In order to achieve a fit and healthy body, it is important to have a healthy mind, as the two go hand in hand.
After a hard workout or even a relaxing yoga session, you will feel calmer, more relaxed and less tense. While exercising, your heart rate and blood flow will increase, therefore circulating more oxygen around your body. By focusing on breathing and concentrating on putting a positive stress on your body, you will improve not only your physical health but also your state of mind.
This is all down to your body chemistry: firstly a release of muscle tension will allow natural energy to flow. Additionally, Endorphins are released into your brain, which essentially make you feel good about yourself; therefore working out is a great way to lower stress.
Your brain is extremely powerful. Our mind causes us to react to certain scenarios, which aren’t necessarily real; for example, fear of something lurking in the dark could cause an increased heart rate.
Now, how many times have you looked at yourself in the mirror and felt unhappy with what you see? I know I certainly have, and I’m certain that most people have too.
Well, the way you perceive yourself is literally what you tell your brain to make your body look like. If you visualise yourself as overweight, then your body responds to that visualisation just as it did in the example of fear above, and acts according, almost thinking yourself fat.
If you change your perception of yourself, and stop comparing yourself to Photoshopped images in magazines, you can change the way you feel about yourself. This will make you happier and more ready for your body to respond to attempted weight loss. Try to visualise the way you wish to look, enjoy the feeling and know that with disciplined positive action you will achieve it.
It can be easy to listen to the voices in your head. For instance, when you decide you are going to finally get fit, what does your mind tell you? I bet it went something like this, “exercise is hard; why would you want to do that? You like pizzas and chocolate; do you really want to give them up? People at the gym will judge you; I hate gyms; why don’t we forget exercise, have a glass of wine, a pizza, some chocolate and watch the TV where its comfy and warm?”
The mind doesn’t like to be uncomfortable, and starting something new is exactly that, so your mind will do everything it can to stop you – and it usually wins. However, with training, you can beat this internal saboteur! Everyone can – and we should all be living a life that makes us happy.
The first weapon we have in our arsenal is meditation. Many people think this is a waste of time or something only religious people do. It’s not. It is a brilliant way to shut out negative voices in your head. If you have a smartphone, then download a guided meditation app and give 15 – 20 minutes every day to indulge yourself in some much-needed relaxation time. I can’t stress how important this is in achieving a healthy mind, and as a result a healthy body – at least give it a try.
If looking for a little proof, then this video is great for explaining some science behind the link of mind and body:
Think positive and the world around you will be a positive one!
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