It’s been a couple of months now since I started my Couch to 5K training, and I’m delighted to say that I have achieved my objective of running 5K without stopping! I completed my first park Run earlier this month and now have a PB to beat. I may not be the fastest or most elegant of runners, but I have done it and feel pretty good about myself!
Of course, there have been days when I have struggled, thought about making excuses for not getting out there but I’m so pleased that I kept at it. So pleased that I have achieved my goal. So much so that I am now aiming for a half-marathon next year!
Just at the moment I have a bit of back trouble, so I’ve had to slow things down a bit, but I know that I’ll be back to normal soon, ready to push myself a bit harder. As I mentioned in my last blog, each time I have achieved a goal, I have been rewarded with dopamine. That’s what keeps me motivated even when there is a setback. Progress rarely goes in a straight line. There are normally a few peaks and a few troughs along the way and that can be hard to deal with. But when we do make progress, dopamine is what makes us feel so good and keeps us on track.
I have used other techniques too. Things like visualisation. Visualising myself reaching the finish line or running a bit further or faster. By doing this, I’m starting to form new patterns in my brain, patterns that tell me I can do this. When I’ve been struggling on the 3rd lap of the course it really helped to have that image in my head!
Positive forecasting helps too. So much of achieving a physical challenge is down to out mental attitude. If we tell ourselves ‘I can’t do that!’, we’re not going to! Getting that positive mindset is key to success.
Focusing through is something else I use. That means thinking ahead to how good I’ll feel at the end rather than focusing on feeling tired, cold and wet. Using my imagination to summon up those positive feelings, those feelings of satisfaction that I know I’ll have when I get to the end.
Using your Imagination
Our imagination is a very powerful thing, something we can all tap into and use to our advantage. When you’re hungry and you think of a food you really love, does your mouth start watering? That’s how good your imagination is, we actually get a physical response to our thoughts. Most of us know how easy it is to imagine the worst so let’s turn that around and imagine things as we want them to be, it really does make us feel better. It can release dopamine, serotonin and acetyl choline into our bodies – all ‘happy hormones’.
If you would like to find our more about these techniques, or need a little help to find the motivation to make the changes you’d like to make, contact Karen to find out how Solution Focused Hypnotherapy could help you. It doesn’t matter what you want to achieve, having a positive mindset will help.