Last Updated on September 18, 2017 by Michael Brockbank
Your mental state plays more of a role in health and fitness than you might realize. For many people, there needs to be a balance between a mental state and the body. Without this balance, you’ll find it harder to meet your goals.
The Importance of Your Mental State
The mind is an ultra-powerful vessel when it comes to virtually anything in your life. Depending on the situation, you could easily talk yourself into doing things you wouldn’t normally do. Thanks to the subconscious, we can find ourselves doing those things and not understanding why until months or even years later.
Your mental state will control a range of things when it comes to becoming healthy. Here are seven ways that it can and will affect your goals.
1. Low Levels of Motivation
One of the biggest issues many people have when it comes to health and fitness is motivation. This is one issue I still battle with today. In many cases, I find it fairly easy to talk myself out of things and not just do them.
Motivation, in relation to your mind, is modified through various stimuli. A lack of sleep can be a huge contributor to this process. For instance, how often do you find it more difficult to work when you haven’t slept? How easy is it to talk yourself into that calorie-rich donut instead of eating healthy? A lack of sleep is very influential to your mind and body beyond simply having muscle fatigue.
You need to find something that can keep your mind focused when it comes to healthy eating or exercise. Find a focal point that motivates you to be more than what you are today. I try to focus on things that get me overly excited as it helps drive motivation to keep going.
2. No Ambition
A lack of ambition definitely affects success in virtually any situation. Whether it’s losing 50 pounds to fit into a sexy superhero costume for Halloween or studying for a big test in school, no ambition will keep you in a rut.
Being satisfied with where you are in life isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But what would your life be like if you put in the effort to be more than you are now? It’s OK to be proud of your body and be happy. Just realize a lack of health is also a lack of longevity. If you’re content with dying much sooner than later, then I guess that’s all that really matters.
Motivation and ambition can work together to affect your mental state. When you have low ambitions, you may also have low levels of motivation. This is because you might not see a real reason to do more with yourself, thus you’re not motivated to do more.
3. Lack of Confidence
One reason a lot of people fail when trying to get into shape or follow diets intently is because of a lack of confidence. Many will become quite frustrated when they don’t see instant results in weight loss. As a result, they feel less confident in success.
Confidence affects a wide swath of elements in your life. Everything from the clothes you wear to asking that special someone out on a date, it’s all going to be connected. In this instance, a lack of confidence will alter your mental state and convince yourself that efforts are fruitless.
This is one reason I like setting small personal goals and records. Because your weight will fluctuate, keeping track of personal bests gives you a visual of positive progress. For instance, I set my first record of push-ups at eight. Over time, I was able to work my way up to 22. This drives me to do more.
Meeting goals and setting new records for yourself enhances your confidence.
4. Suffering from High Levels of Stress
Stress is very damaging to the human body. Not only will it change your mental state, but it can cause various issues within as well. For example, stress can lead to a lack of sleep, irritable bowel syndrome, reduced sex life and high blood pressure.
From the mental perspective, stress can alter your process of rational thought. It means you’re more likely to make decisions that are not conducive to a positive outcome of a certain situation. It may also make you more likely to not consider your overall health.
A lot of people, including myself, use exercise to combat stress. It clears the mind, helps focus your attention and increases the body’s production of “feel good” hormones. You might be amazed at what 30 minutes of hard-core aerobics can do for your mental state.
5. Lack of True Inspiration
How often do you feel truly inspired by the actions of another? I don’t mean simply feeling good when you see a heroic action or getting goosebumps when you see an inspirational meme on Facebook. I’m talking about the feeling of inspiration you get which drives you to take action.
A lot of us can point out people, places or things that we say are inspirational. Unfortunately, it only ends at the “good feelings” stage for many. You need to find that thing that drives you to succeed morning, noon and night.
Not all forms of inspiration need to come from some glorious actions taken about another. For instance, my mom lit a fire under my ass recently. Her first book hits the shelves next month. While I’m nowhere near being able to publish anything on such a grand scale, it has been inspirational for me to finish my Wattpad novellas.
6. Expecting Instant Results
Periodically, I’ll come across questions like, “What’s the best way to lose 30 pounds in two weeks?” The truth is, there isn’t a healthy way to do it without surgeries or street drugs. Having this expectation can be damaging to someone’s idea of becoming healthy.
The average human can lose about two to three pounds per week from a good diet and exercise. It’s quite possible to lose more, which is dependent on your own physiology and metabolism. Every person is different, and basing your ideas of weight loss compared to others is misguiding.
There is no place for instant gratification when it comes to proper health and fitness. Think of it this way: imagine the pride you’ll feel when you work hard to achieve a certain weight or accomplish this week’s goals.
7. Suffering from Depression
Another one of my biggest issues is facing depression. On the days when I am down, it’s hard to have a good mental state regarding any of the previous points. It’s not something you should dismiss readily.
Everyone has a different concept and behavior when it comes to depression. And not everyone can handle these feelings and high levels of stress in the same way. This is perhaps one of the most damaging aspects of health not only for you mentally, but physically as well.
Because everyone is different when it comes to depression, I can’t really say what will work for you to get rid of it. Personally, I try to weather it out and not think too much on certain situations. Instead, I’ll try to lose myself in something I enjoy…even though it doesn’t always work.
Enhance Your Mental State
If you don’t want a diet or exercise routine to work, it’s not going to. Your mental state will play an important role in getting yourself fit, and it’s worth the effort to do what you can to make sure it’s not a hindrance. Even on the days when you don’t want to, at least give it your best shot.