Learning! How to trick yourself into remembering workouts fondly.


I like being active, but I am really bad at pushing myself and don't really like "working out". I am a certified yoga instructor (which means I enjoyed yoga so much I wanted to spend every weekend doing it for 12 weeks so I could spend even more time doing yoga) and I even avoid doing that sometimes if it seems like it's going to be hard.

That's why I'm stoked to discover this new trick! According to research, we generally remember two things from every workout: the hardest part, and the end. If our memory of the end is full of endorphin-laden, sweaty, happiness, then it will seem, in retrospect, like the hardest part was totally worth it.  Especially if you make the hardest part less hard.

So here's what you do: structure your workout so that your favourite part that makes you feel that "workout high" is at the very end. Whether that means sprinting to the finish line (ugh) or a sweet, slow cool down where you hang out with your legs up the wall for 10 minutes (that's more like it), get your peak happiness at the end.

Then there's one more thing to do to really trick yourself: reduce the awfulness of the hardest part as much as possible. Again, it's your call as to how that would work: do you space out the big, tricky part more throughout your workout with little easy breaks?  Do you just work harder overall?  Do something so the misery fades a bit in your memory.

Bam! There you go! Now you, too, can use the power of psychology to trick your brain into thinking you like working out.

Watch out though: it is a slippery slope to actually liking working out and becoming one of those people that suggests "going for a run" as a fun hang out activity, wears work out gear all the time as if they were regular clothes, and posts their exercise stats on Facebook alongside a gym selfie (is it grossly sweaty after-the-fact, or a pre-workout cute one? Your call, weirdo).

Side note: I'm pretty sure hikers and outdoorsy-type people have somehow tricked themselves into forgetting the actual end of their hike (the long, tedious walk down the mountain) and only remember some of the climb and the peak with all the pretty views.  Because if they actually only remembered the hardest part (misery) and the end (walking down the mountain on a path they just walked up, continually remarking that they thought they would be done by now), they would maybe never go again.

Source.

Comments