VIDEO - The Importance of Exercise for Personal Success
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I’ve always enjoyed exercising - I loved dancing as a kid, and then started going to the gym when I was 18 - so I’ve always understood the positive effects exercise can have over your whole being. So when my anxiety started directly affecting my ability to not only go to the gym, but to enjoy it, then I really felt the negative effects across every aspect of my life from not exercising regularly.
As I’ve talked in my previous videos about working on overcoming my anxiety, a big hurdle for me was gaining back that enjoyment of going to the gym. I felt so off because something that I had always loved and considered a big part of my life, was suddenly the bane of my existence and I didn’t enjoy it at all - if anything, it made me feel horrible about myself.
As I started practicing meditation, I finally started to feel like I was gaining control over my anxiety. That meditation eventually turned into practicing yoga, and once I started practicing yoga regularly, suddenly I felt much more confident in myself physically, and that led me to be more confident into going back to the gym. And suddenly I realised that I had slowly and gradually worked myself back up to going to the gym with no anxiety, and I found that I actually started enjoying it again!
It was also helped significantly throughout this process by the fact that I was also fine-tuning and improving my diet. I have been suffering from hormonal acne for the past several months, and to fix it I needed to change my diet. So as I was cutting out dairy and refined sugar, I was feeling better and better, and I was even more encouraged to go to the gym and exercise, because I felt great!
Looking after yourself physically through diet, exercise, and sleep, is important because it can transform the way you work. It can help you be more confident in yourself, doubt yourself less, and be more willing to go out and try new things. I find I’m more inclined to go out because I feel like I’ve worked hard and deserve to be rewarded by taking a break and enjoying myself.
Moving your body regularly is also super important for artists! We’re sitting down for long periods of time, straining our eyes and hands. Exercise can prevent injury - it gives us an excuse to take a break from the eye and hand strain, and can help improve our posture!
It’s easier to focus on work, because regular exercise creates a regular routine, which makes you more productive and used to being productive. Whereas, when you procrastinate on your exercise, you end up procrastinating on everything else - it has a snowball effect on other aspects of your life, and you’ll find that when your exercise suffers, so does everything else.
When I don’t exercise, I find it harder to stick to a healthy diet. Or if I stop eating well, I typically find it harder to convince myself to exercise. So if one goes, the other typically goes as well. And once they’re both gone, it’s just a gradual decline in motivation to do anything in any aspect of your life - not only exercise, but work or creating.
So How do you Start?
It’s extremely important to find what exercise works for YOU, and it’s also important to EASE into it - don’t make yourself feel responsible to make a drastic change immediately, because you’ll most likely “fail”, and that will deter you from continuing with exercising.
Like I said above, to get myself back into going to the gym, I didn’t force myself straight into it (I actually did try this many times, and it never worked). Instead, I started small, with meditation - focusing initially on changing my MINDSET. Then, as I felt more confident with that, I developed it into a form of exercising that worked WITH that mindset, which was yoga! Yoga is great because it focuses on breathing and being mindful of your entire body and how you feel mentally, which is very similar to meditation. As I started seeing physical improvements through practicing yoga, it gave me the confidence to exercise a little harder - so I went back to the gym, and then the gym didn’t seem like such a HUGE task for me to overcome, anymore. Rather, I built myself up to regular meditation, which developed into regular exercise through yoga, and so regular gym was just a step up from that!
When you don’t put so much pressure on yourself to have to be perfect or achieve EVERYTHING at once, then you really relish in the process and the baby steps you make. You learn to ENJOY the process, and accept yourself for your current position. If you do that, you will ALWAYS find success! Because success isn’t the end result - it’s simply improving on what you were before.
So I implore you - if you haven’t yet found that balance of regular exercise which you enjoy, take the time to explore it! Go slow, and enjoy the process. And even if you find something hard, and therefore not enjoyable, have faith because once you practise anything regularly, after a time you WILL start to enjoy it, because you’ll see improvement, and what was once difficult will become much easier!
Your mind and body are an incredible gift, as they can accomplish SO much if you continuously work on bettering yourself! And once you start experiencing that growth, you’ll experience the positive impacts it has across your whole life!