Saturday, July 12, 2008

Following on from Priority....with Self Talk


So you now have an understanding about whether health is a priority. But that alone is not always enough. Some people have a crazy idea that they can start exercising more or eating better even though they hate exercise and dislike healthy foods!

This is a plan that revolves around ‘willpower’ alone and can often cause pain, and guilt and agony. Like the title song for the American sitcom ‘married with children describes - your thoughts and your actions have a similar relationship to love and marriage – you cant have one without the other!

When legendary blues musician BB King wrote the lyrics ‘I did what I did before Love came to town’. He explained in a show that I watched that long before all the fame and the money and the devoted fans he had - his love of music, his vision for the future, his belief in what he was doing and the resulting hours of practice.

Healthy mind, Healthy Body!

In "Mindless Eating" by Brian Wansink (GREAT BOOK), he describes a research project they conducted where they served a wine they described as "two-buck Chuck" with two different descriptions. One was described the wine as a California red; the other had the SAME wine was described as North Dakota red.

The people at the meal served the "California red" not only reported the wine as better, but the entire meal as well; the "North Dakota red" found the eaters with less enthusiasm for the meal. The capper is that both groups were served the SAME food too!

The point is that if want to, you can convince yourself of anything! If you have spent years believing that exercise is not enjoyable and that you don’t like healthy food, then your body will respond physically to these beliefs.

If you tall yourself something to be true – then in your mind it is!

If you want to change your lifestyle…the activities you do and the foods you eat, you also have to change the way you think about them. In medicine its called the placebo effect, in business its called marketing & in sports its called having a winning mentality.

External peace is impossible without inner peace. It is noble to work as external solutions, but they cannot be successfully implemented so long as people have hatred and anger in their minds. This is where profound change has to begin. Individually we have to work to change basic perspectives on which our feelings depend. We can only do so through training, by engaging in practice with the aim of gradually reorienting the way we perceive ourselves and others.

How to practice the way to a meaningful life – His Holiness the fourteenth Dalai Lama

It’s the same with healthy lifestyle change. Your thoughts determine your actions, and if you think that it is possible enjoy an activity or pay attention to the benefits….then there is more chance that you will return to it again and again

A Placebo Effect for Pricey Placebos in Placating Pain

BOSTON, March 4 -- Irrational and extraordinary as it may seem, expensive placebos offer greater pain relief than cheap ones, found researchers here.

Put another way, placebos that cost pennies may be no therapeutic bargain in a patient's eyes compared with placebos that cost dollars -- even though they are the very same placebo.

One implication is that extra-clinical factors – such as price or brand name -- may alter the perceived efficacy of a real medication, according to Dan Ariely, Ph.D., of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and colleagues.

The finding emerged from a randomized, blinded study, in which 82 healthy paid volunteers were given what they were told was a new opioid and asked to rate its effect on painful electric shocks, Dr. Ariely and colleagues reported in a research letter in the March 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

If an athlete loses their confidence their performance suffers (winning mentality), if a company does not talk positively about their services or products then their customers will not want to buy them (Marketing) and if a patient believes a medicine will work – then their belief alone can effect their recovery (Placebo effect).

Of course if you don’t like the taste of broccoli it will take time to teach your body to reaction more favourably to it, or to ‘learn a new behaviour’. But if you genuinely believe in your ability to learn, and you want to learn, you can teach yourself to enjoy new activities and new types of foods.

A colleague of mine, Mr John Twoomey from Lifebalance Australasia put me on to the following paragraph by WN Murrey. It tells a story of commitment very nicely.

"Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all facts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans; that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would otherwise never have occurred. A whole stream of events issue from that decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would come his way."

W.N. Murray of the 1951 Scottish Himalayan Expedition

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