You’re killing it at advancing your career, raising a family, building strong relationships, and making healthy choices. But then life throws a curveball and you feel completely off your game. When this happens, it can be hard to remember what it felt like to be the energetic, eager, social, and driven person you were just moments ago.
Hey you. Yes, you, the one being hard on yourself. We’re here to help you kick that negativity in its perky booty so you can keep crushing this life thing.
There’s one thing all successful people have. It’s not status, money, appearance, or even intelligence. It’s grit. Successful people train their brains to face adversity with resilience. This doesn’t mean they never feel negative emotions — rather, they learn how to move forward and face discomfort head-on.
How To Use Exercise to Build Your Mental Strength
Want to get stronger at flexing your mental strength? Get sweaty! Think about the last time you were pushing yourself during exercise. You may not even be conscious of it, but the thoughts you tell yourself to start a workout when you really don’t want to or to keep going when you’re tired requires mental strength.
Exercise pushes you out of your comfort zone, which is why it helps you become more resilient. Getting in your regular sweat session does the following eight things to help you train your brain to overcome your doubts and excel, no matter what lies ahead of you.
8 Ways to Use Exercise for Mental Strength
#1 Learn How to Use the Power of Positive Thoughts to Turn Things Around
Sweat is dripping off your forehead as you push for the last thirty seconds of intensity. You can feel yourself getting tired, but you hear the voice inside of your head say, “You got this, you can do anything for thirty seconds.” 3…2…1 the sweat has traveled down into your eyes, but you’re also wearing the biggest grin on your face. You did it.
Your thoughts can make all the difference in the gym, at work, or when dealing with conflict. You’ve learned how to turn on positive thinking to kill your workouts, and you can do the same for the other important parts of your life too.
#2 Pushing for That Extra Rep Can Help You Better Tolerate Mental Discomfort
Stress, anger, ambiguity, sadness, they’re all uncomfortable. But so is getting your heart rate up and building new muscle. Exercise feels good, sure, but it’s also uncomfortable (if you’re doing it right).
The more you can push yourself outside your comfort zone, the easier it becomes to be there. Use this same principle when life throws challenges your way to be able to cope with the discomfort in order to propel your life forward.
#3 SMART Fitness Goals Are a Lot Like Taking Life One Step at a Time
In order to reach your fitness goals, you have to break them down to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
The same rings true for overcoming obstacles in your life. Problems aren’t usually solved overnight, but by taking it one step at a time and accomplishing small goals, you will eventually get to your desired end result.
#4 Exercise Opens Your Eyes to All There is to be Grateful For
Exercise releases dopamine and serotonin, two happy hormones that creates that post-workout high that keeps us coming back for more.
Realizing how amazing it feels for your body to be able to move, jump, squat, and boogie brings a sense of gratitude that carries with you to other parts of your life.
#5 Get Sky-high Confidence by Reaching Your Fitness Goals
That big high-five you give yourself after accomplishing five workouts in a week gets you on a total self-esteem buzz.
The more little goals you reach in your fitness journey, the more you’ll feel like the total rockstar that you are.
This confidence isn’t confined to the gym, it will stick with you to help you push through any hardships in day-to-day life that disrupts your flow.
#6 Learn to Trust Your Follow Through by Making a Commitment to Fitness
Showing up to your workout gives you more than envious delts — it proves to yourself that when you make a commitment, you honor it.
When you continue to show up for yourself, it becomes contagious in other parts of your life.
You may be nervous about a presentation, hard conversation, or doctor’s appointment, but knowing you’ll be brave and do it anyways is the mental grit it takes to succeed.
#7 Nothing Like a Little Sweat to Bring You Into The Present Moment
When you’re in the heat of an awesome workout, it’s hard for any negative thoughts to creep in. You are totally present.
When life gets crazy, it’s important to stay centered by being in the present moment. We can feel anxious, stressed, or regretful when we put ourselves in the past or the future. But, when we’re in the present moment, it’s hard to find anything but peace.
#8 Use That Natural Endorphin High to Push You Through Rough Patches
Sometimes our mental strength needs a little boost and there’s really no better way than with a good workout.
Exercise can be an amazing release to push through whatever you’re facing and remember how totally awesome you really are. Some of our favorite workouts to do when life gets you down are boxing, dancing, and yoga. They are some of the best at bringing you into the present moment, calming your mind, and letting off some major steam.
5 Workouts to Try When You Need A Mental Boost
These five workouts are just the kick in the pants or comforting reassurance you need to remind yourself that you can get through anything.
14-Minute Cardio Kickboxing with Breann Mitchell
There’s nothing like punching (or kicking) to (safely) let out pent up energy. With a combination of boxing fundamentals, this quickie cardio workout is just what you need.
10-Minute Fighting Fit with Caroline Pearce
A combination of strength fight conditioning and cardio moves, this calorie-torching workout will have you smiling, feeling fit, and totally unstoppable.
11-Minute Beginner Cardio Dance with Aubre Winters
You don’t need to be a professional to let loose and boogie off all the negativity. This beginner workout is the perfect way to get moving and out of your head.
23-Minute Balance & Focus with Vytas
This Yoga routine includes longer holds that will prove to you just how mentally and physically strong you truly are. By focusing on your breath and the poses, you’ll naturally come into the present moment.
20-Minute Feel Better Yoga with Sydney Benner
You’ll be shocked at just how much better your outlook can get in just 20-minutes with this Yoga flow routine. The postures and movement series will connect your breath and body to clear your mind and help you feel renewed.
When in Doubt, Sweat it Out!
Life is awesome, but it does require mental strength to be your absolute best self. Luckily, your fitness routine may help teach you how to handle any adversity that comes in your life.
Yes, you so got this!