Positive mental outlook; once used to advertise washing powder, these three words are so important to living a successful life and being the best version of yourself. Whether dragging yourself out of bed in the morning to get the kids’ breakfast on the go, or winning an Olympic gold medal, the drive to move forward succeed comes from a positive mindset.
As amazing as the brain is, its primary function is survival and hence the majority of the thoughts we have during a day will be negative rather than focused on happiness and fulfilment. If we are able to cultivate more positive thoughts and forge a brighter outlook on life then this can only help improve our happiness, health and ability to attain our life goals. The power of visualisation and belief should not be under estimated, and whilst the majority of us are not professional sportsmen/women, lessons can be learnt from them if we take the time to picture a positive outcome in our mind prior to undertaking a task, however menial. A sprinter would have run the race many times in his/her mind and pictured dipping for the line in first place, believing that the race was won prior to taking position in the starting blocks. Similarly a boxer may picture the crowd chanting his name as his opponent hits the deck, whilst a rugby player may already have scored the winning try in his mind long before the game kicks off. The same can be said when training in the gym, and more often than not it is the mindset of the lifter that causes a lift to be failed. It has long been said that the mind will fail long before your muscles and this explains the importance of a good positive mindset when pushing your body hard in the gym. How many times have you been lifting a good rep for a weight then struggled or even failed when increasing the weight for the same lift? This is more common than you think and comes down to the psychology of lifting and lack of belief in ones self. Obviously a more positive outlook alone will not enable you to lift a weight beyond your muscles’ capability, but if personal bests are to be achieved then you must first believe that you are capable and not give in to the voice in your head telling you that it cannot be done.
A positive mindset and belief in oneself is not just of use in the sporting and exercise world, but can be applied to everyday living and lead to improvements in mood, productiveness and overall happiness. Who doesn’t want to develop better habits, feel more energised and generally have a better outlook on life? To be the best versions of ourselves we must do our best to stay positive, be aware and show gratitude for the good things in our lives. However bad your current situation is, there are always things that we can be grateful for whether family, health, the sun shining or even material objects that you cherish (sorry, starting to sound like an old hippy now!), and by focusing on these rather than negative thoughts we can make our day better and improve our general outlook. Start the day well and this sets us up for a more productive and fulfilling rest of the day, so wake up and think happy thoughts, be grateful for the things in your life that are important to you and make plans to go out and be your best.
Think happy thoughts and be the best you can be!