How to overcome your resistance to exercise. The mindful way to get you moving and enjoying life.
Write down how you see and feel about yourself right now. Where you are in your life and your physical body.
Now take a few minutes to imagine how you would like be and feel in six months time. Add as much multi-sensory input into your imagery as possible. See and feel into the health of your body, your physical appearance and your emotional state. Perhaps choose an event you are going to and set the scene in your mind how you would like to be, how the other people are around you and soak up the whole atmosphere. Afterwards record/write everything down for you to refer to at a later date.
The “Feel It” also (known as “Letting Go”) process is a very simple, yet powerful tool that you can use at any time to work on yourself to clear emotional issues and negative feelings which surface. It is a form of meditation. When you allow yourself to feel into an emotion, without judging, fearing or condemning it, you dissipate the energy around it and the emotion disappears.
Next, write a list of all the reasons why you do not presently regularly exercise, what holds you back? Take each reason separately and ask yourself ‘how does this make you feel?’ Sit with and allow yourself to be present in the emotion until it dissolves. Many people live in their heads and seldom connect with their hearts and how they feel. Feelings however are great signposts for giving us direction in life. There are often many layers to a feeling. Each time you use the “Feel It” process, you reduce the energy around the emotion. Be kind to yourself and allow time to do this. Like learning any new skill, it takes practice. It may be beneficial to feel into just one reason per day, rather than tackling a variety of issues.
Start by reminding yourself of your intentions (recall your 6-month multi-sensory imagery). It is essential that you choose activities which you enjoy doing. Look at your week ahead and decide in advance when you are going to slot in the activities. Be realistic with your aims and goals. Take small steps to begin with. It is better to over-achieve your goal for the week, than under-achieve, as this becomes demoralizing. When you repeat this process the following week, you’ll be aware of your capabilities. Avoid leaving these decisions to the last minute. Remember this needs to include both moderate aerobic activity and strength training exercises. Click here for the NHS guidelines. Keep a visible diary of your activity schedule (perhaps on the fridge) and check this off each day.
As well as meditating using the “Feel It” process, spend time meditating on your goals – how you want to be and feel. This a great way to keep your mind and body focused and on-track with your goals, maintaining your positive frame of mind.
Choose from the active imagery library of products which area of the body you’d like to concentrate working on and download and listen to the appropriate exercises. With the ‘activate’ and ‘regenerate’ products you can either simply imagine yourself perform or listen as well as physically performing the routines. The ‘accelerate’ products are high tempo for imagery only.
At the end of each week return to no.1 and repeat the process.
The great benefit of exercising is that you will notice a difference in yourself within a few days. You’ll even notice a difference by simply listening to active imagery. After a time, you can avoid plateauing off by varying routes, speeds, exercises and weights (if appropriate). The human body is very clever, it soon finds a way of performing an activity using the least amount of energy and muscle groups, so keep varying what you do, it is more fun this way too.
If on an occasion you find you’ve been unable to keep to your allotted activity for the day, rather than chastising yourself for doing this, use the “Feel It” process to feel into these emotions and let them go. We are all human! Letting go of any negative feelings and emotions around this, will free you to enjoy moving forward next time. Throughout our lives, we tend to mirror patterns of behaviour, so it is very likely that as you clear away your emotional exercise blocks, you also clear others areas in your life, freeing you up to live a happier, healthier, more active and effective life.