healthy mind / making healthy changes

It’s All In Your Head

I read a short but SWEET article in Shape Magazine last month about boosting your chances of success…at anything.  I was intrigued when I read that title.  “Sign me up for that,” I thought.  The message was simple and while not entirely new presented a twist that I had not thought of or tried before.  You know what?  It’s been working. 

When facing an intimidating task, a simple switch of words — thinking of a job as difficult instead of impossible — can make all the difference.  “The brain does what we tell it to,” says Srinivasan Pillay, M.D., the author of Life Unlocked.  “If you send it the message that whatever you’re attempting can’t be done, it will give up without trying.  But if you just admit that it’s going to be tough, your brain will begin to engage in the task and come up with a plan.”  While changing your mindset doesn’t guarantee success, it does ensure you’ll get one step closer.  Shape Magazine (Shape Your Life News, Sep 10)

I used this method while out running the other day and my inability to do what I like to call “sustainable running” vanished (for awhile).  I was able to keep running with a simple switch of words from “This is too hard, I am not going to be able to do this,” to “this part will be challenging, but I CAN do it.”  I did.

Have a Fun-filled Friday!


8 thoughts on “It’s All In Your Head

  1. Great post, Karma.

    I found that article in Shape magazine last month very helpful, too. The brain really is powerful. If I tell myself I can’t perform an exercise, then my brain sends that same message to my arms or legs, and sure enough, the brain wins over the limbs trying to perform the exercise. I agree with you that it really works! In fact, I mentioned this to my students at the beginning of the semester. So far, it’s worked for them, too. I’ve not heard a single “I can’t do it,” and the art looks amazing.

    Happy Friday.

    • Hi Mary,

      I hope you are feeling better, yes the brain can do some crazy things, as soon as you tell yourself that you can’t do something, you will never do it.

  2. For those of you that have run marathons, I feel that the last 4 miles or so is all brain power. When I go out and run with a clear head, I feel like I can go, go, and go. This person that I know named Darla, is running strong, and looking good.

  3. LOVE IT!!! I have found a few good articles like this & always love them! Maybe that is why I am successful at my exercise & health goals. I do admit to myself that it is tough but it is worth it. I don’t fool myself & accept that. It is a challenge but worth it!

    Good stuff!!!!!

  4. This gave me great strenghth today during my workout!! Mind over matter..thanks again! Jimmy is starting to sound like me, when I talk about Greg..haha
    Stressful day = great workout

  5. So true. I use this strategy a lot. Training takes you so far but those little mind games can take you further – and that will lead to the next phase in your training. It really helped me on Sunday’s half marathon.

    Gosh, I’m behind and am writing off gold stars for the month *sorry, Skipper”. But, I ran on M, T, Th, and today. Long, long run on the plan for tomorrow. I can’t wait!

  6. Funny thing– During the past year and a half, running taught me some amazing lessons. A long process of training for, and finally running a marathon made me increasingly believe that the concept of “can’t” is something that exists mainly in the mind.

    That realization has made me hate the word “can’t.” I hate to hear the word on my lips or in my thoughts. I hate to hear other people say it.

    So, I decided to just try to banish the word from my vocabulary and thinking. We can train our minds to look at things differently. If I lack the knowledge, physical capability, or just have not chosen to do something, instead of thinking “I can’t…” I try to think in terms of “I haven’t yet learned to…” “I haven’t yet trained my body to…” or “I haven’t yet chosen to…” A key word to me is “yet.” It mentally leaves a door open, with the realization that there are myriad difficult things we CAN do, if we decide to and follow an apropriate plan to accomplish.

    The way we approach things mentally is everything!

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