This photo is one of my biggest exercise motivators. I love her body and I love the tomboy look it reminds me so much of myself. I think that is one of the keys to finding things that motivate you. Things that remind you of yourself and let you know,”Hey! I can do this!”
This tip is an continuation of emotional eating, it explains how you can overcome it:
- Focus on the present: “Whether you are at your job, doing housework, playing a sport, or taking a walk, focusing your mind on your present activity or experience can help elevate your mood.
As you focus on the present, try to keep an accepting, nonjudgmental attitude toward whatever you are experiencing at the moment. This practice, called mindfulness, has been taught in Eastern traditions for centuries, and is increasingly used in Western medicine to treat anxiety, depression, addictions, eating disorders, and stress-related conditions.
You can practice mindfulness now by taking a moment to look around and notice the colors, sounds, and other details of your environment. As you become caught up in the present, you free your mind from the worries and unhealthy thought patterns that depress your mood.
Try to practice mindfulness throughout the day. When you are actively engaged in a task, keep your mind on that task instead of letting your thoughts wander. When you are not actively engaged in a task, focus your thoughts on your present experience or surroundings.
The most difficult part of focusing on the present is just remembering to do it. Place it where you will see it often, and move it around every day or two so it doesn’t fade into the background.
- Relax your mind: When you are in a stressful situation, your body experiences a stress
response (often called the “fight or flight” response). Your heart rate and blood pressure increase, your air passages open up, and glucose pours into your blood stream. Blood vessels that feed your skin and digestive system constrict, sending extra blood to your muscles, heart, and brain. These changes prepare your body and mind for action. You are on edge, ready to fight or flee.
The stress response is natural and sometimes beneficial. It enables you to focus your physical and mental abilities in a sudden dangerous or challenging situation. The constant activation of the stress response, however, is not natural, and can cause various mental and physical problems.
Your body also has a relaxation response that opposes the stress response. The relaxation response occurs naturally when your mind is at ease, but it can’t occur when you are worrying, judging, or analyzing. You can deliberately produce the relaxation response by freeing your mind from these kinds of thoughts. One way to do this is by meditating. Sleeping, lounging around, and watching television are often less helpful because they may not free your mind from disturbing or arousing thoughts. Regular activation of the relaxation response can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression and promote healing from stress-related physical illnesses.8,9 Daily mental relaxation will increase your ability to tolerate the stressful events in your life as they occur, so you are less tempted to turn to food for comfort. There are several ways to activate the relaxation response. Three of the easiest and most powerful techniques are sensory focus, basic meditation, and repetitive physical exercise.
These all involve focusing your mind on something simple and non-arousing. This gives your brain an intellectual and emotional break, allowing the relaxation response to occur. Here’s how to get started on a more relaxing lifestyle:
Choose a set time each day for your relaxation session, such as after your morning shower or during an afternoon break.
To allow the relaxation response to fully engage, make your daily relaxation session last for at least twelve minutes.
If you don’t have time for a twelve-minute session, do at least a five-minute session so you don’t get out of the habit.
Use one or more of these mental relaxation techniques to calm yourself any time you start to feel stressed or anxious throughout the day.