Have you ever been shocked by the sudden creativity you’ve displayed when making up excuses for why you keep ditching out on the gym? If you’re amazed at your mind’s resolve to constantly lie to itself about why you haven’t been following up on your new year’s resolution to get in shape, the problem may not lye in laziness, but in your mind itself.
Although there’s no way to know for sure what your inhibition is unless you see a therapist, the most common reason stopping people from going to the gym is the anxiety they associate with working out.
Overcoming this anxiety is more than just simply forcing yourself to overcome it each time you want to work out. You need to attack the source of your anxiety by breaking the negative associations your subconscious mind has with exercise.
Reprogramming Your Subconscious Mind
There are many ways to reprogram your subconscious into having positive associations with something that normally triggers anxiety. They can either be by extracting negative associations from your subconscious or by implanting positive ones.
One of the most popular ways of extraction is through guided imagery. Guided imagery is a type of meditation as well as hypnosis where one follows a script (usually read by someone else or a recording) that takes them to a trance like state of focused relaxation. The scripts are designed for different purposes, but they are all made with a degree of vagueness so that the person will fill in the gaps with their own mind.
For instance, for anxiety about exercising, one would use a script that allowed them to pinpoint what exactly it is about exercising that is triggering anxiety, and then negating that association or replacing it with a positive one. Most scripts will usually have you maintain a certain pose during the session so that, with enough training, you can elicit the positive emotions you achieved during your session by reenacting the image.
One of the most popular methods of implanting new ideas into one’s consciousness is through self hypnosis. Very similar to guided imagery, self-hypnosis involves entering a trance like state of focused relaxation, where you or a psychotherapist implants positive thoughts that negate or associate the negative connotations that have been triggering your anxiety symptoms.
However, some suggestions can lead to the creation of false memories in a hypnotist’s patient, which is why hypnotherapy remains more controversial than self-hypnosis.
As soon as you eliminate the link your subconscious makes between exercise and negative emotions, you’ll not only be able to do exercise free of debilitation. Not only will you experience a drop in body fat percentage, but the sense of empowerment you’ve gained from it will give you more confidence to deal with future anxieties.
This was a guest post by Charlie Swahili