**I want to preface this post by saying that the info and tips in this blog are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the profound connection between our mind and body. I highly encourage you to do your own research and learn more about this concept and how you can use it to the benefit of your physical and emotional health.
Our thoughts, feelings, emotions, attitudes and beliefs can affect our biological processes in positive or negative ways. The way we treat our physical body can have a positive or negative impact on our mental state and our thought processes and decisions which include our eating and exercise habits. Conversely, our thoughts and ideas can influence our physical condition. One example is the way we get a stomachache when stressed or nervous. Gaining control of our mental and physical health takes planning, patience, practice and time.
Healthy habits include a lot more than just eating well and exercising. You can completely understand how to eat in the healthiest way and exercise five days per week and still not be completely “healthy.”
When we think about being a “healthy person” or having healthy daily habits most people can visualize what that looks like for them. That may mean being fitter, eating healthier, learning to meditate, learning to control your emotional responses to situations, etc. A passionate person will get excited about this visualization and the idea of becoming healthier and may even begin to take action. However, if you begin the process of solving a problem with the same way of thinking that you’ve always had, chances are high that you eventually fizzle out and give up.
You are what you think.
Think about what you’ve been thinking about. Your thoughts and ideas will govern your decisions and how you approach any situation. Most people are following a finite narrative that they have created for their life. It tells them who they are, how they act and what they feel. Essentially, this means that your personality creates your reality. Therefore, if you wish to change your life, your reality – if you are tired of starting something and never seeing it through, if you wish you could just stick to a healthy lifestyle regimen, or that you could stop reacting to people and situations in an angry or aggressive way, or that you could stand up for yourself, etc. – you essentially need to change your personality.
You need to become aware of your habits and behaviors and start to modify them. You will have to assess emotions that keep you in the past and decide if
you want them a part of your future. For example, if you have always told yourself that you dislike exercise because you are “not athletic,” “too slow,” “not an active person,” “can’t do it,” etc., you will have to decide if that is the script you want to continue to follow or if you want to create a different truth. You can’t change your reality by thinking the same thoughts, making the same choices and creating the same experiences that you always have. This means that you will have to consciously work to rewire your mind. You will truly have to stop and think about what you think about. This may be the biggest key to learning new habits and making them stick.
When you begin thinking about ways to create better balance between your mind and body, you be a little lost as to where to start. Here are some things that may help:
Honestly assess your behaviors and feelings and WRITE THEM DOWN. You can file this under journaling and it is an extremely important step. Physically writing down the behaviors you observe and want to change means that you understand and recognize them and that you are taking control over them. Pay attention to how you act and react to people and situations. Pay attention to your current lifestyle. Write down everything you want to change, how you feel, what triggers those feelings, when you tend to feel this way, what you can do now to let those feelings go and anything else you think may be helpful to you.
Read and learn often. We often get suck in our ways because our minds are not open. Reading and seeking out knowledge will help you to open your mind to new ways of thinking. So, explore some books, listen to podcasts, take a course, watch documentaries, attend workshops. Do anything you can do to remain a student of self-improvement.
Fuel your passions. Many people have something they are passionate about or enjoy doing (outside of their actual work) that they let fall to the side. This can happen for many reasons, including feeling like you don’t have the time, you feel it is a waste of time, you feel like if it doesn’t make you money it’s not worth your time, you spend your free time on other mindless activities that don’t help to enrich your life. Write down something you would love to get back into or start exploring. Determine how you can make the time for it in your life, even if it is only one or two days per week.
Be kind to everyone. You get what you give, and this includes being kind to yourself.
Cut some stress out of your life. (This includes people who you feel prevent you from stepping into your new reality.) Write down your sources of stress. Figure out which ones you can cut out completely and make a plan of attack for the others. Once you begin to take control over your stressors, they can’t control you.
Forgive yourself for past mistakes. Learn from the past but do not let it destroy you. Living in the past and approaching situations as if you expect history to repeat itself will prevent you from creating your new reality.
Let go of little things. If you don’t think it will matter to you or bother you in a week, let it go.
Be grateful. It is easy to let the stress of everyday life stop us from recognizing everything that is good in our lives. Each day write down something (or many things) you are truly grateful for and why. This could be your job, your family and friends, your husband, your talents, your health, your love of exercise, etc. Try to do this everyday so that you can remember to keep working toward becoming the best you can be and continue to enjoy all these things for which you are grateful.
Shifting your reality, gaining control over your habits and understanding yourself better will all help to keep you focused on a healthy life. If you find yourself falling back into old habits or in a rut, THAT IS OK. Long-term change, progress and healing are not linear processes. Treat yourself with grace and return to this list or your own notes and begin again.