As gyms slowly reopen and some sense of normality begins to return, we continue our look at mindfulness and mental health to help you navigate the challenges of a post-pandemic world.
For any lover of lifting, the gym bag is your ultimate workout wingman
Packed with your headphones, towel, protein shaker and lifting shoes, your gym bag is your polyester partner in crime through thick and thin, making those brutal, booty-burning sessions a breeze.
But there’s a different kind of gym bag that so many of us forget to pack every day. This is a bag that always has our back, not just through your sixth set of squats, but through the trials and tribulations of life.
When life throws us a Kai Greene-sized curveball, we reach into our ‘mental’ gym bags for motivation
"It takes work to get your brain to a point where it’s willing to push longer and harder than it ever has before"
The concept of a mental gym bag is something created by Ryderwear athlete, Ninja Warrior and fitness trailblazer, Jenna Louise.
Jenna has been inspiring others to speak candidly about mental health and mindfulness since day one, so she knows what you pack in your psychological gym bag is just as pivotal as your physical one.
We decided to ask Jenna exactly what she packs in her mental gym bag every day, so we can inspire our Ryderwear family to smash their fitness and life goals!
When packing her mental gym bag, Jenna starts with the essentials.
For Jenna, the ability to make our own independent decisions is a superpower, enabling us to venture beyond our comfort zones.
"Your decisions could be cutting yourself short from reaching your true potential"
Whether it’s lifting or in life, comfort zones are the enemy of self-development, which is why Jenna prescribes a daily dose of discomfort.
So many make conscious decisions to steer clear of psychological pain and physical pain, cutting them short from reaching their full potential.
In Jenna’s words, “discomfort produces growth, comfort keeps you stagnant”, which is why the first thing she packs in her mental gym bag is a reminder that she calls the shots, motivating her to swerve comfort zones and build resilience and determination.
Jenna never zips up her mental gym bag until it’s packed with powerful thoughts.
Leave the self-doubts at home and only pack your most fearless, empowering thoughts to overcome destructive inner dialogue.
“I am the only one in control of my thoughts” is the mantra Jenna packs into her mental gym bag, nourishing and hardening her mind during discomfort, and helping to reframe what pain actually is.
You’re the only one in control of your thoughts, and Jenna wants everyone to remind themselves of this every day!
POSITIVE BODY LANGUAGE
Jenna’s mental gym bag is overflowing with positive body language.
For Jenna, positive body language has a profound impact on your performance, whether that’s in the weight room or the boardroom.
Non-verbal reveals like leaning or dropping your head can send subconscious signals to the brain, lowering your energy and affecting your performance.
Jenna’s advice is simple, “Keep your head and chest held high and move with purpose!”.
THE FACIAL EXPRESSIONS
Jenna is fussy about which facial expressions she packs in her mental gym bag.
Simple yet so powerful, the smile is Jenna’s weapon of choice for disarming any self-doubt or pessimistic thoughts.
A smile can elevate your mood and reduce stress, while lifting those around you.
"When your face says it all, your mouth waits it’s turn"
Jenna’s mental gym bag is filled to the brim with outward energy.
Outward energy means going the extra mile to offer external support and encouragement to those around you.
For Jenna, “interaction is a fundamental human need”, and you can inspire others around you through your words of wisdom and touch.
Relish being a bundle of energy, leading by example and fueling your own drive to go harder, faster, longer and never give up.
So when you sling your bag over your shoulder before your early morning workout, imagine your mental gym bag. How heavy would it feel? Does it drag you down or empower you? Is it bursting with confidence or full of uncertainty?
By sparing a moment to pack our minds with more positivity every day, we can equip ourselves to push past both plateaus at the gym, as well as whatever hurdles life holds.
So what’s in your mental gym bag?