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Can you afford to neglect mental health

Can you replace the sense of achievement of completing a big goal?!

I have the ability to justify almost anything to myself. So let me take you through how I think that sport and my lifestyle takes care of my mental health!

Shifting Focus

A lot of people view this as an escape... and to an extent it's easy to see why. It's getting away from other stresses and strains that life may have. It's time to yourself to do something that you've decided to do and presumably enjoy!

Whilst this is relatable from both an escape from education and the workplace... even now, a stress release after a day of teaching or on the keys for Entire, I feel as though it has a far better use for my mental stability.

To try and be brief... Having a few different projects, endeavours, or goals, throughout different aspects of your life can be hugely beneficial to release the pressure you may feel in one or the other.

For example; If i'm feeling stressed from work, or Entire isn't growing at the rate i'd intended etc... then I always have the ability to shift the focus back onto training and racing triathlon. And vice versa. If i'm injured or training isn't going well, then I can shift my focus to growing Entire or getting satisfaction out of teaching.

Exercise is a great tool for giving yourself a project outside of the workplace or your day to day life that not only gives you satisfaction, but a sense of purpose elsewhere.

It put's the control of gaining satisfaction of intrinsic and extrinsic rewards back into your hands rather than seeking it from someone else in the workplace. You're able to see the gains on a day to day or week to week basis. Whether this be a loss of weight project, getting stronger, faster, or more powerful, you have a measure of improvement.

A lot of professional athletes experience a lack of this when stopping their chosen sport, and many don't understand why... It's that loss of purpose, the intrinsic and extrinsic reward of the constant pursuit of a specific goal.

So having multiple avenues that you're able to get satisfaction out of can be hugely beneficial.

It's more than just fitness

Not so long back I did a blog on the benefits of cycling and it's effect on mental health...

At risk of repeating myself, i'll include an extract.

Looking back at the fitness and social benefits, there is no surprise that there are huge benefits to be had regarding mental health.

Getting fitter and healthier in your body definitely helps the mind focus and have more clarity. Not to mention the endorphins that are released when exercising!

Many cyclists won’t credit cycling as a form of therapy, let alone notice the benefits it’s having for their mental health. But as mentioned prior, being able to talk to someone for hours on end a good number of times a week can help you unload. Sort of like a therapist.

Anything that you need to get off of your chest, you can!

And the best thing about it… the parties involved won’t remember half of what you’ve spoken about… so you’ll come home feeling 10x better after speaking about something that had been weighing you down, without knowing that that’s what was happening, and still not being able to recall what it was after the ride!

This obviously has it’s for’s and against’s … but at least it makes you feel better in that moment!

Short term pain for long term gain

Giving yourself a sporting pursuit, goal or project isn't always easy. Especially at the start.

However... the short term pain of trying to establish a habit, whether it be getting out the door for a run, when it aches to just hop from one foot to the next and carry your body weight over a few km's, to even the thought of doing it, is well worth it in the long run when you have another string to your bow, element to your personality.

You'll become not only an accountant, nurse, assistant, architect etc... but also a swimmer, cyclist, runner... triathlete.

It's definitely advisable to get help, especially in the early days where it may feel like a bit of a drag to get going. Not only that, you'll have someone else to talk to, someone to help you navigate your way through those tough days that you may want to miss, and where the habit will fall through.

Why do you think so many people have so many incredible stories of how they got into the sport, why they got into it, and how it's changed their life?!

So can you really neglect the benefits of it? The lifestyle, community and mental stability it can provide?

Never be afraid to ask for help. Get in touch and ask how we can help you to achieve your goals.


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