Lately I’ve been running without music and focusing on my mind, using my run as an opportunity to reflect, plan my day, and practice positive thinking. I even developed my Heart Meditation while running. Today I want to share a mental focus theme that I used yesterday that was really helpful in motivating me, generating energy, generating a positive mindset, and passing the time.
Mental Focus Themes
Similar to Mantras, a Mental Focus Theme is something that you focus on in general while you are running. While mantras are simple specific thoughts to motivate, a Mental Focus Theme is a more general idea from which you can branch off from in your thinking.
So a mantra might be “I have all the energy I need.” And a mental focus theme would be “Why I Will Finish My Run Today.” The mantra “I have all the energy I need” could be one of many offshoots on that theme. (The Heart Meditation could be used as a mental focus theme.)
Mental Focus Theme: Shoutouts to Unsung Heroes
“Shoutouts to Unsung Heroes” is all about recognizing, thanking, and celebrating all the different body parts you have and how they support you during your run. Here’s how to do it:
- Mentally announce to your body that you will now introduce, recognize, thank and celebrate each body part for their unique contribution to carrying you through your run.
- Start with the body part that you “hear” calling out first. You could also work your way feet up or head down. I went with the random selection. I found different body parts, saying “Hey what about me?” 🙂 (I wasn’t really hearing voices, but just imagining them for fun.)
- Announce each body part (mentally :-)) just like they do when a band calls out each band member and they play a little solo. For the “solo” part recognize the task that they perform in as much detail as you can, thank them for it and ask all the other parts for a round of applause. (OK, I know this is starting to sound a little weird, but go with it. It’s supposed to be fun and it really does generate energy!)
- Keep going until your run is done. There are so many parts to your body, this should carry you through most if not all of your run.
- Clap for yourself and all your wonderful body parts for a job well done.
Some Body Parts to Get You Started
Here’s a short list to help you generate ideas:
- Feet-carry you
- Heart – pumps the blood, brings the oxygen, tirelessly
- Lungs – oxygen in, CO2 & toxins out
- Skin – cools you, protects you
- Calves, Thighs, Butt – do the moving -each in their own unique way
- Bones – support us
- Spine – supports all the limbs
- Hips – connection for the legs
- Toes – gripping and balance
- Hands – slice through the air
- Arms – keep the cadence
- Shoulders – hold the arms
- Blood cells – carry O2 and CO2 and much more
- Stomach – digesting even under tough conditions
You get the idea. Every part can be thought of in it’s smaller parts. And each part’s contribution can be expanded on. Try to think of everything each part does that supports your running.
Why You Should Try This
- Less Effort Running
- More tuned into your body
This mental focus theme, along will awakening your silly internal sports announcer, will really help you become more in tune with your body. It will help you have more appreciation for this thing you do so often which will give you new-found delight in running. Getting in touch with your fun side will turn off the serious, judging part of your mind which is an energy stealer. As such, you will likely find your run feels a little easier.
I hope you like it and have fun with it!
Please share and let me know what you think!
Do you ever use Mental Focus Themes when running? What are some good ones that you like? Or think might work well?
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