Exercise, Nutrition and Mental Strength
Wellness can be defined as the quality or state of being healthy in body and mind, especially as the result of deliberate effort. In its basic form, think of wellness as a triangle that represents 3 key components: Exercise, Nutrition, and Mental Strength.
As a wellness coach married to a personal trainer, I have found that exercise and nutrition are easy to teach. Exercise is added to a person’s schedule to include cardio, strength training and flexibility. If a person is not already active, I’ll put on my detective cap and find out if there was anything in their childhood that they loved to do like ride a bike or play volleyball. Then we explore ways to bring that activity and passion back to life. For nutrition, we have an amazing nutritional cleansing system that just simply works to fuel the body for athletics, weight loss, graceful aging, performance, energy, and an overall healthy lifestyle.
The caveat for both exercise and nutrition is compliance. And that’s where the tricky part comes in. A person’s success in health and wellness boils down to that third piece of the triangle: their mental strength. And their mental strength determines whether they will be compliant with exercise and nutrition.
People say that they desire abundant life, and so they do, but so many interpret this to mean that if they will exercise their muscles or breathe scientifically, eat certain foods in certain ways, drink so many glasses of water every day of just a certain temperature, keep out of drafts, they will attain the abundant life they seek. The result of such methods is but indifferent. (Charles F. Haanel)
So, why is wellness so hard to achieve?
The truth is, many are not willing to do the second part of wellness: the deliberate effort. Specifically in regard to mental strength.
Several key components of the Master Key Master Mind Alliance (MKMMA) come together this week to teach us new habits in mastering our thoughts and achieving success in anything we put our mind to.
Law of Growth
The Law of Growth states that
Whatever we think about grows. What we forget atrophies.
Our mind is just like our muscles: when we focus on building muscle and training them with DAILY CONSISTENT ACTION, they grow. If we stop training, they atrophy. When it comes to our mental state, what we think about we get more of. In the case of weight loss for a healthy lifestyle, something as simple as saying “I want to lose weight” or “I’m overweight” is interpreted by our subconscious or “subby” to lose something. However, something that is ingrained in most of us from a very early age is
“what is lost wants to be found.”
A better statement is “I release weight with ease.” Now subby focuses on releasing and ease! We want to focus our thoughts on what we WANT (health, lean, strong), not what we don’t want (losing or overweight).
Thought, therefore, takes form and the law of growth eventually brings it into manifestation. (Charles F Haanel)
Law of Substitution
The Law of substitution also comes in handy in regard to a healthy mindset:
We cannot think about 2 things at the same time. If a negative thought enters your mind ~ try to think about God instead. If that is too big a reach at the time, use any fond memory or other pleasant thought. Jesus, the Master Teacher, said, “Resist not evil” ~ meaning turn from it and think about something else instead.
I have a sweet tooth, and I also love a good burger and a beer. One of my pivotal personal needs (PPN) is True Health. In fulfilling this need, I know that I can’t make sweets, burgers and beer an everyday occurrence. I train my mind to keep my goals at the forefront of my mind: To be healthy and lean and as an athlete, keeping my ideal power-to-weight ratio in check. My long-term goals of living a healthy life every single day, for the rest of my life, are more important than the short term satisfaction of the taste of that craving. To stop thinking about the craving, I substitute the thought about burgers with something else, like a photo or image of me strong and healthy. Or, I get busy on a writing project and before I know it, I’ve replaced those unhealthy thoughts with constructive, pleasant thoughts.
We all know that this is by no means easy. Mental habits are difficult to control, but it can be done and the way to do it is to begin at once to substitute constructive thought for destructive thought. (Charles F Haanel)
The Seven Day Mental Diet, by Emmet Fox
For seven days I must not allow myself to dwell for a single moment on any kind of negative thought. I must watch myself for a whole week as a cat watches a mouse, and I must not under any pretense allow my mind to dwell on any thought that is not positive, constructive, optimistic, kind.
As part of our wellness goal we must eliminate negative thoughts, and specifically, the destructive things we say to and about ourselves:
- I’m fat.
- I’m not good enough.
- I’m not strong enough.
- I’ll never lose weight.
- I have thunder thighs.
- I’ll never get rid of my gut.
We must shut the door of our mind to these thoughts which are not helpful.
On the other hand, it will be well for you to keep this quotation from George Matthews Adams, in mind, “Learn to keep the door shut, keep out of your mind, out of your office, and out of your world, every element that seeks admittance with no definite helpful end in view.”(Charles F Haanel)
We replace these thoughts with (see Law of Substitution above)
- I am happy.
- I am strong.
- I am safe.
- I love myself.
- I love my body.
- I eat and drink according to my health goals.
- My body’s a temple. I treat it with love.
If your thought has been critical or destructive, and has resulted in any condition of discord or inharmony in your environment, it may be necessary for you to cultivate a mental attitude which will be conducive to constructive thought. (Charles F Haanel)
Why seven days? Why all the reading and visualizing and daily exercises focused on creating better thoughts and habits? Why the posters and index cards and press release and movie trailer and audio and shapes and colors and linking? Because just like with exercises and nutrition, our mental strength comes from daily consistent action!
The law of attraction will certainly and unerringly bring to you the conditions, environment, and experiences in life, corresponding with your habitual, characteristic, predominant mental attitude. Not what you think once in awhile when you are in church, or have just read a good book, BUT your predominant mental attitude is what counts.
You cannot entertain weak, harmful, negative thoughts ten hours a day and expect to bring about beautiful, strong and harmonious conditions by ten minutes of strong, positive, creative thought.
In order to cultivate the imagination it must be exercised. Exercise is necessary to cultivate mental muscle as well as physical muscle. It must be supplied with nourishment or it cannot grow.
The next step is to place yourself in position to receive this power. As it is Omnipresent, it must be within you. We know that this is so because we know that all power is from within, but it must be developed, unfolded, cultivated; in order to do this we must be receptive, and this receptivity is acquired just as physical strength is gained, by exercise. (Charles F Haanel)
Receiving a life of wellness often involves breaking some addictions. It could be addictions to sugar or alcohol or anything that doesn’t fuel your body in a healthy way. It could be an addiction to self sabotage or playing the victim. Just like the alcoholic or drug addict, this will take some work. The mental is harder than the physical.
Constructive imagination means mental labor, by some considered to be the hardest kind of labor, but, if so, it yields the greatest returns, for all the great things in life have come to men and women who had the capacity to think, to imagine, and to make their dreams come true. (Charles F Haanel)
If we are to be successful, we must be purposeful and consistent in our thinking upon the healthy life of wellness we desire.
Successful men make it their business to hold ideals of the conditions which they wish to realize. They constantly hold in mind the next step necessary to the ideal for which they are striving. Thoughts are the materials with which they build, and the imagination is their mental workshop. Mind is the ever-moving force with which they secure the persons and circumstance necessary to build their success structure, and imagination is the matrix in which all great things are fashioned. (Charles F Haanel)