We all feel down sometimes. Or frustrated. Maybe even irritated. We all have our moments of struggle, of unhappiness or doubt. Am I doing the things I should be doing? Should I do more? Should I do things differently? All sorts of questions pop into your mind, trying to influence you. It can result in you feeling lost, lazy and unmotivated. Your mind sometimes put you in the middle of the desert, after taking away your map, water and survival kit. How do you get out of that desert? What do you do when you get lost? What do you do when you feel like you can’t beat your negative mind? You go back to the basics and you do the one thing that has helped me over the course of the last weeks. Curious to know what that one thing is? Find it out below.
Before I reveal the one thing that has helped me the most, I want to highlight the problem once again. Not to start in a negative way, but to be realistic and reflect back on how I’ve felt the last weeks. Overthinking, feeling lost, laziness and overwhelm are words that describe my state of mind since I came back from Barcelona. Obviously not all of the time, and I did enjoy being back and several different amazing activities and moments. But I tend to fall back into this negative, downwards spiral. This spiral that is created by my negative thoughts that try to suck me into it.
And that’s just life, isn’t?! Life is there to throw curveballs at you. To make you resilient and prepare you for the storm. We live in a time where information is always at our fingertips. Where the extraordinary only get broadcasted. Where we always have the feeling to do more, since average isn’t enough. We live in a society that is putting immense pressure on the next generation, because average is never enough.
To come back to life in general; life isn’t always easy and the bumps in the road determine who you become. Are you going to stop at the first bump? Blaming the whole world but yourself and feeling like you cannot go over? Or do you take charge and move, regardless of what you think or feel? Those moments could be pivotal moments in your life; the moments you decide to make a change, to do things (differently). To take action! To move!
That’s how I realized what was working for me and what wasn’t. Thinking I could figure out how to get over the figurative bumps turned out to be the worst option I choose. Trying to think your way through, whilst your mind is fucking with you is not an effective, good working option. So I decided to come back to the one thing that gives me peace of mind and allows me to blow off steam, and that is *drum roll* working out!
Anti-climax? Did you expect something different or more exciting? Well, let me emphasize my point. The one thing that overthinking made me was lazy. Or maybe the laziness made me overthink, whatever. It made me feel lost and gave me no sense of direction. But when I started working out again, at an incredible gym called Moser Gym – I will write a blog about them soon – I realized something started to change.
Even though, I did not feel like working out, going to the gym or going for a run, I decided to still commit to it. I decided that no matter what, I would workout. Did it suck? Fine. Was it hard? Even better. Felt frustrated? So what, just let it be. And after a week I started to feel changes. I started to get my energy and motivation back. I started to look at the positive side of life again, instead of being stuck on the negative side. I started to do my morning meditation routine again every day, and the benefits were there.
And I am not trying to give you a ‘short-cut to happiness’ because there aren’t any. There is no secret ingredient or the one thing that will help you get out of the desert. But there are things that can help you get back on the right track.
To come back to working out, please be sceptical about my words. Be critical. If you don’t believe them, that’s fine. Who am I to tell you something? Therefore, I did some research. Multiple researches have proven the importance of working out for your mental health. The main thing workout has shown to do, according to multiple researches, is that it increases neural growth, reduces inflammation and activation of new activity patterns in the brain that promote feelings of calm and well-being. Moreover, probably the most important one is that working out releases endorphins; powerful chemicals in your brain that energize your mind and body and make you feel good. We all know the feeling after we kill a hard workout, right?!
Another huge mental benefit of working out is serving as a distraction. Get out of your head and don’t let your mind win by not giving it any time or space to think. However, that doesn’t mean you should only workout and not sit with your emotions and feelings. Avoiding it is never the options ;)
Before I end this week’s blog, which I wrote after going for a run since I didn’t have clue what I had to write about until 2 hours ago, I would like to emphasize what a workout actually means. A workout doesn’t have to be going to the gym and killing yourself. It doesn’t have to be running 10 miles, whilst you normally can’t even run 1. It means moving. Moving your body, starting small will do more for you than not doing anything. Try to not tire yourself by going once all the way. Find a consistent schedule that will work for you and try to do something little every day.
How about you start with 10 push-ups a day? Or do a 15 minute walk? Or go for a 5-minute run? Whatever works best for you. But you have to realise; you have to start! You have to take action! Thinking you are going to run or workout won’t do the job. You actually have to do it!
To conclude, if you feel overwhelmed, stressed, lost, frustrated because life is throwing curveballs at you don’t let your negative thoughts win. Don’t let those curveballs beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently. You, me or nobody is going to hit as hard as life. Remember this one? There is no better way to end this week’s blog by using Mr. Rocky Balboa’s wise words;
“Don’t just sit there and think, go out there and do. The answers will follow” – My mantra for this week. Have a good one!