In Health Coaching, our aim is to work with stress induced illnesses. So there is a mental – emotional component to a physical illness. One of the foundational principles lies in coaching our body to be a manifestation of what we think, the words we use to speak to it and the pictures we make in our mind about it. Herein, lays a great opportunity for our wellbeing. Why? Because it is the quality of our communication to our body that in time can contribute to our health and wellbeing.
The exciting area of neuroplasticity researches and describes the potential of the neuron or nerve cell to sprout new branches and effectively re-wire itself. This is the process that helps us continually learn and our body cells to continually evolve and change. The implications of this process are enormous especially in regard to the modality of coaching since coaching is all about actualising new frames of mind, new behaviours and new cellular responses. We truly can strive for all we wish to be. All that is required is the belief, the sustained effort and the application of current technologies. Indeed, we can do much to change our state of mind and our state of health.
I am sure that you are familiar with this scenario: Telling yourself over and over not to do something, only to end up doing it? When our body isn’t performing as we expect it to, we are great at telling ourselves what we “DON’T” want.
“I DON’T want a big backside so I had better stay away from the biscuit jar.”
“I DON’T want my blood pressure to go up any further so I will try harder to be nice to my wife.”
“I DON’T want another headache, so I will go to my meditation class tonight.”
“I DON’T want to have an asthma attack so I will go and do some laps at the pool.”
There is nothing wrong with taking action on your health goals; it is just the technique that needs refining. You see, by including negative words in our self-talk we are more likely to create the very thing we are trying to avoid. Our subconscious brain doesn’t respond to negative commands very effectively, which means there is a good chance that your body will manifest the tiredness, headache,pain or inflammation you are trying to get away from.
To experience this first hand, try this experiment: DON’T think of a blue elephant, DO NOT think of a blue elephant, I am telling you not to think of a blue elephant!….What did you think about? A blue elephant? I thought so. Can you see my point?
Our self-talk serves an important role in coaching our body to respond in a certain way. The more repetitive our negatively focused self-talk is, the more likely that we will increase the release of adrenalin, cortisol and pro-inflammatory proteins which drive disease and symptoms. Additionally, we are likely to drop our dopamine levels which may cause us to feel down and helpless. Conversely, the more our self-talk is focused around what we do want to experience in our body and what we can do to achieve that, then the chemicals released in our bodies are aligned with mitigating disease and symptoms.
As in all communication, when it comes to communicating with our body it’s the small tweaks that make the biggest difference.
Sarah is a Senior Coach at Equilibrio and works with professionals, business owners and senior managers who are keen on experiencing the gratifying rewards of dove tailing their professional and personal lives. Sarah also works with stress related chronic ill health.