Have you ever noticed how it can be easier to pursue your health goals when you have positive feelings about them?
What happens when the activities or choices are something that doesn’t appeal to you?
Human emotions do more than affect how we feel. They impact us in specific physical ways. How you think about your health becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy for your short- and long-term goals.
When you speak with a health coach about this connection, your conversation might include the thoughts, behaviors, and attitudes on this journey. If this approach includes mindfulness concepts and other individualized techniques, you have the power to take control over your wellness.
How Do Emotions and Thoughts Impact My Health?
When humans experience stressful situations, they produce two hormones called cortisol and adrenaline. This natural response delivers a fast energy boost to help get you out of a dangerous situation.
This release is sometimes referred to as the “fight-or-flight” response.
What happens when the danger is over? Most people still feel emotional stress after a challenging situation.
Your life doesn’t need to be in danger for this mechanism to start working. Do you encounter these everyday stressors in your life?
- Unexpected changes in your routine or schedule
- An argument with a loved one, co-worker, or supervisor
- Memories or future worries that impact how you feel right now
If your body continues with the hormone release, there can be some long-term adverse effects that happen. People with consistent stress exposure often heal more slowly, develop digestive problems, and have a weakened immune response.
How to Embrace the Mind-Body Connection
Chronic disease prevention starts with a lifestyle change. If you have stressful situations in your life, what steps can you take to remove those experiences?
The mind-body connection takes a holistic approach to healing because the best choices come from natural changes. Your health coach might talk to you about getting more exercise, starting a bedtime routine, or eating healthier foods to reach the wellness goals you’ve targeted.
You can receive lots of good advice, but it is up to you to implement it. Your ability to create positive change is driven by your behaviors, attitudes, and actions.
If you’re unwilling to embrace those changes, positive outcomes will not occur.
This issue affects a significant portion of the population. We can go back as far as 2011 to see that about one in four people say they want to make lifestyle changes, but they also lack the willpower to achieve their desired outcomes.
Practical Exercises to Start Building Willpower Today
Willpower is a lot like a muscle. When you work to make it stronger, you’ll have more control over the choices and routines you keep in your life!
That means a daily “willpower workout” can help you strengthen the mind-body connection in positive ways.
Here are some of the best ways that you can get more robust in this area.
1. Keep a food diary.
When you keep track of everything you eat each day, you’ll find that the accountability a diary provides makes it easier to choose healthier items. If you don’t like to use pen and paper, several apps let you log the foods you consume. As the days pass, you’ll find that it is much easier to avoid food temptations.
2. Use your opposite hand.
Although some people are naturally ambidextrous, most human brains are wired to have a dominant side. If you write, throw, or kick a ball all on the same side comfortably, that’s where your comfort zone is mental. If you consciously choose to use the other side of your body for 30 to 60 minutes each day, you’ll see willpower results.
3. Create deadlines for yourself.
When you tune out distractions, your willpower increases, deadlines can make you hyper-productive because of the healthy pressure you tap into the mind’s creative centers. One of the best ways to try this technique is to tackle the most challenging item on your to-do list that encourages procrastination.
4. Track your spending.
You don’t need to stop buying things. If you create a budget that documents where all of your expenses go, you’ll find that some stressors can disappear – and you didn’t even know they were there! If you need help in this area, a budgeting app can connect with your credit cards, bank accounts, and more to track purchases.
When you provide your mind with a positive foundation from which it can work, the rest of your body benefits! As with any health and wellness improvement, the results you experience are individualized. Working with a trusted coach can ensure your specific needs get addressed.