Let’s Get Physical: Don’t Forget the Body in the Mind/Body Connection

moutain climber

We all experience physical challenges in our life, whether planned or unplanned. Some people test themselves by running a marathon or climbing a mountain. Some struggle with controlling their weight. Others are afflicted with bodily conditions for which they didn’t ask, in the case of diseases like cancer.

No matter what physical challenges present themselves, it’s important we tackle them with confidence. In other words, with a heroic mindset. Here’s some tips regarding what you need to do when taking on physical challenges.

Doubt Your Doubt

First and foremost, you must doubt your doubt. Self-doubt is fine in moderation, but many of us become paralyzed with it when we go overboard. But It’s good to question our motivations and our beliefs, to think critically about what we perceive as our limitations, because we often find those limitations are actually not real. They are self-imposed illusions.

The mind/body connection is real. If you are sapping your mind with chronic, toxic self-doubt, you will sap your body’s energy as well. So make sure you have your mindset in a place of belief, where you are as confident as you can be about your ability to conquer your physical obstacles. By all means, question yourself, but not so much that you cannot take action at all.

Passive Meditation is a Thing

Have you ever noticed that sometimes, when you’re engaging in physical effort, your mind is set free to roam and dream? This is a manifestation of “passive meditation.” While active mediation is the stereotypical effort that involves sitting quietly and focusing on your mind, passive meditation is the reverse: focusing on a physical activity can also serve to relieve stress and spur creativity and innovation.

The catch is, in order to engage passive meditation, the physical activity must be one that you enjoy or accept in some way. If you don’t like to run, don’t expect jogging to set your mind free. Raking leaves might not be the most fun activity in the world, but if you’ve accepted it as necessary, even simple yard work can put you into the passive meditative state. So, as much as possible, find activities that put your mind into this relaxing state.

Attend to Your Physical Problems

Go to the doctor and get checked out before you engage in any new, strenuous physical effort. This is non-negotiable. Don’t put yourself in harm’s way. For men, this means not trying to be a “tough guy” and avoiding the doctor. Suck it up, and get a check-up.

If your physical turns up some issues, work to get them corrected. See specialists as necessary. Head to an osteopath, physiotherapist, or chiropractor to manage arthritis or any other bone issues. If you have chronic pain, you must get that addressed before you aggravate any underlying problems.

Keep It Consistent

You must teach yourself that practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice makes permanent. You have to commit to being consistent, so you’ll develop a new, positive habit. It doesn’t matter if you’re training for a marathon or going to the gym and running on a treadmill to lose weight. The more you do something, the better you’ll get at that activity and the more likely you’ll be to continue. Consistency is key. You will gain confidence every time you work on your goal.

Educate Yourself

This is something you can apply to any challenge in life, not just the physical ones. What sets heroes apart? It’s the knowledge with which they arm themselves, to prepare themselves to take on any situation. This doesn’t mean you can predict every potential pitfall. Rather, it’s about developing resilience and having at least the basic knowledge covered for the activity you’re attempting.

Even basic things like not knowing how to use the machines in the gym can hold you back. In that case, some study beforehand on the equipment can go a long way to preventing self-doubt from derailing your plans. Knowledge is indeed power.

Armed with the tips above, you can be more confident when taking on the physical world, and ensure your mental world is fulfilled at the same time!


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Author: Anthony Simeone

I'm a writer, speaker, and an advocate for everyday heroism. I have over two decades of experience in the practical application of literature, philosophy, psychology, and other disciplines. The culmination of my work is the Live the Hero program, a life philosophy that promotes personal development combined with service to others. Live the Hero combines the wisdom found in the arts and humanities with the latest discoveries related to research in heroism science and positive psychology. You can learn more at livethehero.com.

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