A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Motivation and Mantras

on October 18, 2013

Do you use mantras or quotes for motivation during your work outs? This week, I’ve listened to a podcast about getting your mind in the right place to complete a race (Let’s Run Disney, episode 7) and read a really inspiring post from a fellow blogger about her own mental mantra during her 10K recently (Project Lovely Laura – Believing in Yourself). Mantras can be a really helpful way to keep your mind focused in a positive place. A mantra, by definition, is a word or sound repeated to help focus the mind.

“Om” is probably the most well known example of a mantra, but any words or sounds can work. Ideally, an effective mantra addresses the positive experience you want or how you want to feel, not the adversity you’re trying to overcome. It should be short, positive and action-oriented. “Repeating choice words whenever you need to focus helps direct your mind away from negative thoughts and toward a positive experience,” says Stephen Walker, PhD, a sports psychologist (as quoted in a Runner’s World article entitled “The Magic of Running Mantras”- link below). For any other Disney lover or parents who watched Toy Story of Terror this week, “Combat Carl never gives up. Combat Carl never surrenders” is an example of a great mantra! I may be picturing Combat Carl in my mind during the Princess Half Marathon.

In Laura’s post, she mentions repeating “I’ve got this” to herself over and over during her 10K, which is another fantastic mantra. it’s short and self-affirming and very positive.  Dory’s “Just keep swimming” from Finding Nemo is also a fantastic mantra and one I admit I’ve used myself. I’ve also used “One more step” and “a little more” to help me get through workouts or even ten more minutes without eating the cookies that are tempting me. If I convince myself to do just a little more over and over, eventually I’ve finished and feel amazing. I incorporated “A little more” into my blog title for this reason and actually have “One step at a time” engraved on my Road ID bracelet that I wear when I run, just to keep those reminders always occupying some little mental space in my head. I have to work to give positive thoughts like those enough mental space to drown the negative self talk we so often encounter.

Running inspiration from the Rock n' Roll Marathon Series

Running inspiration from the Rock n’ Roll Marathon Series

My Pinterest feed is always full of inspirational quotes people have pinned when it catches their fancy. These things can be more than just a passing lift in the day. Positive words can be powerful if we use them to focus our minds and our minds are absolutely the most powerful health & fitness tool we have!

What mantras do you find useful?

Sources for further reading:

The Magic of Running Mantras (Runner’s World, January 10, 2011)

26.2 Running Mantras (A mantra for every mile – love it!)

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4 responses to “Motivation and Mantras

  1. […] Motivation and Mantras (littlemoreeachday.wordpress.com) […]

  2. […] Motivation and Mantras (littlemoreeachday.wordpress.com) […]

  3. Appreciation! That was incredible 🙂

  4. […] Find a mantra: I’ve talked about mantras before here, but finding something you can tell yourself over and over to get your mind out of that negative […]

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