Positive thinking is exercise for the brain, which must come first before we can exercise our body.
If a healthy body starts with healthy thinking, as postulated in last Tuesday’s post, then how do we first get our mind in good shape?
Athletic competition gives us wonderful examples of the power of mind over matter. But that’s child’s play compared to real life drama because we are all in the most important competition of all – the battle to have good health prevail over ill health for as long as possible.
This may come as a surprise, but for most of us, the biggest obstacle we face in our battle to achieve excellent health is not found in the extra baggage we carry on our hips or waistline. Rather, it is the baggage we carry between our ears.
”Whether you think you can or you can’t, you are right.”
Overweight people mistakenly attribute their size and poor health to a lack of controllable will power and discipline. This is a misnomer. Instead, the apparent lack of will power or discipline tends to be symptomatic of people who suffer from low confidence or low self-esteem. This is the opposite of positive thinking.
Not coincidentally, low self-esteem causes people to have correspondingly low energy and therefore take little action. People with high self-esteem tend to have high energy and boundless activity. To paraphrase an old saying, a goal without action is doomed to become nothing beyond a wish.
And it takes more than wishful thinking to turn our gluteus maximus into gluteus minimus – it takes positive thinking.
So what paralyses us from taking action even when we know it is in our best interest? If I had the answer to that, I’d be speaking to you alongside Dr. Phil.
Instead, I’ll defer to him and suggest you read his book on weight control (www.drphil.com) because it is a brilliant look at the cerebral aspect of weight management. Without question, many of us overeat or eat poorly for emotional reasons. This pattern of impulse binge eating must be overcome if we are to regain a healthy body and sound mind.
While I don’t have all the right answers, perhaps I can help you with some of the right questions.
Nobody talks to us more than ourselves. We are constantly talking to ourselves through either our conscious or subconscious mind. Do we ever attempt anything of substance without first thinking about it? Therefore, isn’t what we think a critical determinant of our eventual success or failure?
ASK YOURSELF THE RIGHT QUESTIONS
People who succeed are those who can have constructive inner conversations by asking the right questions of themselves. For instance, guess what happens if you ask yourself this question?: Why am I so fat and unattractive?
First, you hammer yet more self-deprecating negativity into your conscious and subconscious mind, which always accepts as fact whatever you feed it. By labeling yourself as fat and unattractive repeatedly, that is what you become in your mind.
Secondly, your mind provides you with precise answers that always reflect the theme of your question. Since you asked yourself why you are so fat and unattractive, here are some of the answers you’ll likely get:
“I’m lazy. I eat like a pig. I like junk foods. I don’t like being with people anyway. I can’t walk far. I can’t get a date anyway. I don’t want to give up pizza.” And so forth. This only serves to affirm all that is wrong with us. No wonder we are depressed wrecks!
Unfortunately, one of the laws of life is that our actions, which are a direct response to all that we think, turn us into the physical sum of what we think and believe. Hence, we are what we eat.
Our mind is always as blunt and honest as a two-year old. To program our conscious and subconscious mind for success, we must learn the art of positive thinking and therefore to ask ourselves positive, empowering questions. Guess what happens if you ask yourself this question?: What one thing am I prepared to do today to help me become the healthy and attractive person I know I am?
First, you have planted a positive and empowering seed into your conscious and subconscious mind instead of destructive negativity.
Secondly, because of how you framed the question, your mind once again provides you with precise, but this time constructive and proactive answers to your question, such as:
“I will walk for 20 minutes today. I will work out on an exercise ball today. I will drink only water today instead of pop. I will broil salmon today instead of a burger. I will have only fruit today after 8 p.m.” And so forth. Do you see the difference?
Our mind is so powerful and influential; even one word can make a difference. By adding the word “today” to the positive question asked of yourself, you create a sense of urgency and your mind responds by providing you with some quick and effective solutions. After all, that’s what you asked for, isn’t it?
Habits, either negative or positive, are the result of what pre-dominates our mind. Hence the importance of positive thinking. It’s no more complicated than that.
Patience is a virtue, they say, especially when it comes to changing our thinking and changing our health. You can start getting better today, but truthfully, this is a six-to-eight-month process. Do not be impatient, especially since it took perhaps 10 or 20 or 30 years of poor eating, no activity and adverse thinking to get to your state of being overweight and in ill health. That’s a reasonable expectation, don’t you think?
Therefore, an effective way to start eating better and becoming MODERATELY active is to start asking yourself the right questions. As per the sample question above, write down an empowering question that will help you proactively remedy a health concern that you have. Then implement the answers you come up with.
Everything good we experience starts with positive thinking.
Note: This is the second post in a four-part series on the importance of healthy thinking to our physical well-being.
Next Tuesday: Healthy actualization starts with healthy visualization.