We often find ourselves doubting just how much we can achieve with our bodies. PumpUp’s newest official blog contributor @bsiddiq talks about the importance of Spreading Positivity in his first article about fitness and nutrition as seen through a scientific lens. Learn how research shows that a positive mindset coupled with the Schwarzeneggerian principle of “Visualization” can help you reach those once conceived “impossible” goals!
SCIENCE SAYS A POSITIVE MINDSET LEADS TO A BETTER BODY
The human mind is a very powerful tool. With a proper mindset and style of thinking, a person may be dumbfounded by what they can actually achieve. There is a natural human tendency to doubt that one can change, or ever look the way that they wish to look. There are many times (myself included) when we see this “negative” mindset get the best of us. We find ourselves questioning our goals and motives with thoughts such as “I can’t ever look like that, I’ve never looked like how I want to, so why should I start/keep trying?”
I’m here to tell you that this type of thinking is half the problem itself. Stop doubting yourself. Research done in the European Journal of Social Psychology speaks about the benefits of positive self-perceptions, explaining that it can lead to “positive self-regard, the ability to care for and about other people, the capacity for creative and productive work, and the ability to effectively manage stress”.
We see this trend in research backed by countless reputable sources such as the doctor peer reviewed Mayo Clinic, which as well states that a positive mindset has been shown to lead to “better physical well-being”. So if you keep telling yourself and believing that you cannot achieve your goals (fitness, workplace, & classroom), then there is no doubt that you are setting yourself to lose before you even try!
HOW TO PRACTICALLY APPLY THE POSITIVE MINDSET TO YOUR FITNESS THROUGH VISUALIZATION
So at this point you’re probably saying “Okay Bill, I am ready to embrace a positive mindset, but where and how can I apply it specifically?” I am here to tell you that your newly-positive mindset can be coupled with the Schwarzeneggerian principle of “Visualization”.
Arnold Schwarzenegger has promoted the technique of visualization several times. As he states in his book, The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding, “What you think is what you get”. But don’t just take Arnold’s word for it, research done in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine showed that mental imagery (such as visualization) was able to promote levels of motivation, action planning, and physical activity in patients who frequently practiced it.
Now with all of this scientific research to back our findings, I want you to take that “yes I can” attitude and find a REALISTIC picture of a physique/goal that you wish your body to look like. Take this image and say “I can look like this if I want to” and then VISUALIZE yourself with that body-type. When you’re in the gym, just imagine yourself with “those biceps”, or imagine yourself with “that amazing butt”, just VISUALIZE A GOAL. Do not go in the gym with a “eh I’ll take whatever I can get” attitude, but find a physique that you want and work towards it! I can PERSONALLY attest to you that these two scientifically backed methods work, because I myself have found a deep well of success because of them.
Here’s my first “Visualization” picture from this time last year:
Here’s a picture of me right now, as featured on bodybuilding.com:
The sky is the limit folks, and if you set your mind to it and visualize your success you will see some form of gains in return. Remember say that “I can achieve what I want to” then go out and VISUALIZE your goals, and SEE what you are striving for! Good luck with your goals and if you ever have any inquiries or more questions about the methods/principles listed here feel free to contact me at my KiK at BaylorFitness, and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @bsiddiq to see more helpful hints and motivation. Happy Pumping #PumpUpFam!
Bayer, U. C., & Gollwitzer, P. M. (2005). Mindset effects on information search in self-evaluation. European Journal of Social Psychology, 35(3), 313–327. doi:10.1002/ejsp.247
Chan, C., & Cameron, L. (2012). Promoting physical activity with goal-oriented mental imagery: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 35(3), 347–363. doi:10.1007/s10865-011-9360-6
Positive thinking: Stop negative self-talk to reduce stress. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/stress-management/in-depth/positive-thinking/art-20043950
Schwarzenneger, A. (n.d.). The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding,.