General News — 27 December 2013

Do you consciously relate to your mind and body, in other words is your conscious mind in synch with your body-mind or subconscious? You have a built-in capacity to self-direct changes in your lifestyle and health, with conscious thought and action, that is, once you know how to get your body to work together with your mind.bigstock_All_Excited_251062

Here are a few tips to put together your own personal strategy for setting a conscious intention to remain focused on your goals to make healthy choices and cultivate a healthy lifestyle – even as you party and celebrate holiday gatherings.
  • Set aside a few moments the day before, the day of and on your way to an event, to rehearse in your mind what you will and will not do. This prepares and strengthens you psychologically to not get caught off guard. For example:
  • Choose foods with the end in mind. See yourself eating foods that support your healthy lifestyle and allow you to not only feel great after the meal, but also get a good night’s sleep.
  • Imagine yourself taking small bites and savoring each mouthful, putting down the tableware between bites, enjoying a conversation with others around you, and so on.
  • See yourself saying “No” to what is costly and “Yes” to enjoying the benefits  – and fun – of sticking to health and wellness goals.
  • Smile and feel the good feelings of making healthy choices with relative ease and confidence.
  • See yourself easily passing up foods that you know from past experiences they’ve left you feeling lousy, bloated, numbed out after a meal.
  • Picture yourself looking past those foods that previously tempted you and easily saying “No!” because you now see how they’ve robbed you of restful nights of sleep, stole your energy or spoiled your mood for days after.
  • Start a practice of associating foods that support a healthy lifestyle with words such as “safe and healthy,” “delicious and energizing” or “nourishing and happy-energy” and so on.
  • Link sugary, high-carb fatty foods, in contrast, with words such as “unsafe and stress-inducing” or “toxic and happiness-stealing” and so on.
  • Decide in advance what you will be eating and that you will not deviate from the plan. Then stick to your plan.
  • In cases where you don’t know what is being served (more often than not), keep to general guidelines, such as 25% protein, 25% carbohydrates and at least 50% green, leafy or brightly colored vegetables.
  • Be prepared to say “No, thank you” to certain invitations, i.e., to have seconds or to take home leftovers, and picture yourself doing so.
  • Decide whether you will eat ‘dessert’ or not, and you do, see yourself choosing one small portion.
  • Decide other guidelines in advance and envision yourself following them easily and effortlessly.

If you choose one food in the category of dessert, picture yourself having only one piece, letting go of guilt or afterthoughts, and enjoying the thought that you first ate wholesome food to protect your body from its impact.

You may also wish to consider taking a digestive enzyme at the start of a meal and a probiotic after a meal to energize your digestion. (If you do, follow instructions on bottle or check with your nutritionist.)
Enjoy the holidays more this year, and give yourself the gift of a conscious relationship with your mind and body?
This article first appeared on ‘Psych Central’ on 22 December 2013.


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MHAA Staff

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