If you’re struggling to stick to a training routine, or if you constantly crave ‘comfort food’ – then often the problem is a low mood.
The mind and body link is a more literal and genuine connection than most people realize, and if you suffer from a constantly low mood then you won’t be able to get into shape as easily as you should. To change your body you often need to start by changing your mind – and that often means looking at other aspects of your life.
In short, if you come home from work happy, buzzing and generally in good spirits then you are probably 30 times more likely to work out than if you come home feeling stressed and tired. As such, it’s highly important that you combat any feelings of stress or depression in your life in order to train, or at least learn to manage it.
If you are feeling depressed and empty of energy then you of course should look at addressing this as an issue in itself. It may be for instance that you have a medical condition such as hypothyroidism, in which case you will need medication to help you get over the problem (don’t see this as a reason not to train though – just see it as more of a challenge and more of an achievement when you do it – exercising is actually one of the best things you can do for hypothyroidism or any of the other common tiredness diseases).
If you have depression meanwhile then you might want to look at seeing a therapist to help you overcome the problem. Check out our page on natural remedies for depression. The most popular form of therapy these days for conditions such as depression is cognitive behavioral therapy which we will touch on in this book. Again though you should note that working out is actually a very good natural treatment for depression – because it can encourage your body to produce endorphins which are happiness hormones that act as natural antidepressants.
At the same time you also need to think about when you are at your most energetic – such as first thing in the morning perhaps or in the evening, and then time your workouts to coincide with that so that you can ride the tide of your good mood.
Look as well at the outside factors that might be causing your bad mood – for instance if your career is a source of a lot of stress then maybe you should think about changing? Or if your relationship is unhappy look at that instead and speak with your partner about being unhappy. Sometimes it takes some significant soul searching to realize just why you’re struggling with a low mood, but it’s very worth taking the time to do this if you want to improve your energy levels.
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Ultimately though you only need to overcome this depression for a certain amount of time in order to complete the workout, so you can use various strategies to do this. One psychological phenomenon you can use here is ‘priming’ which basically means using media and external factors to alter your mood to one that is conducive for what you want to achieve. This is why putting on motivational or up-tempo music is so effective as a way to get yourself into the gym. A motivation film can also often do the same thing.
And due to the fact that exercise produces endorphins – happiness hormones – you’ll also benefit from improved mood as a result of doing the exercise setting yourself on a virtuous cycle to improving all kinds of aspects of your life.
If you liked this article, you may also find Brian’s blog helpful. Brian is a fitness expert and likes to share some effective abs workout tips on his blog. Get to know some easy and best tips on health/fitness on his blog.
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