There’s no magic pill to make you happy. There’s nothing you can buy, no special person, and no level of success that can individually make everything better; however, there are certain factors that, over a period of time, if instituted with mindfulness and dedication, can contribute to a mindset of happiness and satisfaction. CrossFit seems to encompass these qualities, and packages them up into an hour-a-day dose of happiness medicine. There’s a good reason people become obsessed with CrossFit- it can literally feel like CrossFit creates happiness. Here’s how:
One of the most important factors that helps people with addiction, substance abuse, depression, and anxiety is CONNECTION. The CrossFit gym is a great place to find this. Over time, when you see the same people day after day, week after week, year after year, you create relationships that are based on real conversations, about real things; it’s almost impossible to put up a front when you’ve shared such an intense experience together. We’ve even had 4 marriages that MET at our gym, and countless more that have been strengthened by it. That’s not to say we’re just a place for single people; we’re a place for real connection.
Community is different than connection. Community means that there exists a give and take. One of the most important contributors to happiness is giving to others. A community allows you help when you need it, and an opportunity to help when others need it. People hire each other, watch each other’s pets when they’re out of town, provide a table at Thanksgiving when loved ones are far away. Not only do we bring each other vegetables from our gardens, and connect people to friends and businesses, the gym is also a pinnacle of energy, positivity and motivation to draw from when you need it. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve had a bad day, and then walked into the gym to coach or take class, and within minutes felt the bad day just slip away.
When you’re holding a barbell, you can’t think about bills, you can’t think about that breakup, you can’t think about that thing your boss said. It forces you to be present, which is a gift in our day and age. We don’t allow cell phones. We take the word “class time” seriously and give you things to learn and practice. We give you daily goals and challenges. All these things create a very unique experience and state of mind called “flow” state- or as athletes call it- being “in the zone.” This state has been proven to release FIVE amazing neurotransmitters at once, making it an extremely addictive, exciting, and even stress-relieving.
4. Endorphins, DUH
In the words of Elle Woods, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy, and happy people just don’t kill their husbands.” In all seriousness, the most important part of CrossFit is intensity. Intensity is a great endorphin producor AND most individuals will experience a drop in cortisol (stress hormone) the next day. Cheers to less stress and our favorite natural high!
Now, I’m not saying everyone at the gym is happy all the time. What I am saying is that belonging to a gym like this, with the community, the quality of people, and the quality of the workouts sets you up for success, as long as you take advantage of it.