? Is there anything that will make you feel better? It could be anything, sending a message to someone you love, taking your three deep breaths, moving – changing your position, going outside for a short walk, if you can.
4. Make a gratitude habit. Find 5 minutes during your day, either in the morning or the evening, to say thank you for whatever comes to your mind that you are grateful for. It could be as simple as a good night’s sleep or a clean house, or some time you could carve out for yourself in a busy day. Write down between 3-5 things you are grateful for every day.
1. If you can go out for a walk first thing in the morning (possibly after a coffee, preferably on an empty stomach), the best is a 25 minutes walk, but any length of time can do.
2. Park far from the supermarket and walk up and down stairs instead of taking the lift, if you can.
3. Close the gap between the amount of time you are sitting and the amount of time you are moving. For example, if you work at a desk, get up once an hour and move around the office.
4. Dance 10 minutes daily – surprise yourself with a new playlist with three songs every day of the week.
If you’re an athlete, do these things in addition to your daily training, if you’re not doing them already 🙂
If you only do these, if you’re not doing them yet, I guarantee your life and the life of those around you will tremendously improve.
So let me know in the comments below if you did and what happened!