Working on Positivity

Negative Thoughts


If I’m being super honest, negative thoughts are something I really struggle with (thank you anxiety and depression!) and am actively trying SUPER hard to work on, especially in the face of 2017 being an incredibly tough year. And it spirals REAL quick. (Here’s an awesome PDF on what they are and how to begin to fight them.)

When I am stressed and overwhelmed (hi, right now), these thoughts come on fast and furious. Like, to the point a few of my good friends have noticed basically to the minute when this happens, and I shut down. 

I follow this coach, Susi, online, and bought one of her trainings or memberships a while back, and am in a Facebook group (so many Facebook groups, I’m in…) about mindset journaling. So woo woo, I know…but man if this shit doesn’t work.

I had an interview last week for a gig, and I was TERRIFIED and telling myself all kinds of stories about why I shouldn’t get it. I remembered Susi’s mindset journaling, and Ali’s been doing some mantra stuff on IG on her stories — and I thought about the marathon affirmations Jess told me to do when I was freaking the F out about the race.

(Now obviously this doesn’t work if you’re not also prepared, but…)

I wrote down, “I have the experience and the expertise.” I wrote down all the reasons I could, not all the reasons I couldn’t. I abandoned all the reasons I couldn’t, wouldn’t, shouldn’t get the gig…and I got it!

I’m working on studying for my personal trainer certification, and I was learning about cortisol this weekend. Obviously I’ve known this is a stress hormone for a while, (and hi, living in NYC, working in social media AND having a crap year last year, I know I’ve probably got tons of extra cortisol coursing through my veins), but a trainer I know mentioned that excess cardio can lead to spiked cortisol too. So, theoretically, I asked her — does long distance running on top of being in a stressed out state extra spike your cortisol levels? Maybe, she said, and recommended, at a minimum, adding more strength/resistance training. Curious: have any of you noticed this, either anecdotally or through testing? (When I did InsideTracker in 2016, my cortisol level was OK, would be interesting to test it now…)

Finally, related to a lot of this: as usual, Claire Bidwell Smith speaks straight to my soul with this post about grieving in the New Year. Expecting to feel! magically! better! because the sun had set in 2017 was really naive at best.

So, tl;dr? I’m actively working really hard on looking for positivity and I probably have too much cortisol coursing through my veins but I’m off to run anyway?

How do you turn your negative thoughts around — and any experience on lowering your cortisol levels? 

10 comments on “Working on Positivity

  1. Victoria

    Dealing with automatic negative thoughts is really hard – I’m glad you are working on combating that.

    For lots of cardio and keep cortisol in check, I know that I’ve had better luck when I keep my blood sugar steady by concentrating my carb intake around my workouts. Science or something, idk.

  2. Sokphal

    I think with any race, you tell yourself to “trust in the training” – same with your career. You have a s*** ton of experience and “training” – I’m happy you got the gig! 🙂 Woot!

  3. Katie B

    One podcast I listened to (unfortunately, I can’t remember which one 🙁 ) compared running-induced (or other exercise-induced) stress on the body with emotional stress. I don’t recall all of the details, but I took away the idea that our bodies can only cope with so much stress, regardless of its source. So if you are having a very emotionally stressful time, you may need to reduce the physical demands on your body in order to avoid injury/other complications. Our bodies are so crazy, amazing, complicated!

  4. Amy

    So I have no knowledge about cortisol but I did just write about my training and just stress after a super hard couple of weeks. Not even a whole year and how that stress affected my training.

    I think it’s hugely hard to deal with it all. That’s the super short synopsis.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.