TIME TO FLEX AND STRETCH
4 techniques to re-program your health
This week’s practice blog is quite different and we are going to tackle it from a couple of angles.
Just like the app I designed a few years ago, we are going to stretch and flex. You have heard of the term “use it or lose it”, well today I want to explore that a bit more with you. And I have given you really easy instructions right here.
It is time now to FLEX our mental muscle. It won’t feel painful like a full body workout but it may present as a challenge for some of you.
I want you to pick one new thing you have done in this last month that you feel good about. Ideally this could be a time that you stepped out of your comfort zone, or a new goal that you are excited about.
I want you to now visualise it, make the picture bigger, bring it closer to you, add in some colour and make sounds are evident more exciting. Notice how it feels when you do these things. Now I want you to take a moment and really enjoy those good feelings.
Well done you have just flexed your mental muscle!
If you can’t do this quickly and easily already, don’t worry, you will become better and better at it. Now clear your mind think of something totally unrelated.
Good, now bring that good feeling back, and think about how you are following these strategies how they are become easier. Are you feeling better?
Remember you are still focusing on those good feelings. How you can be excited and now how you can be excited and successful.
What are you noticing? Do you feel more energetic?
Can you take that excitement and think about healthy meals? Do you feel more excited about eating better?
We are now taking it into the physical realm and I want you to Stretch your physical muscle.
According to Pro Health, there are several benefit to simply stretching. It doesn’t need to be as a prelude to exercise to attain these benefits.
- First of all if you stretch it has been shown to increase optimism (well doesn’t that work well with our flex exercise?)
- Stretching is a great afternoon pick me up. Many people feel a bit groggy in the afternoon, our muscles become stiffer from sitting. We become tenser as a result. A few simple stretches can infuse you with more energy.
- It helps improve your posture. Poor posture results in back, neck and shoulder pain. Clients come to me complaining of all these from sitting too long, add in work stress and you have increasing pain that can sometimes require medication.
- Better stability. By feeling more stable and developing your core strength, you reduce the risk of a fall. Becoming really immobile which comes with depression, frustration and many other health problems.
So now it’s time to move a bit. I want you to do 4 stretches right now. Yes right now and it can be easy.
Maybe you get off your chair and squat.
Maybe to stretch up your arms and elongate your back.
Or stretch your arms and shoulders, or do a calf raise.
Whatever those 4 are, they don’t need to be really difficult, but they do need to stretch some muscles.
Now let’s combine our stretch and flex exercise.
Think of your healthy goal, notice how you can make it feel exciting. Hear yourself, telling someone about how you are progressing and now stretch – 1, 2, 3, and 4
There you are done!
Let’s do this now 5 more times.
Feel excited about how you want to be improving, notice how you move differently, how this feels so good and stretch 1, 2, 3, and 4.
Terrific, you are stretching and flexing in a totally different way your mental and physical muscle. You are creating new neural pathways and wasn’t that easy?
The more you do this practice, the more you will notice how easy it is to feel good, to feel like moving, to make healthier food choices.
At this stage of our health journey we need to be moving more and paying even more attention to our eating. This is easier if you are feeling more optimistic, less lethargic and frustrated.