Change your mind to change your brain to change your body….

24 Jan
The mind-body connection– It’s real. What we think creates feelings that are manifested in our bodies via hormones. Think happy, calming thoughts and your body will release dopamine, leading to feelings of calmness. Think negative, depressing or angry thoughts, and get ready to feel angry, negative, or depressed through the release of stress hormones. Yep, you are not the victim of your thoughts or feelings or circumstances. You can make a decision now to think differently if you genuinely want to feel differently and change your behavior.
When we think the same way over and over and over again we create neural circuits in our brains that perpetuate our actions. The opposite is true too. If we make a decision to act differently, create new paths in our minds and our bodies, break the routines or habits that we’ve been engaged in for years that we notice are holding us back from being everything we have dreamed of being, the circuits are regenerated!
A client of mine is working toward renetworking those circuits, and here is what she’s doing this week. What a great email to wake up to this morning! My comments are in bold.

She said, “I was doing a bit of a self assessment this morning and set a couple goals for the week!”

Good things:
– I haven’t hit the restart button even though I’ve had some big stumbles AND been far from perfect (she has recognized her unhelpful pattern of always saying “I’ll just start over again on Monday.” This is a great example of how distortions in thinking become patterns in behavior).
– I’m learning how to keep things reasonable while indulging (Learning! Which means doing something different and asking herself some hard questions in the moment to begin developing awareness!)
– I’m solidly back into the get up and go to the gym routine and packing my meals (How’d she do this?! She made the decision TO DO IT, and she followed through.)
– I’m staying true to my food log even on days that I really stray from plan (She used to say, “Well, I screwed up, what’s the point in logging?” Now she actually answers that question and always comes back to “because it’s a method of accountability, and it represents one of the key correlates of successful weight loss. It’s necessary.”)
Things to work on:
– Remember my goals before I decide to indulge (I’m going to start visualizing what my body looks like now vs where I want to take it when a tempting situation occurs)– POWERFUL! Visualization is AS powerful as the actual action. So many studies exist showing the power of mental imagery.  Piano players who mentally rehearsed versus actually played were just as successful at learning the music!
– I need to drink WAY more water (I’m going to make sure I fill and drink my water bottle 4 times each day)– She has set an INTENTIONAL goal and has devised a NEW way of drinking water. She’s not relying on “the hope that I get more water in.”
– I want to hit my macro targets more consistently (in the last week 2 weeks I’ve only done that twice a week).  I’m setting a goal of hitting them 4 times this week! (We fleshed this one out a bit by identifying what a couple barriers have been and then set INTENTIONAL behaviors to guide her toward the targets more consistently).
– I want to eat more veggies (I’m setting a goal of including veggies in 3/6 meals this week)– REASONABLE and intentional, yet again. New pathways being created.
She’s becoming the person she wants to be by changing her mind to change her brain to change her body!

3 Responses to “Change your mind to change your brain to change your body….”

  1. Berend Breitenstein January 26, 2012 at 2:36 AM #

    Kori – thank you so much for your inspiration and motivation! I feel great when I read your articles in Natural Bodybuilding & Fitness Magazine and also by reading the posts on your Facebook-Account. Best always, Berend

    • kpropst January 26, 2012 at 9:19 AM #

      Berend. What a nice surprise. I didn’t know you read by blog. Thank you. I received the latest copy of the German version of Natural BB & Fitness. I don’t get those in English anymore b/c of the digital conversion, so it was a nice surprise. I’ve not written anything for them in a while due to the switch-over. I hope you are well and enjoying the new year. January has certainly been a busy one for us here. Be well!

  2. Donloree January 26, 2012 at 7:14 AM #

    Change your mind, change your world. Feelings ARE things and you can use them to benefit your life and progress, or throw ’em out the car window and back over them a few times before you keep going. Whatever the case, I love that I get to be in the driver’s seat. Love this post Kori. 😀

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