Your mental state can have a direct effect on your athletic performance while working out. Not only do you have to contend with physical pain and discomfort, but you also have to fight against any personal doubts or anxiety about how well you are doing. And, issues in the mind can make it more challenging for the body to perform, even if you physically have something left in the tank.
Luckily, there are numerous ways to help keep your mind in the right place while you are working out. If you are interested in some tips to make sure you get the most out of every workout, then check these out.
Let the Music Move You
Music is a great addition to any workout; it can help you find (and keep) a rhythm while providing a positive form of distraction from any physical discomfort you may experience while exercising. In fact, you can even increase the intensity of your workout by simply choosing faster music options.
In some cases, music can tap into your memories or help you emotionally connect with your activity. When a song is associated with a positive feeling, you can extend that into your workout simply by listening to that song. Choose tracks with positive associations, and you can elevate your mood. It also gives you the ability to become more self-aware and allows you to escape feelings of negativity.
Work toward a Goal
Setting goals can help you focus your thoughts towards what you really want. To make sure you get the most from your goals, it is important to choose them well. You want to make sure your selections are SMART or specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. This gives you something to strive for in a way that is trackable. You can see your progress as you continue your program, and the possibility of reaching the goal in a reasonable amount of time helps push you forward.
If you have a larger goal that will take a significant amount of time to reach, then divide it into smaller goals that are more achievable in the near future. Once you conquer that goal, move on to the next logical step along the path. For example, losing 100 lbs. will take serious time, so consider starting with a smaller goal, like losing 20 lbs., to help get you moving in the right direction.
Use Your Stress
Sometimes, being stressed or irritated can help you fuel your next workout. You can channel that energy and emotion into the task at hand, giving you the ability to vent those feelings in a healthy way. Instead of reliving the difficult moments, or rehashing them over and over in your mind, consider visualizing the negative feelings being expelled from your mind and body with every rep. As you get closer to the end of your workout, your stress levels should have fallen, leaving you in a better mindset than when you started.
Pay Attention to Your Body
One option to help keep your thoughts from interfering with your workout efforts is to intently focus on your body and form while you move through the exercises. Keep yourself in the present, and truly pay attention to each movement. If you want to make it easier, consider adding compression wear (as discussed on this site). The increased pressure can make you more mindful of your body positioning, and may even help you maintain better form through increased awareness.