Mind over Body

Mind over Body

The brain’s interpretation of the body signals is maybe more important than the body signals themselves’ Alex Hutchinson

Your body will give up before your mind does. … Regardless, even if your body is telling you to give up, you need to maintain your workout mentality. After all, the mind is stronger than the body.

Once, we believed that the body was a machine, and the secret to optimal performance came from the muscles, the lungs, the heart. Then, we were told that it’s all in our head, and we just need to push through the pain. The truth is that the brain and the body are fundamentally intertwined

The brain’s interpretation of the body signals is maybe more important than the body signals themselves.

If your brain believes that your body is struggling or that hard times are ahead it can take measures that will negatively affect you

So, it is just as important being able to manage those negative thoughts and filter them into positive and effective results. Your conscious mind tells you that you would be much better off stopping, so your body reacts by becoming even more fatigued. That’s the power of your brain, but you can use that power for your own desire and goals.

Fundamentally, all endurance is the balance between how hard it feels and how hard you’re willing to make it feel, between perceived effort and motivation. So everything that’s going on in your body — your core temperature, your oxygen levels dropping — all of that is important only insofar as it makes exercise feel harder to you, and at a certain point, it’ll reach the maximum you’re willing to tolerate and that’s when you’re willing to slow down or stop.. It’s basically a matter of “this is harder than I’m willing to work.”

How does this translate into our work/business world? That is simple. We need to equally train and work on developing our strength of mind as much as we do our physical strength.

Your mind controls your bodies reactions and when things get tough, don’t go to plan or become overwhelming, your mind will start to create reasons why you should stop. But the reality of “Mind over Matter” is what we need to practice daily.

A good way o test yourself on this is next time you are out running, at the gym doing weights etc is to push yourself to a point where you feel total exhaustion and feel that you cannot do any more. Then, focus your mind on the fact that you can. Change your thought pattern and tell yourself that you are just going to push a little harder. Keep going for another few reps (5 more is ideal) or run just another 1 km.

I am not a runner at all, in fact I hate it because my body hurts and my mind always seems to want to remind me that I can’t run. But I am always up for a challenge and I had always admired people who could run a marathon. So, I booked in one day (with the gentle shoving of a beautiful friend) and we did it. We didn’t do the usual training program people who run marathons follow, in fact I had a number of serious injuries and couldn’t physically train in the end. The farthest we had run was a slow paced 25km. The marathon was 42 and the last 6-8 weeks we didn’t run much at all. My physio gave me the following advice; Pull out or stop training and just turn up on the day and do it. If you can run 25 kms you can run 42.

On the day, I smashed through the first 25 kms because my mind knew that I had done that before and so I knew that I was capable of doing it again. But from there it was such a struggle, a constant fight between my mind and my body with a dialogue of “you can’t run this far, you’ve never done it before. You can stop now; your injuries are a great reason not to keep going. You could do more damage”. Blah Blah Blah. There were tears and a lot of expletives but I just knew that I would never forgive myself if I didn’t finish it. I am a high achiever by nature, so when I set my mind to something, I have no choice but to finish it. I knew that I would never be able to quit because if I did, I would just end up making myself run it again, probably twice as punishment.

So, I did finish it and I beat the time that I had set for myself. The elation (and the physical pain) were intense, but the fact that I had overcome the negativity and to trust in the ability that my body had, which I never in a million years thought that it had, proved to me that the mind is far stronger than the body so do not ever give in to your body telling you it can’t.

We focus strongly on this as part of our workshops and training modules, with the help of our partner Tom Baker of @tombakerhealthandfitness who has written a 12- week accountability program for our clients which kickstarts your journey to having a strong, healthy mindset as well as a healthy body to follow.

For more information contact Mitchell or myself at Hive Consulting Co.