In Canada, gym members go to the gym on average of 1.6 times per month. We certainly have the desire to go to the gym, and, logically, we know the benefits of being physically fit, but, for usually a multitude of reasons (some known, some unknown), sometimes we just can’t seem to align our habits with our desires. What gives? In this newsletter, we illustrate and discuss how hypnotherapy can help motivate you towards exercise, help you get the most from your physical activities and show you how developing positive self-image inside and out can bring the most benefits to all aspects of your health.
Clarifying the ‘WHY’: What is the ultimate goal/vision/purpose of your exercise regimen? Strengthening the ‘why’ in our minds strengthens our overarching goal and leads the way on our exercise journey. Hypnotherapy can help us to clarify our reasons for taking on a new, or previously started, exercise regimen. In moments of weakness, a strong and clear ‘why’ keeps us focused on our long-term goals. Hypnotherapy can also strengthen your commitment, so that on those days when you ‘just don’t want to’, your commitment will be stronger and you’ll be better able to stay on course.
Take Action: When we set forth to create a change, there is a battle in our minds between the old self and the new idea that wants to take over. This older version of ourselves has well-worn habits that feel effortless to maintain since we have been doing them for so long, but it’s important to recognize that they’re not always the best habits for us. The new idea, stemming from brain activity in the prefrontal cortex, has amazing ideas and new plans for us. These two aspects of ourselves battle it out and very often, the habitual mind will win. Hypnotherapy can help you intervene between these two sides and essentially allows these parts to have a dialogue to come to a conclusion on how they can both act appropriately, and in conjunction with one another, to help you achieve your goals.
Exercise = Joy: Many people associate exercise with dread, struggle, and pain, but we know that there are some very real, tangible, positive feelings and benefits post-exercise. Finding ways to program the mind to associate physical exercise with joy before we begin exercise makes it easier to create new exercise habits and maintain them long-term.
Obliterate Obstacles: We often tell ourselves we will “start tomorrow; next week; next month etc.”. Why do we do this? What is stopping us from working towards long term health TODAY? Among other things, sometimes it’s laziness, sometimes it’s fear, sometimes it’s because we just don’t know how. Hypnotherapy helps you identify the blocks, release them and frees your mind to make the changes necessary for a healthier you!
Increased Focus: Increasing attention/focus on daily actions (creating discipline) vs. looking for results quickly. We often get discouraged when we can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, or quick, significant movement toward a goal. In these moments of doubt, we are more likely to give up on our goal or consider a thought like ‘what’s the point’? It’s important to take our attention away from the future (an illusion) and bring our attention to this NOW moment. Hypnotherapy can train your mind to take action today and focus on this moment, releasing self-doubt and being patient. Major change doesn’t happen overnight.
Amplifying the Benefits: Deciding and taking action to increase daily exercise has cascading effects in several areas of our lives. When we decide to make positive changes to our health, our self-esteem and self-confidence soars. We feel good about ourselves. When we feel good, we become inspired to make additional positive changes in our lives. We radiate this feeling of positivity outward effecting everyone in our personal and professional lives. Along with the personal power and discipline we develop through consistent exercise, we become more empowered and able to make changes to other areas of our lives such as our career, personal relationships, and ultimately, our deepest wishes.
Listening to Your Body’s Wisdom: Hypnotherapy helps us listen to and be mindful of our bodies, ensuring that we are not going too hard, too fast. This tends to happen to people who are really “gung-ho” at the beginning of their exercise journey. We need not take this approach. Slow and steady wins the race.
Creating Intimacy with One’s Self: Turning our attention inward to positive mental exercise allows us to effectively turn our attention outward to make healthy choices; whether it’s improving diet or doing more physical activity. Our bodies’ inputs and outputs on a physical, mental and emotional scale are interconnected. The more we recognize, understand and are mindful of this connection, the closer we feel to ourselves and the better able we are to make positive, healthy and informed choices.
Honouring Our Design: The body is designed for movement. Is sitting the new smoking? We are not designed to be sitting at a cubicle 8 hours a day Monday to Friday, or to binge-watch Netflix. Exercising is honouring our bodies and its design. It lengthens our lives. When our bodies are happy and running optimally, we can be and do more! We also have more to offer our families, our friends, and the community at large. We logically know that exercising, by any means, is healthy, physically, for the body. But it is also healthy for the mind. It releases endorphins, gives us more energy and gives us a psychological euphoria knowing we are making efforts to take care of our body (the physical vehicle that carries us through our life).
Visualizing Success: Hypnotherapy can help you visualize exercising or doing physical activity and getting what you want out of it. Just like visualizing food can make you feel hungry, visualizing a revitalizing workout can stir you into action. On top of that, maintaining a clear vision of a future goal can help you stay motivated to achieve it
Creating a Positive Feedback Loop: Success begets more success. Making an effort, no matter if it’s big or small, creates positive momentum to keep going with our exercise goals. Doing what you can also is showing yourself that you are dedicated to achieving your goals and will, in turn, this increases your motivation and drive.
Image: It’s our nature to make quick judgments on the people around us. Our outward appearance is, to an extent, a reflection of how we feel and view ourselves mentally. The people around us infer how we feel about ourselves simply by how well we take care of ourselves. We associate people who exercise with greater discipline, and therefore as more successful and reliable. These judgments can have far reaching effects on our personal and professional lives.
Understanding that exercising and being healthy is about giving love and appreciation to your body, and when your body feels this love, it will return it back to you! Hypnotherapy can also boost self-gratitude, self-compassion and self-patience. It creates a safe space to recognize how important it is to feed not only the body with healthy activities, but also to feed the mind with healthy, positive thoughts. This nourishment comes in the form of self-respect, positive self-talk and reminding yourself to be grateful for all the good things present in your life. And if you don’t know what’s good presently in your life, hypnotherapy can help you discover that too!