Self Inflicted Joy
Feb 06, 23
What happens to our brains when we move our bodies? Let’s just say, some profound things occur. We know exercise has physical benefits like improved cardiovascular fitness, lowered cholesterol levels, and weight loss, but the mental benefits go much deeper. What about the impact of daily movement on your sleep and even your sex life? Serotonin and endorphins (happy chemicals) can improve our stress levels, increase our energy reserves, and mental sharpness. Movement can make our daily lives (and all its challenges) more manageable if we allow it. When it comes to experiencing all that life has to offer, moving our bodies is at the crux of it all.
Challenging perceptions can be difficult, especially in an industry like this. There’s a narrow idea of what a “fit” person looks like, the exercises you “should” be doing, and a certain pressure to enjoy the most popular methods on the market. This one-size-fits-all approach leaves many of us on the margins, hoping to find our place.
But this is a limiting mindset that hinders people from reaching their goals. What the industry doesn’t tell you is that daily movement practices are highly customizable and ever-changing. There is no singular path. Motivation is a muscle much easier to build when you enjoy what you’re doing. So let’s expand our minds and brainstorm how you can get your daily movement in.
This chart is by no means exhaustive. It’s vital to find daily movement practices that you genuinely enjoy. Forget what everyone else is doing or what “seems right” and ask yourself — what activities invite curiosity, excitement, and energy into your days? Focus on what feels like a breath of fresh air.
The media tends to have biased messaging around exercise. This impacts how we expect to feel when we move. We’ve all heard the rhetoric around “dreading your morning workout.” Fitness spaces can be aesthetic-driven and unwelcoming. It’s easy to tell yourself, “you’re not a gym person” or someone who “works out,” but the reality is: movement belongs to all of us.
You don’t need to hate moving your body. In fact, for the next month, try substituting terms like exercise, fitness, and working out for daily activity or intuitive movement instead. See what happens when you retrain your mindset to form new relationships to moving the body.
Language is important — words have power and shape realities. How we speak to ourselves matters, and our inner dialogue can be our greatest asset! Tell yourself that daily movement can be joyful, humorous, and invigorating. Go out and find the practices that positively shape this reality. Try new things, experiment — but be honest when something doesn’t stick and then shamelessly pivot. When you keep an open mind toward movement, you allow yourself to experience self-inflicted joy.
Every day, for five minutes a day — take some time to visualize where you can find your moments of joy in daily movement. Resist the urge to compare yourself to an image perpetuated by the media (unfollow all those fitness accounts if you need to), and become deeply curious about what gets you going. We’re in this for life, after all! And when you come across roadblocks, remember a few things:
- Motivation is like a muscle- train (practice) it!
- You can enjoy your daily workout
- There is no one way to reach your goals
Life throws us curveballs, some days are better than others, and the reality is: we’re human beings. You will not wake up everyday with the same set of conditions, emotions, or quality of sleep. What you can do is nurture a deeper lifestyle change that shifts your mind towards movement. When things are less than perfect and your day is thrown for a loop, what habits can you fall back on? Let us know what you come up with in the comments section!
Founder of Wear One’s At