When our mind is out of balance, our body will follow. When our body is out of balance, our mind will follow. The important aspect of life is to live in that middle area where the mind and body are working towards beautiful harmony. Falling out of balance will place undue stress on the mind or the body. This unnecessary stress in our life, especially an endurance athlete, can hinder your quality of life and performance. How does the body or mind fall out of balance? Humans are naturally suited for habitual practices, and if they make you feel good in the temporary moment then these habits will stick. We need to become aware and re-enter a state of balance.
When the body is out of balance it begins to guard itself. The end goal of our body and mind is to preserve life. This is the most basic goal but when we are unhealthy, emotionally or physically, our energy is spent repairing. In this state we are in pure survival or preservation mode. Everything in our peripheral, and sometimes in your direct line of sight, becomes blurry and out of focus. We begin to just focus on surviving and not learning or even “living.” During our stay in the preservation state our relationships begin to slowly fall apart. We become too focused on fixing our own health out of our own control. Like I said, this is out of our control. We need to focus on the things we can control though, awareness. You need to become aware of this survival state and work on returning to a healthy balanced life.
A common trap that we fall into is a negative feedback loop. Something goes wrong in our life, big or small, and we focus on this negativity. It starts with you eating a donut, which turns into you feeling bad and telling yourself you are fat. Then you tell yourself that you are fat because you are a failure. You say you are a failure because you have negative thoughts… And you can see how that can just keep looping into infinite self-destruction. Athletes are not immune to this negative feedback loop. Athletes can easily slip into the loop through doubting their training and abilities. Breaking this loop is pretty challenging but only because it is tough to recognize being in the loop. This is why beginning daily rituals to set your mind and body into a positive path is important.
What kind of rituals or habits can you begin to ensure you are setting yourself up for a positive day?