5 Reasons that listening to your body is the key to happiness - Forest House
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Blog | 5 Reasons that listening to your body is the key to happiness | 17 January 2023

5 Reasons that listening to your body is the key to happiness

4 Minute read

In our quest to support you to become the most complete version of yourself, we want to dispel a myth. Because it is an absolute fiction that you have to work out at 100% every time to reach your fitness goals and ultimate happiness.

We believe that the key to experiencing maximum happiness through health and fitness is to learn the framework that works with you, not against you. By having a system that enables you to adapt your workouts in line with your energy you can achieve your fitness goals and have more good days. Here’s why…

Because you achieve consistency through self-acceptance.

Every fitness expert will tell you that the key to long term health and wellbeing is a consistent routine. Having a plan in place to support you when your energy tails off will help you to show up even when you don’t want to.

The first step is to become open and accepting of the fact that our energy naturally rises and falls. This is completely normal and it happens to everyone. You’re not broken, we promise. Being accepting and forgiving of this will help you to welcome low or moderate intensity workouts when your energy calls for it. This strategy will enable you to show up and most crucially, maintain your routine even when you don’t feel at your peak.

Nurturing that internal dialogue of self-acceptance will help you to build a more positive experience of fitness that will make it much easier to maintain the consistency you need to create a happy, healthy lifestyle.

You can build resilience and mental strength

Low and moderate energy days tend to occur when we suffer the most resistance to working out. But actually, the thing that we resist the most is usually the very thing that we need the most. 

Learn how to recognise resistance. By seeing it as your body’s way of telling you what you need, you’ll build resilience and mental strength, rather than feel defeated and demoralised on your ‘off’ days. 

Sometimes you may need to respond to your internal resistance with a gentle restorative practice like meditation or hot yoga and other days you may need to meet it head on with a maximum intensity bootcamp challenge. Whichever way you need to turn the dial, remember that you also have the choice to adjust your workout length too. 

Happy people know that energetic resistance is nothing more than an internal message to tell you what you need in that moment. You don’t need to get wrapped up in an internal story that you aren’t good enough. Building resilience and mental strength will help you manage life’s challenges outside of the gym too. You’ll reap the rewards that come from listening to yourself and prioritising your needs in that moment.

Aligning with your energy levels promotes a positive mental attitude

Low energy days can quite easily (and often do) throw many a gym-goer into a downward spiral where they experience a sense of failure and defeat.  Those that are able to take a positive outlook on these days and even practise gratitude towards them are able to welcome greater happiness into their lives on a daily basis. 

It’s important to remember that a drop in energy is not a failure or your fault, it is a very natural way of your body telling you it needs you step it down a notch.

One of the simple ways to take a positive outlook on your lower energy days is to embrace them as prime opportunities for recovery. Quality recovery is an important component of a balanced fitness routine and shouldn’t be overlooked, especially if you tend to do a lot of high intensity workouts or heavy lifting. Recovery doesn’t have to mean a complete break in your routine, either. The Revive classes at our Watford gym offer a choice of workouts that will help your body restore including stretch, Pilates and yin yoga.

We know that women have monthly cycles, but did you know that men’s hormones also fluctuate over the course of the day and the seasons, more like waves? Try to see lower energy phases as your inner ‘winter.’ This is a great time for inner reflection and signing up to a breathwork or meditation class. The slower pace will enable you to better tune into your emotional side and help you to unblock your mind in places where you might be feeling stuck.

Working in harmony with your natural waves and cycles will set you up for greater success at smashing those big workouts when you’re feeling at your energetic peak. So be grateful for the difficult days.

Achieve balance

Every fitness expert will tell you that the ideal routine is a balanced one, incorporating both physical and mental conditioning, cardio workouts, strength training, core work, plenty of stretch and a focus on breathing. 

When you develop an approach where you adapt your workout as your energy fluctuates, then you’ll naturally start to target each of these key areas and build a routine that achieves optimum balance.

A balanced workout will help you to achieve a state of holistic wellness, promote flexibility and agility, improve your balance and reduce your exposure to injury too.

Helps you overcome comparison and perfectionism

There’s a common misconception in the health and fitness world that you have to work out for at least an hour, 4 or 5 times a week to do it ‘right.’ 

In the Western world, we are particularly prone to placing a lot of pressure on ourselves to train the longest, hardest and fastest. Even in the, supposedly, grounding space of a yoga studio this mindset can slip in and tell us that we need to perform a move, position or balance ‘perfectly.’

It’s not uncommon to compare ourselves to the instructor or other class participants and create a story in our minds that we lack in certain ways. This pressure is exhausting and a major catalyst to burnout.

When we practise accepting ourselves, wherever we are at, then we gradually reinforce beliefs that we are ‘good enough’ and we break those patterns of negative self-talk. This boosts our self-worth, which has a hugely positive effect on our overall happiness and stress levels.

On the days when you can acknowledge that your time or energy is a little lower, then this is the perfect time to explore our Revive classes or sign up for a streamlined 20-minute session of your favourite activity.

Another excellent strategy is to by-pass physical exercise that day and sign up for a mindfulness session. Mindfulness is proven to help manage anxiety and stress and the key to holistic wellness is nurturing both your physical and mental health.

Remember, try to avoid comparing yourself to other people who have more time and energy that day because they might feel differently tomorrow and, as Theodore Roosevelt famously said; ‘Comparison is the thief of Joy.’ 

At Forest House we’ve created a unique framework of classes that will support you as your energy fluctuates. Learn more about our Revive, Thrive and Strive classes here.

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