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Reframe The Pain

 

Reframe the pain (tackling negative self-talk!)
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When it comes to exercise, we’re all familiar with that little voice in our heads telling us we can’t. “My arms are so weak”, “I’ll never be that fast”, “I can’t run”, “I can’t do press-ups” (called negative self-talk). In psychology ‘reframing’ or restructuring is a technique that can help people function better in all areas of life. It involves recognising negative thoughts and turning them into positive ones, such as “I’ve done this before, and I always feel better afterwards”. The best way to reframe negative thoughts is to focus on our strengths.
At TRIB3, the variety of exercises means that there’s bound to be exercises we love and those we hate (and we all love to hate burpees!). Negative thoughts like “I can’t do this”, “I’m not strong enough”, “this hurts so much” might happen automatically without us even realising (automatic negative thoughts: ANTs).
They can create anxiety, self-doubt, and can even cause muscles to tense and affect our performance. Recognising the thoughts, stopping them (sometimes simply by saying “stop” can work), and refocusing can be really effective. Yes, TRIB3 might hurt, but reframe the pain into something positive: “this feeling is me trying my best and getting healthier” and see how your mind-set strengthens… Other examples of reframing the pain: “this pain is temporary”, “the pain means its working”, “I’m not the only one suffering”, “I’ll thank myself later…”
Remember: negative thoughts are normal, nobody is 100% positive all the time, the key is what you do with those negative moments.
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#STEEL
During STEEL WEEK, ANTs will be everywhere, but with a TRIB3 mindset, it’s achievable!!
Even with all the mental willpower in the world, we might struggle with certain exercises, and at TRIB3 that’s OK. There’s always a lower-impact, less strenuous version of every exercise (the TRIB3 trainers are great at demonstrating them).
What’s important is the way we frame (think about) these alternative exercises. Consider ¾ press-ups the perfect opportunity to strengthen “weak arms”. Can’t run any further? Lower the speed, decrease the incline, walk, just don’t get off the treadmill! Lower the resistance weight, lose the weight, do whatever you need to do to get it done. Then praise yourself afterwards- because you smashed it.
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#ReframeThePain
Recognise the negative thoughts (spot the ANTs)
Stop them (squash the ANTs)
Refocus (on your strengths)
Say something positive
There’s no need to be embarrassed about that little voice in your head – use it to your advantage.
In the next blog, “#ReflectAndConnect”, we look at how reflecting on our workout can be a powerful way of increasing our enjoyment and motivation.
This blog was written by Dr Helen Quirk, a psychologist specialising in the promotion of physical activity and exercise
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