I think I usually have a pretty positive attitude toward life, including how I view the world, my body, my work, and my running. But we have all had those days filled with negative thoughts, and know how one negative thought seems to lead to another in a huge downward spiral.
Recently, I read this article about the science behind positive thinking.
Negative emotions narrow your mind and prevent you from seeing the other options around you. For example, if you feel bad about not exercising or not eating healthy, all you think about is how little willpower you have, how you’re lazy, and how you don’t have any motivation
Positive emotions (joy, contentment, love, happiness) allow you to see more possibilities in your life and open up your mind. In turn, these posibilities allow you to build useful skills and enhance your life.
The article goes on to say that it is important to find things that you enjoy doing and spark these positive emotions. But also to be careful not to put off happiness until you have reached some arbitrary goal. Happiness should be the precursor to success (building your skills), but is also often the result of it.
So, what makes you feel positive? Is it running or other exercise? Reading your favorite book? Talking to your best friend? Mediating? Cooking a delicious meal? Whatever it is… make time for it!
I think this is a good reminder that we need to schedule time and energy toward happiness.
For me, exercise is a key to feeling good every day. I feel stronger, it helps me work toward my goals, and eventually see results.
Ryan and I also really enjoy scheduling activities on the weekend, whether it is trying stand up paddle boarding, going wine tasting, or exploring a new place (going camping or hiking). Enjoying the outdoors and being active are things that make us happy.