Your thoughts have much more power than you think. They have the power to make you weaker or stronger because they can alter your physiology.
A 2018 Stanford study showed that receiving fictitious medical information can change your hormone levels and performance. Those who were told they carried a gene protecting them from obesity felt more satiated after receiving the news and they produced two and a half times more of the fullness hormone.
Change your thoughts to change your body …They are connected!
Those who were told that one of their genes made them respond more poorly to exercise saw their lung capacity reduced.
Said differently, a piece of information became a belief and changed their body. Mindset can affect not only how you feel but also how you perform.
If You Want to Change Your Body? You Need to Change Your Mind, Firstly!
Similarly, a perceived danger can create stress which affects the balance of many hormones. the body prepares to fend off the aggressor.
The heart rate goes up as the heart pumps more blood.
The breathing rate increases.
The blood flow is diverted away from the least essential functions such as the digestive and the reproductive system.
All this makes sense if you face real danger.
But in our modern times, when the stress becomes chronic, it depletes the body of its energy and creates inflammation. The consequences can be serious with cardiovascular diseases, such as hypertension and blood vessel damage, and a buildup of fat.
If thoughts can change your body, it is time to pause and develop a proper mind building routine.
The need to pause and strengthen your mind
How many times a day do you pause to build your mind?
Chances are that you are not doing enough self-care and that you are harming yourself. This has never become more apparent than with the current pandemic.
Are you leaving the TV on to listen to the latest news, or are you always checking your phone to read more fake news?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are doing your body disfavor and you might suffer from anxiety.
Sadly, anxiety shares some physical symptoms with COVID-19, such as shortness of breath, chills and flu-like aches or even digestive discomfort.
These symptoms are created through the same stress response we described earlier. The result is that anxiety creates more anxiety as you fear your health and the body becomes more prone to inflammations.
Develop a map of your mental space
When it comes to exercising, you can tell very quickly when you are getting out of your comfort zone. You may be short of breath, lacking energy, or your muscles just can’t lift too much. By keeping on repeating the same sets of an exercise, you develop more endurance and strength and you can increase the challenge.
When it comes to mental health, we also need to understand our emotional state before we can create and adapt to our routine. Emotions act as a gauge.
By understanding them, you can identify your needs and start taking action that leads you to a happier and more peaceful state. For instance, the current pandemic is creating an unprecedented wave of loneliness. This feeling prompts you to connect with people.
While it is very difficult to meet with friends or family if you need to stay at home, no-one has ever said you cannot find innovative ways to connect.
With a bit of practice, you can reframe your thoughts and quickly move from “I feel lonely’’ to “I understand why we need to keep away from each other. I am going to connect with _____ by ______”. Like exercise, understanding one’s emotions just takes some practice.
Once you develop this understanding of your emotional state, you know where you stand. The only thing you need then is to decide where you want to be. How do you want to lead your life?
What do you want to achieve?
You have the start and the end of your journey and therefore you can build an itinerary. You can embark on an empowering journey that takes the form of an effective mental self-care routine.
Beef up your mental health routine
It is almost impossible to make a good decision when you are experiencing a negative emotion. But you should remember that you possess one extremely effective tool. It is called breathing. Slow deep breathing can increase heart rate variability and bring you calm, clarity and focus.
These qualities are exactly what we need when we are faced with tough choices. Instead of trying to recreate that state of calm when you need it the most, the best is to cultivate these positive traits and make them a part of who you are.
Not only should you take the time to breathe in deeply every time you face a challenge, but you should also make it a habit to start and finish your day with a few calming breaths.
A morning breathing session can set the tone for the day and an evening breathing session can facilitate sleep. With a bit more practice, you can extend that “breathing” time depending on your needs and use it as a gateway to an even more powerful tool, self-hypnosis.
Self-hypnosis is the tool that many athletes and business people leverage to cope with pressure because they understand that mindset has a profound influence on health and determines performance. In the past, the word conjured up scenes of dangling watches or people clucking like a chicken.
But the truth is that many medical and psychological associations in the world approve the use of hypnosis for many ailments such as stress, anxiety, depression, pain management, bad habits, skin conditions, post-surgery recovery, and gastrointestinal disorders.
Hypnosis is a natural state of focused awareness. You enter a hypnotic state many times in a day on your own, for example when you are engrossed in a book or a TV program. You do not notice that time has gone by. You are absorbed in that state of self-hypnosis.
Do you remember traveling and being surprised having arrived so early at your destination?
You had experienced a hallmark of self-hypnosis: time distortion.
If you were driving, you were not sleeping and not losing control. You were very safe, much safer than if you were on the phone or distracted talking to someone else. Athletes learn to re-create this state to perform at their best and develop resilience.
How does Self-Hypnosis work
You get to decide what you need to work on. It can be a habit you need to change, something you need to release or another goal. Remind yourself why you need it and start imagining all the things you will be able to do once you achieve your goals.
Once you are focused on your goal, you can let it guide you. You will be led to relax deeply. Most self-hypnosis incorporates breathing exercises at the beginning. Like any practice, success comes with repetition. You can let go of bad habits, manage stress, detox both your mind and body, adopt a healthier mindset, become better at parenting and much more.
A better lifestyle rests both on the mind and the body. We receive more information on how we should exercise, eat, rest than on how we can improve our mental wellbeing.
You must build a more resilient mind to house a healthier body the same way that you need to move and nourish the body to create a balanced mind. Wellness is now infused in everything we do at home or work.
Author Bio: Christine Deschemin
Christine Deschemin is a certified hypnotherapist and founder of the Renewed Edge Hypnotherapy Centre in Hong Kong and released the self-hypnosis app, UpNow.
After a career in aeronautical engineering and finance, she foresaw the increased need for solution-focused wellness, became a certified hypnotherapist and opened the first hypnotherapy center in Hong Kong. Her experience as a fencing athlete led her to fully grasp the importance and power of mindset not only for optimal health but also for performance very early on.
In her quest for a non-invasive and safe method for self-improvement, she noticed the growing amount of research pointing to the efficacy of hypnosis for a variety of mental diseases and physical ailments and the increased use of hypnosis by medical practitioners in Europe and the US. This led her to obtain diplomas and certifications in hypnosis and NLP. With a keen interest in resilience, she leverages her experience as an athlete and as a former engineer and banker in high-stress environments with her executives and sports clients.
In March of 2020, she released the UpNow hypnosis app to bring the benefits of self-hypnosis to the fingertips of anyone in need. The self-hypnosis downloads can be accessed online and offline and make access to mental health aids affordable. In addition to her many scholastic achievements, Christine Deschemin has a Master of Science from the Ecole Polytechnique (France) and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She is fluent in four languages.