I am reading this fascinating book written by Lissa Rankin, a medical doctor who believes that we can use the mind to prevent and heal disease.
For years, we have known that exercise and proper eating can help us to prevent disease and in some cases reverse disease altogether. I have had people tell me that they were able to get off of blood pressure, diabetes and osteoporosis medications simply by eating better and exercising regularly.
I therefore have a front row seat as I watch people heal themselves without medicine, so it is not a huge leap for me to consider that the mind can play a very large role in helping us to feel better. I see it everyday when I tell people that they have to believe that they can achieve their goals. Instead of telling yourself that you cannot balance on one leg to save your life, tell yourself that you can and you will be able to improve with practice.
I have written about the power of negative self talk before.
‘I’m not flexible.”
“I can’t dance.”
“I can’t learn new things.”
“I can’t do push-ups.”
These are powerful statements that make certain you are exactly what you proclaim to be.
Dr. Rankin has explains that many times patients are able to heal themselves without medication and this inspired her to leave her practice and study the power of the mind. She explains how our thoughts can change our physiology.
“It is not enough to focus solely on the body without taking into account the health of the mind.”
We have made wonderful advancements in medicines and cures for all kinds of diseases and yet we are sicker than we have ever been on the whole. Why?
I ask myself this question all of the time. “If my clients claim that they are eating properly and exercising everyday, what is keeping the weight on? Why are they not improving?”
To me the answer has to be in their minds. All of the veggies and sit-ups in the world cannot cure depression. If our thoughts are full of sadness or desperation, there is only so much I can do to help.
When we are stressed our body stops the ‘ repair phase,’ that comes when we rest. If we are never able to rest our minds completely so that our bodies can recover from the day, we stay in a constant low hum stress state. When we play out difficult scenarios in our heads over and over again, we re-live the stress and our bodies do not know the difference between the actual threat or the perceived danger. The response is the same. ‘We are under attack, be at the ready!!’ So stress hormones remain high and even if you are eating well and exercising, your body cannot benefit completely because it cannot rest.
In her book, Dr. Rankin suggests that as much as possible we need to choose situations that promote a “relaxation response,” so that our bodies can switch into healing and repair mode.
Stress is hurting us more than we know.
If you are having trouble reaching your fitness goals, I strongly recommend that you take a closer look at your life in general. What is going on that may be affecting your health negatively? Seek out someone to talk to and see if there may be underlying stress that is sabotaging all of your efforts.
If you are at all interested in knowing more, I recommend that you pick up with book. She gives so many wonderful ideas on how to balance our lives.
Have a great day and see you soon.