Mind Tricks 101

Our mind is definitely the #1 tool for our weight loss success. As the days grow shorter and the darkness sets in earlier I find it more and more important to focus on my attitude and mindset when it comes to losing weight and staying or getting fit.

It is soooo easy to roll over and hit the snooze button rather than getting up to move our bodies…especially when it is still dark out. But starting off the day with a positive attitude that we have the energy and desire to stick with it really helps.

So how do you get that attitude?

Here’s the trick—you program your mind the night before!

Yep, waking up refreshed and energized is a lot easier when you go to sleep with that intention in your mind.  What you do is take just a few moments to get quiet…and visualize yourself waking the next day. Repeat positive affirmations about how well you are going to sleep, how great you feel, how much energy you have, how you will get your exercise in and eat healthy. You can listen to relaxing music if you like, or just repeat these thoughts silently in your mind as you drift off to sleep. Then, in the morning, remember those positive thoughts and have them guide your day!

Here is a scientific fact: you can only think ONE thought at a time. So choose which thought you are thinking. By programming your mind at night you are in a sense tricking it to think more of those types of thoughts…so make them positive and uplifting ones!

With longer nights many people start to get crabby or depressed. For some it is truly because they suffer from Seasonal Affected Disorder…the solution then is to get a daylight balanced light in your house….use it somewhere that so you get several hours every day if possible. Also get outside during the daylight. Our bodies need Vitamin D and without it we can definitely suffer from depression. Giving yourself a treat of just 20 minutes of daylight a day is enough for most folks…depending on your skin tone you might need to adjust that, more if you are darker skinned, less time if you are extremely fair. In order to get the Vitamin D benefit you must expose bare skin–no sun block. Since the sun is less harsh this time of year you are less likely to get burned, and if you get your skin used to brief encounters with the sun starting now, by next summer you will be able to be out for the 20 minutes without burning also.

For many of us though, this seasonal mental shift is not really because of lack of daylight, it is more psychological or emotional: we just love summer. Maybe we had more freedom or vacation time, or we had company…so fall and shorter days may seem like a letdown. Or maybe we like the warm weather. Whatever the reason, we can have autumn be a great season too, if we decide to let it.

Here’s a treat: before you fall asleep, as part of programming your next day, think about all the things you are grateful for that happened that day. Don’t think about the unfinished business or unpleasant things. Think about little and small things that brought a smile to your face.

By thinking about them, acknowledging them, and writing them down, you are reinforcing in your subconscious that there are lots of good thing in your life. The more you think about the good things, and the more grateful you are for them, the more good things you will get.

You might write that you say a gorgeous red leaf, or the first flock of birds migrating south. Or maybe you saw a calf born late in the season frolicking in the pasture. Perhaps you hear frogs croaking as you went for a walk, or felt the gentle warmth of the sun on your shoulders. What made your day special?

You might write that you felt energetic, that you drank lots of water. Maybe you woke refreshed and got your exercise in right away and that started your day of positively. Perhaps someone smiled at you and you felt good about yourself.

Whatever felt good, write it down. Then treat yourself well and reread that list every day. As you add to your list it becomes easier and easier to program your mind how well your day will turn out and how much good there is in your life!

Remember these tricks and treats: get small doses of sunshine every day, program your mind to wake refreshed and energized, write down any good things that happened to you. By doing these three things you will be more positive and your weight loss success will be much easier!

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