“Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands.” Just one of many important life lessons from Elle Woods in the movie Legally Blonde. Any time anyone mentions exercise between me and my parents, you can hear us quoting this truthbomb.
I’m happily baffled again and again by the magic of endorphins. A few months ago a friend suggested that I start working with an affirmation around fitness, since I kept talking about wanting to feel stronger, healthier, and more embodied. We landed on the simplicity of, “I am willing to exercise.”
Everyday my self talk is this: Go take a walk. Get to yoga class. Have a one song dance party. I think hula hooping counts too, yes?
Every time I move my body and get loaded up on endorphins I do feel better. It’s curious watching the resistance in myself towards activities that I know help me to feel good. But, I AM WILLING TO EXERCISE. Hear that universe? Show me the way.
A long time ago I was told that it takes the same amount of work to make ourselves miserable or happy, the choice is up to us. Feeling grouchy, yucky in my body, and in a boredom spiral alone inside my brain is exhausting. It takes so much energy to feel that nasty. Whenever I can experience a miracle — a shift in perception — and get to transfer that energy to doing practices that support my well-being, I feel so grateful.
It’s still work, but then I get to feel relief.
When exercising feels extra hard emotionally, painful in my body (in a non-dangerous way), or edgy in my mind, I say, “And this is what I want.” Affirming myself with that phrase through the challenge of physical exercise keeps me from quitting and helps me get to that endorphins make you happy high.