Train Your Brain

3 minute read

3 minute read

DISCLAIMER: I ran into some major resistance today. After rewriting and editing what I had worked on this week, my computer battery died before I could save the changes. Then, when doing the audio recording, I kept getting interrupted with the construction that's going on at my neighbor's house. And lastly, my browser keeps quitting while as I'm posting this. (I am literally hitting save after ever sentence.) I almost told myself that I would just finish later this weekend but I remembered that my intention is to be authentic rather than perfect with this blog. So I am posting this as is, going for a run and will get back to the art piece at a later date. Progress! xo, Rosie Pi

I had forgotten my headphones at home and I was at the Rose Bowl, about to run 3 miles. I almost drove back for them but decided to challenge myself. For me, running without music was a big deal. What was going to drown out the voices in my head saying “this is too hard… I’m ready to stop… how much longer… I can’t breathe”? I had always told myself that the only way I can run is if I have my headphones and a ratchet playlist to distract me. But that day I turned on my Nike Running app and clicked “no music”. That experience didn’t convert me into a no music runner, but it did help me realize something. 

With no distractions, I had to make a decision to not listen to the thought that said I needed to stop because I was too tired. I kept going and ran faster than I’ve ever run 3 miles. 

I was officially curious about my thoughts while running and its affects on my performance. On my next run I decided to bust out a recording I had from Erin Stutland. It was a workout meditation that had music and positive affirmations like “I am strong right now” over workout music. Forcing my brain to focus on positive thoughts about what I was doing helped me beat my time yet again. On my next run I doubled up and also listened to a hypnosis recording I have from Grace Smith on body confidence. And sure enough, I beat my time again! In one week I had shaved off almost a minute from my run and that’s a big deal for me. 

This was enough proof to me, whether we’re aware of them or not, the thoughts we have influence what we do, how we do it and even decide our limits for us. 

Affirmations are a way influence this connection in a way that serves us instead of hurts us. They are intentional positive thoughts that you train your brain to think. This goes beyond running and working out. They rewrite our subconscious so that we can accomplish what we want and be who we truly are. This leaves less room for the negative thoughts (aka the lies that we tell ourselves). When you have positive thoughts, it tends to lead to positive outcomes. Luckily for us, we can start affirming things in our life at this very moment and here are some tips on helping you do just that:

1. Set your affirmation. 

    Affirmations are positive statements set in the present. “I am X.” vs “I want to be X”. It can also be a question. “How can I be more X?” This trick helps because it assumes you’re already whatever you want to be and you’re just finding more ways to be just that. 

2.   Act as if.

    Belief and action go hand in hand. Think about your affirmation and ask what actions you would take if this were true. Take those actions. The acting as if strengthens your beliefs and eventually even the actions become easier.

3.  Do it until you believe it. 

    Just like working out, you won’t see results unless you keep doing the exercises. As we affirm the changes we want to make and take action toward those changes, our beliefs start changing and then we hit that sweet spot where things seem effortless.  

In addition to using affirmations while running, I am also beginning to implement them in other aspects of my life. I truly believe that it’s what’s helping me put myself out there week after week with this passion project of mine and I hope that this story will encourage you to affirm positivity in your life as well. 

I don't have a music mantra for you this week but, since we're on the topic, I wanted to share one of my favorite running songs with you. I've realized I can run to this while I do my affirmations. Best of both worlds. :)