How to use what you say to get Healthier
It might seem obvious that to get healthier we need to do things like exercise, eat well, sleep well, move more, and stretch more. You might be thinking, “Surely we can’t just think or say things for them to just happen?” Perhaps not exactly, but it is still true that everything that leads to our lifestyle starts with our thoughts. And thoughts lead to actions, and actions become habits or behaviours, which make up our lifestyle.
By changing the way that we think, we can change where we end up and what kind of lifestyle we live. And when we think things, we often also speak them out too. So, what you say can have a real impact on the path that you take in your life. In this video and in the blog below I share a few thoughts on ways to change what you say about yourself to help you on your journey to a healthier lifestyle.
I work with hundreds of people on individually, in group programmes, on our Motivationfish group or from our email list, to help them to find a healthier balance in their life, one that feels natural, easy, and simple for them. I don’t give you a diet plan or exercise plan and just tell you, “Stick to it’. I want all your choices to come from you as that way you will have freedom. It will be what you want to be doing, it won’t seem forced, and it won’t feel like you’re following anyone else’s regime. And in my experience, there are many things that people say that hold them back from being healthier.
1. We still use the word ‘can’t’ too often, instead of using the word ‘can’. Here in the UK, we are in a very blessed situation; events around the world show us that all the time. We generally get to choose mainly how we eat, how we drink, and how we move our bodies. If I asked you now, ‘Are you in control of what you eat for your next meal?” most of you will probably say “Yes!”. Unless perhaps you are on holiday, or staying with friends, or at a conference or similar, in general we get to choose what we do.
And instead of thinking, “I can’t do that”, or “I shouldn’t do that,” how about reframing that thought to consider all the things you can do that will have a positive impact on your health? So, even if you’re doing some things that you think, or believe, you shouldn’t do, perhaps you could park them for the time being and concentrate on those things that you can do. And an added benefit of doing what you can, might also be that some of those things you really don’t want to be doing get pushed out. So ,what can you do to benefit your health?
- Can you nip out for a walk right now?
- Can you walk while you’re on the phone to someone?
- Can you drink a glass of water as soon as you finish watching or reading this?
- Can you take Facebook off your phone today?
- Can you read a Bible verse?
You get to choose the things you can do, so what can you do that will benefit you and lead you to become more of the person that you’d like to be?
2. Do you talk about trying or actually doing? Do you talk about trying to do something, trying to give up something, trying to switch off your TV in the evening to go to bed earlier you often refer to trying to do something, trying to give up something, for example trying to you put your the TV off in the evening go to bed earlier?
When someone says to me “I’ll try and come to the exercise class tomorrow,” or “I’ll try and write a food diary,” I usually challenge them, but I’m also thinking, “I don’t think they will be there,” or, I” don’t think they’ll do that”. The word ‘try’ usually implies that you’re not really committed to doing whatever it is, and so if anything comes up, then it’s likely you don’t find yourself there. Are you saying ‘try; when actually you mean ‘won’t’?
If you mean ‘will’, how about using the word ‘will’ instead? Rather than telling yourself: “I’m trying to eat more healthily,” or, “I’m trying to do a bit more exercise”, could you be a bit less vague and a bit more specific and say “I will be doing more exercise next week. I will be doing it at this time in this place.” Or, “I will drink a glass of water in the morning,” rather than, “I’ll try to drink glass of water in the morning.”
How can you claim the action you want to do, and the person you want to be? How can you say that you are a healthy, balanced person, rather than you are trying to be a healthy balanced person?
3. Avoid talking in absolutes. Do you find yourself referring to things you do as if they are always going to happen? Perhasp you say, “I always binge eat,” or, “I can never stop at one,” or “I always have to have a dessert after dinner.” If there are things you refer to as if they are absolute fact, you could start putting them in the past. For example:
- “I always used to have a dessert after dinner, but now sometimes I have a bit of fruit.”
- “I used to struggle with binge eating, but I’m working on it.”
- “I always used to go to bed late, but now I listen to my body a bit more.”
What things are you saying over yourself that you are bringing through from the past and claiming that you always do them, but they don’t need to be true? How about putting them back in the past and stating that you’re going to do something a bit differently from now on?
4. Speak to yourself like you speak to other people. Would you say to the next person you see: “Don’t do that, that’s disgusting! Why have you done that? Now you are just going to feel rubbish, I don’t know why you did that!” or, “There’s no point trying to change as it’s not going to happen, you’re just going to fail.” You probably wouldn’t speak to someone else like that, but how often do you tell yourself things that aren’t true and yet make yourself believe them?
Consider what you might be telling yourself that you wouldn’t say to your neighbour or your friend, that is actually holding you back. Can you get hold of the Bible instead and tell yourself some of God’s truths? Can you get other people to encourage you to be more positive about yourself too?
Hopefully these few thoughts will help you to realise that what you think and what you say can really impact the direction you take towards a healthy, whole, free, and balanced journey.
We’re holding our next Reflection, Coffee and Conversation morning this Saturday, 12th March at 10am. It’s free and you can register here. We’d love for you to join us.