Being an active person, injuries and/or doing things to prevent them are a part of my regimen. Foam rolling, yoga practices, reading reviews on the latest shoes & gear, discovering new strengthening routines, cross-training, fueling for my goal, etc. are regular behaviors and topics on my reading list. But what about injury prevention for the mind?
Fitness basically sums up our physical health in relation to its condition and presence or absence of illness or disease. Our wellness, relates to our overall health and well-being and helps draw the intense connection between mind, body and spirit. These dimensions both affect and effect one another leading to the destruction or construction of our body as a whole.
Mind Over Matter
So often, people believe the key to making changes in their weight or fitness level are simply a matter of making changes to the foods they’re eating, diet habits, elimination of certain foods and/or their workout routine. But it’s actually much deeper than that– it starts with the mind.
We make choices all throughout our day. They come in the form of both conscious and subconscious thoughts. The majority of them are subconscious as this is our brain’s way of saving energy and time. Our subconscious processing allows for storing and recording of experiences and knowledge like photos in our mind. Emotions then attach to these photos much like a frame. This helps give meaning to these events and also assist in developing our attitude.
Can you see where I’m headed with this as it relates to accelerate-her-ating our fitness?
Our subconscious brain helps us navigate through life and if that subconscious mind has been crippled by any such event or emotion, we are already set-up for failure–according to our mind. If we had a bad experience when we were younger when we first attempt a physical activity, our mind remembers this…takes a picture of this and puts it in a cute little frame to remind us to either never attempt this again or predetermine the experience we’re about to have. If we’ve grown up with the influence of food used as a reward or a source of comfort in moments of despair, our subconscious choices when eating, are simply made out of emotional choices not that of hunger. Every one of us could write a list of things we do subconsciously that are directly related to negative experiences and knowledge our brains have received, crippling any efforts we put forth to better ourselves.
We fear failure (Am I enough?).
We fear success (Do I deserve this?).
We fear for the future (motherhood, career, balance, personal & family health).
The list could go on and on.
Fear is an emotion and we know emotions come from our subconscious brain. So change must then come from our conscious brain where we are able to be more mindful and considerate of what we think, feel and do. Our conscious brain can be used to re-program our subconscious brain…those memories, experiences and emotions that have caused us to become crippled. But this re-programming takes effort, often times, more than we’re willing to give or more than we can offer on our own.
Healed by Faith
Before you fear I’m getting preachy here, give me a chance to explain.
We all put our faith and hope in something. Whether it be people, a hobby, a career, a goal… something drives us and our living force within. It carries us through our life storms and is there to celebrate our victories. It’s the one thing, that as we reflect back on these moments in our life, we can clearly see as a constant beacon in the darkness and light alike.
For me, my faith is found in Jesus Christ. I’ll admit. I have an extremely limited contextual understanding of the bible and lack the ability to rattle off memorized scripture. I’ve sat through sermons and fallen asleep or been bored to death by books on “growing my faith”. I cuss and I gossip, but I try my best not to. I am far from perfect. But one thing I’m sure of is through my darkest moments and highest peaks, He has carried me.
My relationship with Him has wavered (on my account) since I was much younger. And as I’ve moved through life gathering more wrinkles and experience, I can often look back to moments I know it had to be a higher power holding my hand through the storm.
I know I must make a conscious effort to grow my relationship with Him and also realize my best life can only be lived by means of the one He has created for me.
Whether your faith is in that of a higher power, the same God in which I’m speaking, or something or someone else, faith is for each of us. It is the “strong belief or trust in someone or something”. It is the driving force that allows us to believe, execute and achieve our successes. It is what carries us to “the finish line” of the races of life. It is what will help us be our best at all we attempt to do.
Part of my hope for 2016 is to accel-her-ate my faith and live fearlessly. The more we submit to that constant provider of faith and provide resistance to the subconscious efforts holding us back, the more often we will be able to say “I will, I can and I did!”
Join me on this journey of accel-her-ation of conscious efforts to better ourselves!