One hugely overlooked aspect of improving our physique and making ourselves healthier is that of mental health. How many people do you know who have changed their physique yet are still not happy with how they look or simply cannot manage to get out of the starting blocks on their new diet? Therefore this month I will talk about a few ways to help improve your mental clarity, focus and overall mental health.
First of all, Happy New Year to all you readers! I really do hope you had a fantastic break over the festive period and are now ready and refreshed for 2017.
Back To The Future
January is typically the time for resolutions, setting new goals and planning the improvements which we all hope to make. This is great news because it shows that we are looking back over the last year and trying to find out how we could improve. Could we have gone to the gym more? Could we have gone to the gym less and still got the same results or better? Could we have stuck to our diet plan a bit more rigidly or do we now realise that the diet was actually too strict for the results we hoped for? Looking back at what we have done on a regular basis is a great way to help keep us moving forward in the correct direction.
A very large component of mental health is understanding those things which we can control and those which we cannot. Getting annoyed and stressed out about traffic jams, the weather or even other people’s reactions to situations are things which we cannot control yet these are classic examples of situations which stress us out. This is the same stress which hinders our fat loss attempts, reduces the quality of our sleep and causes our overall health to decline.
Every single thing that we believe to be outside of our control whether they are fair, unjust, karma or luck still contain elements which are completely within our control. This gives us a huge amount of power about how we control and therefore live our lives. The sooner we start practicing the notion of control, the quicker we can reduce our stress and start to see huge improvements in all aspects of our lives.
Less Means More
New Year’s resolutions tend to be about doing ‘more’; I must go to the gym more, I must spend more time with my family, I must sleep more. Often we forget that doing less will usually lead to doing more! Rather than desperately trying to find the time to get to the gym, how about just sitting down less? Parking further away from work, for example, means you will be sat in the car less but ultimately walk more. Watching the television less in the evening can lead to getting more sleep or reading about or practicing a skill. Spending less time at work in the evenings or at weekends can mean spending more time with family and friends.
We often complain that we do not have the time, yet there are always examples of people who have seemingly achieved more under similar circumstances in the same time restrictions we have. Learning to strip away the time consuming nonsense we all suffer and becoming more efficient with our time means that we can get everything done.
There is a famous quote from Henry Ford (founder of the Ford Motor Company) who once said “Whether you think you can, or you think you can't—you're right”. Having a Positive Mental Attitude towards tasks stands you in much better ground for not only completing those tasks, but completing them well. I am more than convinced that no 100 metre finalist is stood there at the Olympics thinking “hmmm I don’t think I can win this”. Fully believing that you can lose weight, that you can stick to going to the gym or eating better will definitely have a much more positive outcome than thinking you will fail. So if you only make one resolution this January, make it that 2017 will be positive!