Today is the end of our 6 week healthy living and weight loss series designed to put you in charge of your own weight loss journey. Non gimmicky and geared to today's savvy consumer, you now have valuable tools and insight, that when applied, will propel you not only to significant weight loss but a more healthy, energetic and carefree lifestyle.
Not seen in traditional weight loss programs, these 5 principles, when applied, are more effective and long lasting than traditional dieting practices we read and hear about in mainstream media today.
A review: Five mind connections for weight loss.
1. Use movement for inspiration
2. Think progress not perfection
3. Focus on what matters
4. Stay aware. Weigh daily.
5. Live life joyfully
We end our series by exploring this last connection-live life joyfully.
How our realities are shaped. The NYC Metropolitan Museum of Art has an exhibit on how movies affect our reality. I have not seen it yet, but can only imagine that it has to do with how our realities are shaped by what we see, and in turn how we interpret these realities into our own lives.
Today, an increasing number of consumers are choosing to limit their viewing of today's news and instead are opting for more favorable activities that emote positive emotions. And many people, including myself, believe the creation of positive living environments is essential to initiating changes in our own lives.
In the past, I disregarded this type of thinking and instead opted for a more staunch position that no one can alter my emotions except myself. Some people today have a similar stance. Unfortunately, such an uncompromising demeanor places one at a severe disadvantage when aiming to live a more lean and energetic lifestyle.
Emotions are affected by environment. Scientists know emotions are affected by surroundings. It's now clear scientifically that we can alter a healthier state of mind through positive thinking, and brain rewiring. I am not referring to Pollyanna behaviors where one may get run over by a truck and instantly see the positive points of being flattened by tons of metal! I'm referring to scientific data indicating how we may rewire our brain circuits to alter a multitude of habits. As of lately with books like The BrainThat Changes Itself by Norman Doidge, M.D. and Perception, Memory and Emotion: Frontiers in Neuroscience edited by T. Ono, health professionals, including myself, are taking the brain circuit and positive emotion behavior change theory more seriously.
I've implemented positive emotions and joyful living successfully not only on myself, but on people I coach in creating more healthful meaningful lives. It now forms the basis of my coaching. I no longer avoid the idea of positive psychology and joyful living as a gimmicky self help approach, but instead have learned this is the best approach for bringing about change.
Positive psychology gets a bad rap. Some people still believe adherents to positive psychology simply add positive words to their vocabulary, and eliminate negativity in their environments to invoke behavior change. Perhaps this is why positive psychology advocates often receive a bad reputation. Positive psychology like many concepts is part of a much broader manner of being. It may start out as simply changing thoughts from the negative to the positive, such as replacing the words, "I cannot pass up a donut at the office because everyone is eating them" to "I can pass up this donut at the office because I have the capacity to do so." In actuality, the use of positive psychology is constantly evolving as the person is able to handle more difficult challenges.
Weight loss is about engaging the right brain. Here, an example of how positive living can play an instrumental part in weight loss success. One client of mine that has made rapid strides in weight reduction was at a standstill. He was intuitive and knew what was getting in his way of continuing to lose weight, but he wasn't taking the leap to the next level. A positive approach to this as a health coach is to be patient and stay with him as he figures it out. The best approach at his particular stage was not to offer analytical left brain-advice (he has heard all the dieting techniques and has followed the advice) but to offer inspirational right-brain thinking.
Living joyfully regardless of starting point.
Allowing this client to figure it out in an environment that doesn't dampen his spirit is best. This is where living joyfully regardless of where we are starting from is most important. As a coach, positive approaches might include filling the gaps of information but more often they include approaches that initiate right- brained creative thinking, and less analytical left- brain thinking. It is true, weight loss requires analytical thinking, but to move beyond sticking points in our weight loss journey, we must engage the more emotive right brain side. Helping this client to connect with successful people similar in age and circumstances was all he needed to move to the next weight loss level.
You can do this! In the next few years, rewiring neuropath ways for weight loss through joyful living and positive behavior changes is going to stand apart from all the quick fix dieting regimens that consumers are inundated with in today's information overload society. My challenge to you is this: Can you make this the year of living smart by jettisoning dieting hype and reverting back to the basics of weight loss and healthy living by practicing the five mind connections developed in this weight loss journey series? If you get a chance, let me know how you are doing. I'd love to hear! Best to you.