Feel free to roll your eyes on how cliche it sounds that fitness can unlock happiness for you. Once you finished, continue reading.
There are three ways we manifest ourselves as human beings: with our thoughts, our emotions, and our physical bodies. Those three expressions, as a combination, help us identify ourselves. At this particular moment, you are thinking about something, you are in a certain mood, and your body defines the physical boundaries between YOU and the rest of the world. Whether your thoughts, emotions, and your body are in a positive or negative state determines how happy you are.
Now here’s the thing. All three systems – thoughts, emotions, and physical body – cannot be out of sync for a long time. Ever noticed how, when you are in a bad mood, your thoughts are negative and you feel like sh*t? Well, that’s your systems syncing up.
Now, play along with me and do the following experiment. Sit down in a corner on the floor with your hands around your knees. In a sad, sad voice say, “I am the most amazing person on the planet. I am lucky, happy, and live a beautiful life.” Feels off, doesn’t it? How about this one! Stand on a chair, chest up, like a superman who just saved the world. With a smile on your face and in the most gracious voice say: “I am a loser who has never done anything meaningful in life.” Pretty odd as well!
Why? Because doing these things you artificially put your thoughts and emotions out of sync with your body. And this dissonance is very real until all three sync up.
The question arises, what do they sync up to? What wins? Negative or positive? What if my body feels great, but I am really pissed and pessimistic?
When you stress because a random person on a subway stepped on you without apologizing, your thoughts on the entire humanity will soon turn dark. Suddenly a proximity of anyone, let alone them sneezing, coughing, or even talking, annoys the hell out of you. Or when you catch yourself analyzing your thoughts on all the wrongs your boss is getting away with, how quickly will you start feeling edgy? Finally, when you are sick and stuck in bed, isn’t it depressing to miss on all the good things in life?
You see what’s happening here? When one out of three is negative, the remaining two would synchronize to that. Does it mean that a negative mode always wins? Not really!
Your thoughts, your emotions, and your physical body will sync to the mode that gets the most consistent stimulus. You start feeling like crap when you are pissed since your mood and your thoughts, at the moment, give the strongest signal. So your body has to adjust. When you leave it to self-regulation, naturally the negative will prevail. This is what we are wired for evolutionary.
Since the three cannot be out of sync for a long time, for happiness, you need your thoughts, emotions, and body to get into a positive mode. How do you get there?
Let’s start with emotions. If you can decide to stop being sad and become awesome, congrats! You are the master of your emotions! You deserve a slow clap and a golden star you can hang in your office. Controlling emotions and always keeping them sincerely positive is difficult without an involvement of regulated substances. So betting on using positive emotions to sync up your thoughts and your physical body is a tough one.
What about your thoughts? A bit warmer – it’s called visualization and meditation. Artificially focus on nurturing of positive thoughts or removal of negative ones, and you can sync up your body and emotions to that. But here’s a problem: how long can you stay in your happy pants before some distractions start taking over? Not easy!
Well, let’s move on to your body. Here you have all the keys! You can always put your body in a positive mode, providing enough of a continuous stimulus so that your thoughts and emotions can’t help but adjust. Experiments showed that even standing in a superhero pose for a few moments improves your physiological systems, your mood, and your self-esteem.
Your body is something that you can consciously maintain in a heightened state for an extended period of time. Standing straight, sitting tall, getting your pulse up from running, getting sweaty from weight training. Even though the way you carry yourself is also prone to slippages into subconsciousness, it is the easiest to return your body back to the positive mode.
And, you guessed it, fitness is the best way to put a system to the process. Fitness does not have to mean 90-minute daily workouts. It can be a series of gradual adjustments that you schedule for yourself and a number of reminders that you surround yourself with. Make them non-invasive and fun to perform. Fill up your “points jar” with healthy habits! Create a list of healthy things you can do and pick and choose from them. As long as you do 5 out of 10 a day (or however many you feel relevant) – you are good!
Adopt a fitness lifestyle, in your own definition, with the goal to constantly maintain your body in a positive mode. Do expect that your thoughts will be asking “WTF?” when you start standing taller and smile more. Naturally, the positive thoughts will be conducive of synching emotions to the rest of the trio. And so are emotions. So whatever allies your “positive body” can get – welcome them to the camp. Do not allow the remaining negative one to dominate.
Now working through the disbalance of thoughts, emotions, and physical body modes is an energy consuming event. Once the three are in sync, you can focus this energy on whatever it is important and what you desire in life. If you sync to negative, this is the place you will be creating from. Limitations, excuses, scarcity. If you sync to positive, you will be creating from the mindset of possibilities, actions, and abundance.
So often we fall victims of negative thoughts and emotions taking over our existence and dictating our directions in life. Evolutionary built to identify danger, our thoughts and emotions are just doing their job. But our physical body – something that we have a full control of – is as strong of a player in the trio, capable of swinging all to the positive side. Making physical fitness your priority can create that system to continuously bring your body, thoughts, and emotions in the heightened state. From there – you are powerful beyond limits.