Before Getting Back Into Shape, Start With This Important Task

mindset2The human brain is said to be the most complex structure in the universe.   Although scientists have a much better understanding of how the brain works compared to 50 years ago, much of it is still a mystery.  We do know that intelligence is related to the number of synaptic connections in the brain (interconnected neurons, or brain cells– Einstein’s was off the charts).   And thanks to technology that can measure neuronal activity within the brain, we have an idea where the various sensations such as anger, fear, and love are produced in the brain.

But when it comes to “mindset” issues involving weight loss (emotional eating, ingrained habits), rather than venture too deep into the mechanical workings of the brain, it is more practical to focus on the things within one’s power to change.   After all, there is a somewhat cynical saying in the field of neurology– “Science can explain how the brain works using various models, but (so far) we are helpless to cure any neurological disease or problem with our current knowledge.”  Think about that for a moment.  If the most highly skilled neurologists in the world can’t give you a pill capable of changing your brain, then they are no better off than you in correcting the problem.

If you are one of the millions of people mired in long-standing habits that are slowly destroying your health, the first thing to do is to admit it to yourself, and let it absorb into your consciousness.  Have a conversation with yourself when you are alone, with no distractions.

First calm down any scattered noise that may be occupying your mind– job worries, financial worries, relationship worries, health worries, vices, pleasures, and anything else.

Next, take a couple of deep breaths.  Find a mirror, look straight into your eyes and tell yourself you must stop _____ because it is hurting you; setting you up for poor health that will eventually impact your loved ones as well.  Then affirm, “From this moment on, I shall make a commitment to strive for a life of optimal health.”

Next, assess your home, work and car physical environments.  If they include any items that support/enable your bad habits; whether actual items, arrangement of items, or anything else, find a way to purge them or neutralize them.   If any have monetary value, realize that anything that drains your health actually costs you money.  Replace them with health-promoting items such as live plants, positive message posters and screen savers, calming music, and so on.   You must create “fertile ground” in your surroundings because this is where your senses take in information in the form of images, words, sounds, and actions.   If you can control certain sensory inputs in your environment, take advantage of it; you will need it because society is full of health-destroying temptations that can trip you and put you back into your old routine.  So, create that “protective bubble” around you as best you can, and it will be easier to stay on track.

Posted in Mindset.