Sunday, 24 February 2019
What are your triggers?
Health and fitness have a lot to do with our state of mind. I'm sure you all by now are sick of me telling you of the mental health benefits of exercise so I won't go on about that today. But I will approach the subject from a slightly different angle.
As much as exercise and nutrition can impact our mental health, our thought patterns and emotions can also impact our health choices. This may come as no surprise to you - the majority of people I would guess know about emotional eating but if we look a little more closely at our emotions then it can help us to work through these thoughts and feelings and not let them derail our healthy fitness and nutrition habits.
First, let's take a look at eating. It is always useful to see how emotions and stress play a part in our eating habits. Take me for example, when I am stressed or feeling depressed, I tend to want to eat, and it isn't usually carrots and broccoli that I am craving! This is useful information.
This means that when I feel those feelings and feel like eating, I can try and either adjust what I choose to eat to something a little more healthy than muffins and milkshakes, or I can distract myself with something like getting a workout in or going for a walk.
Knowing my triggers can help me to work towards my health and fitness goals and also make me more self-aware in general. There are plenty of triggers when it comes to eating, a few examples are being stressed, feeling overworked, being bored, feeling sad or angry, having low self-esteem (whether it is in general or just one of those days), feeling underappreciated, neglected or even just plain tired.
There are hundreds more, and these ones may or may not apply to you. The important thing is to know which ones set you down a less than ideal path when it comes to your eating habits.
A similar process is also useful when it comes to your exercise habits. What makes you miss workouts? Is it the time of day? I wrote a blog post recently which mentioned that if you train in the morning it helps prevent life getting in the way. But there are plenty of other things that can derail us. Many of them in our own heads.
Look at your thought process when you feel like skipping a workout. Is it because you are tired from a long day of work? Is it because you feel sad about something? Is it simply because you can't be bothered? Working through these thoughts in a logical way can help you deal with these triggers and find a way to work around them. Look for opportunities to break out of that mindset if you can - distract yourself, get a friend to join you at the gym to help you with your motivation on tough days, join a group fitness class to have that extra motivation of training with others.
Whatever you do though, take a little time out to work on your own headspace. Find out what triggers you to stray from your health and fitness path. If you spend a little time doing this work, you may be surprised at the results you get. It is never time wasted when you use it to get to know yourself a bit better.
If you would like help with your health and fitness, then contact me through my website and set up an initial consultation. I would love to hear from you.