I’m going to be honest.
When I found out that this month’s task was simply to exercise each day and then write about it, I was ready for the next few weeks to be a walk in the park – literally. Unfortunately, the walk felt more like a stroll. A stroll through Jurassic Park.
Ok, I kid. It wasn’t that bad.
Pushing myself out of my comfort zone was no menial task but I do think the desired outcome was achieved.
Here’s what I learned.
Doing hard things makes you feel like a boss
I’m a self-confessed gym junkie.
Moving my body had never felt like a chore to me… until it did.
I decided to use this exercise task to challenge myself and do something that was a little out of my comfort zone for the coming weeks.
I chose morning yoga stretches.
Sounds simple, right? You just follow the YouTube videos of Yoga for Beginners and you reach Flying Magic Serpent Pose level in no time?
For someone with years of strength-training experience, the fluidity and breathing required in yoga stretching was entirely new and difficult for me.
Being awake at an ungodly hour of the morning didn’t help. I felt frustrated at first.
I also found that after every session I did complete, I felt accomplished.
I was proud. I was starting my day doing something productive, healthy and challenging. This mindset stuck with me throughout the day.
After a couple of weeks, my confidence grew. This thing was hard – and I was doing it.
I felt like a boss.
Progress is powerful
It’s an amazing thing to see ourselves progress.
Having experienced an abusive relationship, self-confidence was not a quality that came naturally to me.
I didn’t anticipate that the small commitment of yoga in the mornings would give me the sense of accomplishment that it did.
After four weeks, what had felt foreign and uncomfortable was starting to feel relaxing and purposeful.
I was proving to myself that I was capable of progressing in this endeavour.
When it comes to healing, that is a powerful place to be.
Happy hormones literally make you feel happy
Who would have thought?
It’s no surprise that the Harvard Medical School describes endorphins as “natural pain killers and mood elevators”.
The catch, as I discovered, is that endorphins don’t rush to our rescue the second we roll out of bed.
Most mornings, it would take around ten minutes of stretching and breathing before my body began to relax. I then had a much greater sense of clarity and calm.
For all of the frustration I went through at the beginning of the exercise task, the benefit of my morning endorphin hit alone made it all worth it.
If happiness is the goal, science tells us that exercise is certainly a key contributor.
And if science isn’t enough to get you moving, take my word for it.
After all, I promised I’d be honest! 😉