I wanted to really emphasize here the importance of creating healthier habits because it has a greater impact on your success than you may think. The impact that your mindset and perceptions have on whether you remain consistent or revert to your old habits is immense; it is determined by what you tell yourself about your actions, how you view them, and what you think about them.
It has been proven untrue that most of us believe our genes control everything. Those people experienced decreased oxygen uptake and lung capacity when exercising on a treadmill, becoming more quickly tired than before. After being told they would not be effective exercisers, they believed it to be true. We are far more influential than we realize due to our attitude and outlook.
An additional powerful illustration of this principle is provided here. None of them were aware that they were meeting or exceeding the U.S. guidelines for exercise at the beginning of the study, but they were doing so simply by completing their daily work. Seventy-three percent of the maids informed the researchers that they "did not receive any physical activity."
It was told to Group #1 that they burned a lot of calories and got more than enough exercise simply by doing their job. This was not told to Group #2. Researchers found that thirty days later, the maids in Group #1 had lost an average of 2 pounds, lowered their body fat percentage, and reduced their systolic blood pressure by 10 points. No extra "exercise" was done, and their diet was not altered in any way, yet all this was still achieved. The group other than the one being discussed did not have any of these positive results.
Researchers hypothesized in another study that, by placing people in a psychologically better setting, one that they would link to a better, younger version of themselves, their bodies might mirror this. They asked a group of elderly subjects to recreate the world of 1959 and live as though it were twenty years earlier.
Eight men in their 70's were taken to a monastery that had been converted to resemble what it looked like in 1959, while the control group was in a similar environment, but without the same instructions to act as if it were decades ago. No mirrors, no modern-day clothing, no photos except portraits of their much younger selves - nothing spoiled the illusion that they were 22 years younger.
A week later 63% of the men who lived as if it was 1959 had better intelligence test scores at the end of the experiment than they did at the beginning, compared to 44% in the control group. In fact, on the last day of the experiment, men who had seemed frail just days before ended up playing an impromptu touch football game on the front lawn. Four independent volunteers, who knew nothing about the study, looked at before and after photos of the men in the experimental group and perceived those in the "after" photos as an average of two years younger than those in the "before."
The way you perceive what you are doing, the words you choose to describe it, the meaning you assign to it, and your intention behind it all, are all important. By speaking positive affirmations about yourself and purposefully believing that your efforts are making an impact, you can remain consistent and achieve success in your journey to better health.
Do your words, perceptions, and thoughts work together to help you reach your health goals?