Did you know that the way we think has measurable effects on the way we feel, heal, and perform? Our brain is directly connected to every organ in our body, and subtle changes in how we think can change how our physiology responds at every moment. It changes what you pay attention to, alters your emotions, it affects motivation and adjusts what our bodies are prepared to do and what our bodies prioritize.
How can you use your mindset to your advantage?
The effects of changing your mindset are the same as the placebo effects, they’re quite effective. In the placebo case, as kids, simply believing that you’re getting medication even though it’s a sugar pill, actually results in significant benefits in a variety of different conditions, and that benefit isn’t just subjective, it’s not only made people say they feel better but it’s actually reduced blood pressure, boosted their immune system, among others.
Placebo effects are the results of 3 things:
- Your body’s natural ability to heal itself in time
- Your mindset
- Social contexts and cultural cues
Basically, what you choose to think determines the quality of your life. Your daily thoughts and your mind can change your body and physical reality. Keeping our minds in a good mindset and in a good mental state is fundamental to keeping our bodies in the best condition possible.
Our minds and our mindset are usually the origins of failure. For example, if you want to start eating healthy but you think that a healthy diet is boring, that vegetables are boring, that healthy fats are not healthy, you probably won’t succeed since you’ll see this new lifestyle as unappealing and you’ll feel more driven to what you know, in most cases, an unhealthy diet. We know all about nutrients, we think we know what’s good for us and bad for us when we eat. But have you ever thought about how what we think of what we eat changes our bodies' response? It all comes together: mindset, fitness, nutrition, recovery, and sleep.
Habits to harness the power of your mind
So, the first thing you must do to harness the power of your mind is to keep in mind its existence. No, it doesn’t mean you have to start doing weird or paranormal things. It only means that you have to be aware of what habits help you control the functions of your mind, your behavior, your emotions, and your thoughts. These are some of the habits that will help you harness the power of your mind.
Keep an indulgent mindset
This kind of mindset can be applied in every part of your life. But we’ll focus on the nutrition side. As we’ve seen, what we eat and the way we think about what we eat directly affects our bodies’ response. So, let’s say for example you’re controlling everything you eat because you want to lose weight, so you undereat and you classify foods as good or bad for you. Therefore, whenever you allow yourself to eat a portion of “bad” food, your body will understand it as bad and it’ll have negative effects and your body will act as if you overeat.
The idea of keeping an indulgent mindset is to see food as fuel and eat healthy, balanced, and abundant nutrient food. And seeing healthy food as something exciting and indulgent rather than dull and unfulfilling.
Changing your mindset towards a more grateful one, it’ll help you see things differently, so you’ll act differently and in a better way.
If you take things for granted, no matter what, maybe you do this without even realizing it, but it’s important that if you do it, you stop. You have to stop taking things for granted. You have to stop thinking that everything is an obligation. Instead, you can see everything as an opportunity.
For example, instead of thinking “I have to work out” or “I have to eat healthily” or “I have to sleep”, you can change your thoughts and your mindset to “I get to work out”, I “get to eat healthily” and “I get to sleep”. It starts there and you can start building it up. This little change will reinforce your mindset, will change your environment, and will help you make these habits more fun. Also, you’ll feel more grateful because you’ll get to do them, not because you have to do them. And you’ll be doing them fully present.
Change your stress mindset
You’ve probably been hearing your whole life about the negative effects of stress on your mind and body. However, although the message is not bad intentioned, it puts you under a mindset about the stress that is unhelpful. This mindset is negative, is debilitating, and should be avoided since it can actually lead to more stress.
The idea is to change your mindset and see stress as enhancing. Now, this doesn’t mean that the stress or trauma is a good thing... What this mindset means is the experience of going through a stressful event can have enhancing effects. For example, could bring you more gratitude for your loved ones, life, values, etc.
The process of going through that experience can have those enhancing outcomes. It can help you see these hard times as opportunities to choose new ways to look at the world and new ways of thinking about it. It is an opportunity to rethink your mindsets. True transformative change happens when there is some stress or crisis, so use it and channel it to achieve your goals.
The bottom line
By simply doing these tiny mental shifts, you’ll have better mindsets. Remember that they not only affect your thoughts but your whole body and your environment as well. Your mindset affects every single detail of your life.
Your mindset affects you and vice versa, you affect our mindset. Furthermore, you’re the only one who can choose if you have a good, positive, and powerful mindset or not.