How to Love Monday

Mondays have gotten a bad rap. Honestly, this leading day of the week hasn’t done anything wrong to anybody, but on Sunday afternoons, millions of people everywhere start to dread Monday mornings, consider writing letters to their congressmen and women about adding a third day to the weekend, and question the overall choices and direction of their lives. But perhaps this isn’t the fault of Monday at all—maybe it’s a result of what psychologists call “negative affect.”

Psycologydictionary.org defines negative affect as, “an internal feeling or emotion which is typically experienced after one has failed to complete a task or goal, or where they have completed the task but at a lower than required standard.” Not everyone hates Mondays, as we see on ads for webinars that promise to help you cultivate a life you don’t need a vacation from. The “Mondays” are an individual disorder that attacks those who desire to be “there,” but feel stuck “here.” So what can its victims do to fix it?

Pilates. One session. Ten weeks.

Seriously. They did a study on this, and the numbers show that just one session of Pilates each week, for ten weeks, yielded a significant 12% decrease on negative affect for sedentary young women. It also showed positive changes in muscle mass, flexibility, balance, core strength, ab strength, and body awareness. One of our previous blogs expounded on how Pilates increases mindfulness. One session of Pilates each week isn’t enough movement for the human body, but it’s a good start. And think about it—if one hour can bring such results, what could happen with a regular practice?

A decrease in negative affect, an increase in body image, and the practice of mindfulness can all work wonders for the state of our mental health. Eckhart Tolle, author and spiritual coach, says, “The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation, but your thoughts about it.” When we practice presence in our daily lives, we can see value and beauty in our circumstances, and the dread will melt away. We can find satisfaction in even the most mundane tasks. We can show gratitude for abnormal schedules and the ability to pay our bills. We can look for good qualities in the most annoying colleagues. And we can do it all while creating the physique we want.

How’s that for getting rid of the Mondays?