What’s the mind-body connection when it comes to good health? What does our mental muscle have to do with building muscle and living a healthy lifestyle?
A lot, it turns out. Researchers are learning more every day about how our minds have a direct impact on our actions. And of course, our actions affect all areas of our lives – relationships, well being, confidence, attitude, health, nutrition, career, etc.
Our brains love encouragement. When our brain is happy, our body is better able to focus on what’s making our brains happy. That makes us able to do things we didn’t think we could, and by keeping at it, we’ll start to see success. It takes practice.
Here are 5 tips to help flex your mental muscle and keep you motivated and encouraged:
- Learn to recognize negativity. If we’re used to being negative and beating ourselves up about every little thing, just recognizing the negativity might be challenging. Start by listening to your self-talk and begin speaking deliberately, thinking before you speak, and then speaking with intention. Here’s a twist on the old adage, “If you can’t think of something encouraging and kind to say to yourself, don’t say anything at all.”
- Be your own best cheerleader. Whatever you want to accomplish, encourage yourself. For example, if you’ve struggled with making good nutrition choices and decide you’re ready to make better choices, encourage yourself and then set yourself up for success by planning ahead and having plenty of healthy snacks on hand to help keep you on track. Let your internal dialogue be kind and encouraging. Here’s a great quote from Naomi Judd: “Your body hears everything your mind says.”
- Recruit your own cheer squad. Share your goals with a trusted friend or relative, or seek out mentors who’ve been where you are. Surround yourself with people who’ll listen, sympathize, and encourage you to keep going.
- Take a moment. Even when your cheer squad is always great and you do a pretty good job being your best cheerleader, sometimes you may need a moment of quiet reflection to connect with some larger message. It may help to reflect on your favorite uplifting quote, read an encouraging book or article or watch an inspirational video to help you weather the storm.
- Encourage yourself to keep going. We all have setbacks and self-doubt. When that happens, understand that every successful person has experienced rejection and difficulty along the way. Keep going. Avoid beating yourself up and joining the nay-sayers. The surest way to fail is to quit, so if you must have your pity party, make it short, then say to yourself, “I can do this,” and keep going.
Henry Ford says, “Whether your think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”
Get your mind on board with your plans and then work your mental muscle every day until your positive outlook becomes part of who you are in all areas of your life – health, family, professional, spiritual, and emotional.
I’d love to hear your favorite motivational quote. Share in the comments below.