“Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines.” –Robert H. Schuller
Fitness journeys can mean something different to everyone. For some it is an image and for others it may be health related. Whatever the reason, I can bet any of you have struggled with a mental block.
How do I break through that brick wall of a mental block? For me, I literally feel like I hit a brick wall. Recently, I experienced a different kind of mental block that was in no way related to fitness. At the same time it still affected my workouts. Why was this? How could something from a completely separate part of my life have this kind of impact on something I love so much?
It isn’t mental health versus fitness, it is mental health AND fitness. As much as we would like to consider them separate forces, they work together in perpetual motion. Each has to have the right amount of pull in order to create motivation.
Motivation is the eye of the storm. Getting there and staying there are not the same.
What does a mental block look like? Mental blocks can come in all forms or fashions. Work, school, and stress are the most common ones. It can be exciting things too! Extreme emotions create mental blocks because the pull is greaterin that area of your life.
How do I break through my brick wall? Here are a few steps to get you back on track!
- Pinpoint your mental block. Being able to pinpoint your mental block isa huge first step! This allows you to back track to recognize the signs before your mind becomes blocked with nowhere to go. Sometimes mental blocks come straight out of nowhere. At least it may seem that way. Unless it is a huge event that has happened in your life and knowing where the block came from, being able to recognize red flags before getting to a point where you want to shut down and not do fitness isextremely important. I find that people pleasers have the hardest time seeing red flags because of their kind hearts.
- Know your triggers. Knowing your triggers will allow you to prevent a mental block before it even starts! Triggers are anything that have the ability to create intense emotions, these are usually not the positive ones. Expectations, either of yourself or from someone else, are great examples of pressure that lead to mental blocks. Overloading, often a trait with those people pleasers mentioned above or a student trying to get ahead in school by taking too many hours can lead to overexertion and result in a mental block or breakdown.
- HAVE A PLAN! This is the most important of them all. Even if you don’t know your triggers or cannot pinpoint for the life of you where this mental block is coming from, you still have the ability to control it. The way a person reacts to a situation will often determine a much sweeter outcome.
- Divert your attention: Do something different, change your schedule, be spontaneous and it can shake your mental block.
- Stay busy: Staying busy is incredibly important because it does not allow you to sit and dwell and possibly fall deeper into a harder place to recover from.
- A backup for your backup: If not already part of the plan, try talking to a counselor or someone you love that understands you. Don’t ever be afraid to ask for help.
- Treat yourself! Everything starts with mental health and I encourage each of you to do one nice thing for yourself every day. That is also my ‘secret’ to staying motivated. You deserve it and it reminds you of your worth.