Happiness and Exercise

I am currently enjoying reading the book Hardwiring Happiness by Dr. Rick Hanson.Hardwire

It is full of interesting information about how our brains are hardwired to look for problems to be solved. This is normal and kept us safe for many, many years.   In our modern-day however, there is a need to shift to looking for what is good in each moment.  We are no longer as threatened by physical harm, our stress today is more mental and emotional.   He discusses how simply shifting to focus on what is going well changes our brains ability to cope with stress and helps improve health as a result.

What does this have to do with exercise?

When we exercise  it is easy to focus on what is wrong with our body, what we cannot do, how far we have to go.

The issue is not as much what is wrong with our body, but how we define exercise success.  (and how much the media influences this)

Maybe we can’t do what other people are doing on TV or next to us at the gym – but most of us CAN move at least something.

Doing more than our body is ready to do leads to pain, stiffness and discouragement.

Doing less movement than our body needs leads to pain, stiffness, deconditioning and discouragement.

Accepting and then regularly doing what we CAN do right now builds strength, stamina and confidence.

It is about focusing on the positive not the negative. The negative is still there – but when we choose to focus on what we CAN do rather than what we CAN’T do – we find success.

This book is full of simple ways to practice training the brain to overcome the brains tendency to focus on what is missing and use this shift to the positive to help us stay motivated to move in a healthy way.  These tools are very applicable to the common struggles with exercise and weight management motivation. 

Keep Moving, Be Well



by | April 16, 2015 · 6:44 pm

2 responses to “Happiness and Exercise

  1. This post reminded me of the quote “The only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday”

    I guess it works for exercise as well. Rather than trying to compare ourselves to the guy on TV, we should compare ourselves to who we were yesterday, and try to take one small step at a time ahead.


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