Newton’s First Law: an object will remain at rest or in uniform motion… unless acted upon by an external force. If your body is in uniform motion, you may wish to read another article (but you could get tips here too). If you see yourself as an object at rest, then here’s an external ‘force’ of suggestions.
How do you feel about exercising, your body, your health? If there are challenges that get in your way about feeling good, healthy or strong, sometimes starting with the mind, rather than the body, can give you the mental routine you need to get you on a path that supports all parts of you.
So here are five tips that can get you in the right ‘head space’ to get your body moving in the direction towards health and greater well-being…
1. Exercise – Your Right!
Our bodies are vehicles that carry us through this life. If we looked at our bodies the way we look at cars, would we expect a car to spring to life and action after having sat, untouched, for extended periods of time? Just as you invest in your car or public transportation to get where you’re going, investing in the movement of your body is even more important to get you where you’re going.
The word ‘exercise’ is often seen as a bad word (and in hypnosis bad words may just be unhelpful words). So how about shifting the focus of your movement in a different way – one that feels better and more acceptable to you and your mind.
But words are just words, right? Not in the language of the mind. The words we say and the way we feel about them are important in the way the subconscious takes in and automates our thoughts and actions. So the words we say about exercise or movement can seriously affect what we do or don’t do.
So how about shifting exercising to ‘exercising your right to move your body’, which is more empowering and purposeful. It includes choice – because with great rights come great responsibilities.
I talk about movement instead of exercise on purpose – because we are moving our bodies when we do cardio, resistance/weight training, stretches… and it tends to have less of a stigma to it. I can move my body more – that’s what it’s designed to do!
Have you ever considered ‘playing’ at the gym? Humans tend to love to play, and setting up our sessions in a lighter way can shift our self-perceived effort (the hardness of it) and even enjoyment.
And if you’re aiming to ‘lose weight’, remember that we don’t like to lose things, so we tend to find it again (the weight we didn’t want in the first place)! Instead, how about ‘release weight’ which gives us permissions to gently set what we don’t want or need free.
What?!? But I’ve got so far to go, so much to make up for… while hypnosis can help speed the process, we’re dealing with the body here. Sometimes more isn’t necessarily better. The subconscious mind is lazy/economical and really doesn’t like to get uncomfortable. So being sneaky and doing less instead of more. James Clear, in his book “Atomic Habits” talks about the two-minute rule where you start a pattern that can be done in two minutes, like read one page in a book, fold a pair of socks, or in the case of our bodies stretch for a minute, put on running shoes and walk for a minute, do two squats… yes, the list could go on…
But how can a one minute walk get me marathon ready? The rule of the mind – compounding – comes into play here. If you do something once, the suggestion or idea is weak. If you do something again, it reinforces the first time – and the third time reinforces the first and second time – and so on…
Most people don’t have time to do 2 hours in the gym so they put it off until that magical day they have the time. Which might be never. But 2 minutes – which inevitably go a little longer, because you’re already doing something – adds up. And as the idea of you being a ‘doer’ in whatever positive habit compounds and becomes stronger, you might do more. Even if you don’t, you’re still doing something.
I like to say “underachieve every day, rather than overachieve never”. The journey of a thousand miles does begin with a single step, so you can tackle that single step today!
3. If You Love/Like/Tolerate It, You’ll Do It
I love to chat with my friend who lives in another town. We catch up with each others’ lives and… I’ve walked 4 miles!!! The greatest workout (in my mind) was on my jaw as I gabbed or my ears burning to hear more. I didn’t notice the length of the walk because I was enjoying the conversation and friendship. Get me on a treadmill doing the same distance – bleh. But give me a good audio book on the treadmill – better. That’s my viewpoint. You, however, might like the treadmill – then you’ll be more likely to do it.
It seems too simple to do what we prefer doing, but it tends to surface in the results. And because our emotions can affect our physiology, doing what feels better (even a little) for us stops us from working against ourselves. We won’t do what we hate to do over the long-term, so it requires us make some choices that align better with our minds.
While the latest exercise might be this or that, choose to go against the trend and find something that you can tolerate and maybe grow to like (yup, the mind likes familiarity, so when we do something ok over and over again, we tend to reflect on it more positively).
4. It Really Isn’t(!) a Competition
Ok, if you’re on a team maybe it is a competition, but for most of us, we’re doing it for ourselves. Over the years I’ve found that external motivation – doing it for others – tends to ‘stick’ less than internal motivators.
This does not mean you have to do it on your own. Supportive friends and positive ‘accountability’ buddies can be touchstones and cheering squads on your new habits. And they may see more clearly the changes that are happening to you. They may notice the pep in your step or change in complexion while you might be focusing on a different thing that hasn’t yet shifted. Hold on to these special people who build you up while you’re building your body up.
Sometimes the biggest competition may be with the nay sayers or those who benefit from your failure. There may be those who want to be ‘superlative’ to you – fitter, slimmer, stronger, more flexible – and when you work on this for yourself, they may feel threatened and place obstacles in your way. They may not even be aware they are doing it to you. So while you’re establishing your new patterns, you may wish to minimize the contact you have with those who negate your positive body work.
Remember, a competition tends to have a tally at the end. As mortals we need to contend that our match will end as well, but in the meantime, this is your big match where you can perform to YOUR best ability (which tends to get better with positive practice) so any baby steps you may take in the right direction is taking you towards more healthy outcomes, no matter who might be playing their own game around you. You are the creator of your own health – and doing something each day stacks the odds in your favour.
5. What are the Benefits?
I always talk about benefits. What are you getting out of it? That speaks to the subconscious – it wants ‘the goods’. And it pays to spread your net a little wider or dig a little deeper when you’re looking at exercise. While many people start and stop with weight, how about – clearer thinking – better sleep – more energy – better mood – greater confidence – stronger – keep up with the kids (or live to see grandkids) – feeling sexier – more balanced – more in control…
If none of these speak to you, let me know and we can talk about other benefits that might be incentives to get you moving. And just because all of these benefits have been shown in scientific studies does not mean they are important to you. So really think about what you can get out of this habit and how it may positively affect your life and the lives of those around you. Keeping the benefits front and foremost in your mind tends to make the journey and process easier.
Bonus tip: Hypnosis can help.
If you need some suggestions or ways to ‘exercise your right to move your body’ or shift your body perception, speaking directly to the subconscious mind is a quick and easy way to make shifts in your mind and body. If some of the other aspects of your life are putting pressure on your ability to get out and move, hypnosis can help as well. If you have any questions, please let me know. Ready to make a move? Schedule a session or discounted bundle so that you can start moving towards a body you appreciate and functions even better.
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