I recently had a friend reach out to me for advice on how to tackle several problems she’s dealing with in her life right now. She talked about her depression, anxiety, lack of self-esteem and confidence, struggling relationship, terrible sleep habits, self-loathing surrounding her weight, perceived inability to do grocery shopping, cook, and eat properly, and to top it off, lack of direction in life.
At first glance, this might seem like a monolithic collection of daunting tasks to help someone with. Such is not the case though, I immediately identified a commonality between all of these things. They are all interconnected problems. Some are prerequisites to each other, and others, symptoms. They all however share the same undoing. A lack of confidence, determination, and willpower. Restoring these attributes is the prerequisite to getting anything done.
So what could I tell her? What could I propose as the solution to her self-described prison of failure and inactivity? She needs a lifestyle overhaul, and there is something she can add to her life that has equal involvement with confidence, determination, and willpower… a fitness regiment.
The trick here is that strenuous physical exercise itself directly combats many of the issues she’s dealing with. It boosts mood, and might as well be defined as an anti-depressant. It builds confidence (which helps with anxiety), and will eventually do much to reduce or eliminate problems with poor self-image and sleep habits. A huge and proper workout during the morning or afternoon, will have you body tired and begging for sleep by evening; you’ve earned it. Now you’re sleeping properly, and getting up at a productive time. Your metabolism is kick-started, meaning you’ll actually be hungry when you wake up in the morning, and will have plenty of time to fit 4-5 small/mid-sized meals throughout the day. Sleeping and eating properly are essential links in the chain of productivity, goal completion, and success, and working out can play a huge role in that equation.
After some time, other rewards for all the hard work you’ve put in will eventually reveal themselves. Try having relationship problems when the sex is amazing. Sure – I get it, relationships aren’t that one-dimensional, and rely on many other factors for longevity, but the point is that when you’re in amazing shape, and having amazing sex, that can only help. No couple has ever went to counseling or rehab for being addicted to sex with each other.
There is a synergy between physical exercise and success in other facets of your life. Pairing these things together has a very powerful effect, because they reciprocate and strengthen each other. It’s no different than the phrase “Healthy Body, Healthy Mind”. Research has shown that exercise stimulates the growth of new neurons and pathways in the brain. This means that your personal fitness regiment can be considered a direct precursor to the creation of new habits and thinking patterns that are conducive to success. Make the condition of your body and mind synonymous with the attainment of your personal goals. This will help you reach new heights.
This is what I told my friend. When she puts in the hard work to alleviate herself of these secondary and tertiary problems, it will allow her to focus on the greater problems. When she is fit, happy, and confident, grocery shopping and cooking will be fun and easy, and she’ll spend less time worrying about illusory problems, and have more time to discover what her calling is.