Feelings - Part 2 - Do you control them or do you let them control you?
Updated: Aug 10, 2020
Continuing on from last week’s blog, I have 2 more examples here of how I never let my feelings control me when taking part in certain activities.
One day after I had finished University, I was job searching and bored out of my mind. I was so bored that I decided to take up a bootcamp class in September 2008. Little did I know that this bootcamp class or similar exercises was something that I’d end up doing for life, regularly.
I used to attend this class on a Saturday at 9am in the morning and I was regularly in pain, so much pain that I did nothing for the rest of the day. For some reason, I kept going. It helped that I met a friend there who was also attending this class regularly and we used to partner up. This friendship drifted but I still continued exercising. I was so committed to this class, even if I was out until 3 to 4am the night before, I would still attend this class. I even took a cousin and friend on 2 different occasions, who also attended this class with me after a night out the night before. I don’t think they ever did this with me again.
After months of attending this bootcamp class, one day I noticed I lost weight. I couldn’t believe it as my intention wasn’t to lose weight, it was just to do something as I was so bored being at home, looking for a job. I was so excited to have lost weight without even putting a conscious effort to do so, that I just kept on attending the bootcamp class and others more regularly at the gym. This proves you can lose weight when exercising, but you have to keep at it, for months on end, even when you don’t feel like going!
I am at a point now where fitness is part of my life. I always do some form of exercise at least 2-3 times a week minimum, unless I am ill or on holiday. Even on holiday, I take part in active activities such as walking, swimming and climbing. So without even realising it, I am exercising.
There are times when I don’t feel like exercising, but I remind myself how good I feel afterwards, or I tell myself I will get warmed up afterwards if feeling cold. As this is the case, you always get warm and feel great after exercising no matter what, so I never regret it ever. I have only ever regretted not doing my bootcamp class. Even though it may be painful at the time; the thought of exercising or performing the exercise in the class. For example, press ups are not my favourite exercise, but I know once it’s done, I am fine. I also remind myself of how much I have already done, so the next 30 seconds is nothing, as I already did 1 minute of the exercise earlier.
Even when I was studying and working, I still made time for exercise. I found exercise made me more productive. I never thought I didn't have time for it, I just made time for it, and found I was more productive working and studying than if I hadn’t exercised. I always hear from many, “I don’t have time for exercise”, I believe they say this as it isn’t something they feel like doing.
As I said, exercise isn’t something I always felt like doing, but over the last decade I have conditioned myself to do it so much, that these days, whether I feel like it or not, I do it no matter what now! At the end of the day, I see the benefits of it, being fit and healthy, feeling good and awake after and that is what makes me continue doing it, rather than thinking about how doing exercise makes me feel in the short term, painful and boring.
Even though my sleep has been out of balance I believe I have been very disciplined around sleep, because I only sleep once I have done all the intended things I want to do for the day, and when my alarm goes off I jump out of bed no matter what.
Days when I slept little, i.e. 4 hours sleep, I never let myself stay in bed all day, only having a lie in on Sundays if I have no plans to do anything. I always made plans so never had a lie in, perhaps until 10 to 11am latest. After having little sleep, I made sure I went through my day as normal. I even attended my bootcamp class as normal, knowing that the next night I would sleep well. I thought to myself, it’s my own fault for not sleeping earlier, so I need to deal with it and carry on through the day. I found at times my day was more focused, as I only did what was important. By doing this, I got things done. Yes, mistakes were made, but I am used to double checking things to make sure any mistakes were picked up. I would take small walking breaks to wake me up, drink lots of water and eat peanuts as this woke me up, even if I was tired.
When I was at University, I hardly slept from partying all night. I remember many afternoons, studying and falling asleep. But as soon as I noticed, I woke myself up and started studying again. How did I do this? Again, I just stood up and started walking around the room. I used to eat peanuts in my lectures, as I realised eating just woke my brain up, even if I was tired! I listened to music, as certain tracks just woke me up. This is how I stayed awake when clubbing even when tired, because as soon as I entered the club and heard the loud music, it was as if a switch flicked in my brain and I woke up. This is how I hardly slept when I went travelling for 6 months. I went out clubbing almost every night where it was possible and my brain just woke up with the excitement of the music and the wonderful new people I was meeting every single day.
I remember studying for my accountancy exams, I got so into it. There were evenings where I would study until 11 to 12am straight after work, and then I realised I must sleep to get up for bootcamp or work the next day. My brain was so focused on what I was doing, I enjoyed it and it kept me awake. I only had 6 hours sleep then every night, throughout the 3 years of studying and working continuously. Even right now, it is nearing midnight as I am writing this sentence, and I am still writing this blog as I am so focused and into it.
These days no matter what time I sleep, I always jump out of bed when my alarm sets off, especially if I need to be somewhere such as work, meeting friends, or doing some activity, say on holiday. I rarely snooze my alarm these days. There was a time I used to hit the snooze button. I snoozed so much I used to wonder, what am I achieving from snoozing? I was interrupting my deep sleep and not getting any quality sleep in the 30 minutes of snooze time I had, I thought, “what a waste of time, I could have had 30 minutes extra deep sleep instead?”. Thinking about this, if I am sleeping late one day, I should not worry and set my alarm as late as possible for me to get ready and wake up then, not interrupting my sleep. So I did this and I was interrupting my deep sleep less.
I never realised others noticed this. My friend told me the other day, when we went on holiday to Ibiza we had slept for 4 to 5 hours; my alarm went off and she had never seen anyone just jump out of bed the way I did. I didn’t even realise she had spotted this until recently.
In summary, I do many things regardless of my feelings, because unknowingly I had conditioned myself as a child, to always do things regardless of whether I felt like it!
I don’t regret anything, as it’s made me who I am, being able to do most things I want and not be controlled by external influences. This is still work in progress in some areas of my life, e.g. diet as I allow myself many treats still.
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On a mission to inspire everyone through my life experiences as a British born female Indian diagnosed with Bi Polar because I believe that if I Can, You Can.
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