We all have those days when the alarm buzzes bright and early just in time for our morning workout and there’s nothing in the world we’d rather do less than move from our beds. Lethargy and agitation take over as we look in the mirror and let out an audible grunt.
But what if we shifted that internal dialogue a bit?
You’d be surprised how much the thoughts you choose to focus on before exercising impact not just the quality of your sweat session, but also how you feel once it’s over.
And visualizing the results you’re excited to achieve (which, let’s be honest, is the only reason you’re going to the gym so early anyway) can be the best way to get the job done.
Scientific research suggests that visualizing athletic success can boost your mental toughness and be a key predictor of performance. It’s an especially popular technique for long-distance runners, and yogis are particularly good at using mindfulness to reach their goals.
If you think about how good your body usually feels after a workout, how happy you are when you get one step closer to your strength, endurance or weight loss goals, and how focused you are when you head into the office afterward, the morning grumpies subside. Get past the short-term blegh for the long-term yay.
Done and done.
Psychologically speaking, it’s all about mentally connecting the reward with the process so that the work itself is something you look forward to completing. Our brains are wired to react positively to rewards, which, in turn, helps us grimace a little less when exercise is included in the equation.
The best thing about this power of this positive thinking are that it’s absolutely free and it works pretty much instantly. You’ll get home from your workout, look in that mirror again and say, “Damn, I look and feel good. It was worth it.”
And then you’re likely to log this positive memory, which will come in handy the next morning when your alarm buzzes again. Score.