We have previously touched upon the significance of mindset in health. For example we all know that when we feel a bit down, everything feels that much harder to do and yet when we feel really good, it all seems so much easier.
Even though we all know this and have experienced this, it is sometimes difficult to take the next step and realise that by controlling your mindset you can control your ability to achieve, or not achieve your goals. Understandably, you may never have made this link. So, how can you control your mindset, you may ask?
Well, let’s start by looking at what words we use. After witnessing a car accident, if you were asked “did you see lots of glass after the window was smashed?”, would you be more likely to say yes, than if you were asked “did you see lots of glass after the window was broken?”. Absolutely. Tests have proven exactly this. Why? Because smashed evokes a stronger emotion than broken and alters the perception of what happened in reality.
Another example. We all get into situations where somebody lets us down or cheats us. What words you use will affect how you feel. Imagine saying to yourself ‘I’m really angry, I could hit him’. The emotions you would feel would be totally different than if you said ‘I’m feeling let down by you’. Try it yourself. It will feel different. If you suffer from anger problems, simply changing your words can change how you feel and act.
Now if you think about health, what words you use will again affect how you react. “I am a fat person” evokes a different feeling than “I am carrying a little bit of extra weight”. For some being fat will be painful, because it will involve loss of confidence and self esteem. But the thought of exercise and of going on a diet seems even more painful, so it’s easier to convince yourself, “hey I’m just carrying a little bit of extra weight. Besides I like my cakes and chocolate and exercise is so boring.” Isn’t this just using different words to control your mindset? Of course it is.
The outcome? Well in this case, the pain of being a little overweight is less than the pain of doing something about it, so nothing happens. Can we change this? Of course, change your words and it will change the feelings that you associate both with being fat and doing something about it. Then it becomes a lot easier to make positive improvement.
What’s the point of this story, well so often at our clinic we have patients who maybe are heavier than they should be, who probably haven’t exercised for many years and don’t have a real commitment to change. The result? Well pain, stiffness, creaky joints and arthritis for a start. But the perceived pain of having to do something about it is worse than the physical pain, so patients use different words to justify their condition. That is, until the pain gets too much.
Sure, we can work on the physical pain, we have great skills for that, but the benefits are amplified when we change the mindset and get true commitment to get involved. How?
The first step is to get a real commitment for the need to change. This usually only comes about when you get to that point where you have had enough, where the pain of not changing is worse than the fear of change.
Once there, then it’s a matter of breaking the thoughts and associations you have that has kept you where you are and then replacing it with a new set of beliefs that make you really want to change. This means that not changing means more pain and changing means moving away from that pain to something better.
If we go back to the overweight example, research has shown that in the majority of cases diets don’t work. The weight lost is back on within two years. That’s because dieting is just a temporary change of habit. Besides, dieting for most means moving towards pain. Not eating what you want, when you want and exercising is painful, right? But if you get the change of mindset, then the weight will come off and stay off.
Real improvements can come about if you want, all you need to do is to be shown how to change your mindset.
For more information about Nicky Snazell’s Pain Relief Clinic call 01889 881488 or visit www.painreliefclinic.co.uk