Train Your Brain So It Doesn’t Hold You Hostage

There’s that voice again.  The one that keeps saying you are too busy, need some down time and some chores need to be done before you can exercise?

Then there’s the voice that says, go ahead you deserve to eat those cupcakes, you worked hard today?

Or the biggest voice of all, the one that asks you how many more times are you going to fail?

As a coach I refer to those voices as your destructive thoughts and I’m here to tell you that there is a method that can help you tune those voices down.  You can even train your brain, so they can no longer hold you hostage and instead, make them work for you.

There is one condition for this method to work, and it’s big.  You must be absolutely sure that your desire for change means more to you than staying the same.  If you have that deep desire, keep reading.

The first step.

You must become aware of your destructive thoughts; the feelings associated with them and write them down.

I think this is one of the hardest steps toward changing your behavior.  Destructive thoughts can be unpleasant, addictive and they elicit deep feelings that you often don’t want to deal with.

Writing your destructive thoughts down opens doors that would otherwise be closed.  With a written record of your thoughts and feelings you can examine not only the thoughts themselves, but also the frequency, the timing, and any patterns that might exist. This trains your brain to notice future destructive thoughts faster and with more efficiency.

Second you need to learn how to challenge your thoughts.

Challenging your destructive thoughts will set off every alarm and slam every excuse into your consciousness.  Be aware, your old habits will want you to cave in.

When you encounter a destructive thought that is difficult to challenge, try to imagine this.  Someone you love has come to you for advice.  They are sharing this destructive thought with you.  What would you say to help them challenge their destructive thoughts?

Lastly, practice action-oriented thinking.

For example.  Let’s say you find yourself thinking: I don’t want to exercise, I’d rather sit on the couch and watch the news.

Ask yourself:  how does doing this make me feel?  You think …. relaxed, I deserve some down time.

Now ask yourself:  How would I feel if I went and exercised.  (Be very specific and honest with your answer.)

You think: I feel resentful that I have to get off the couch.  I’m comfy.

Now challenge that with:  But I really want to stop taking some of these medications.  If I exercise I will be taking control of my health.  Maybe I can even cut back on my anxiety medication.  I actually think is causing me to gain weight and have diarrhea.  And if I can cut back on my meds I’ll be in control.  Its only 30 minutes.  I’ll be even more comfortable and relaxed when I’m done.

Now, get up off the couch, take action, and go workout.

If you truly desire change, you can train your brain to disrupt the old patters of thinking. It’s not about discipline.  It is about putting your brain into training and taking action, again, and again and again.

Here’s to being in control.


P.S.  If you deeply desire change and would like information about behavioral nutrition and fitness coaching that can be done anytime, anywhere, just reply to this message and let’s set up a time to chat.