Guest Contributor: Noel Flynn from ABC GYM
Remember the Cranberries’ song ‘Zombie’? The one line I always remember is “It’s in your head, it’s in your head…..Zombie, zombie, zombie”! And it is a line that really resonates with me in so many ways. What goes on in your head every second, every minute, every hour, everyday is pure mental…… We are all bonkers in our heads but we might come across at least human at times
Have you ever seen the film ‘Inside Out’ it is brilliant. I am not messing, it is one of the best films I’ve ever watched. It really does give a humorous but accurate portrayal of human thoughts.It is with this movie in mind that it leads me to dig a bit deeper into the two sides of our mindset, that I like to call our Trapped Mindset and our Free Mindset.
When in a Trapped Mindset our thoughts revolve around the following: Anxiety,Fear, Comparing yourself, Feeling less important, Or Feeling More important than others, Sad, Worried, Overwhelmed, Anger,Jealous or envy, Bitter,Blame others, Judgemental, Selfish or even a People pleaser.
A Free Mindset revolves around being: Happy, Grateful, Compassionate, Love, Equal, Optimistic and Helpful.
Do you know what is funny? I am struggling with the Free Mindset list, of course there are more, I know there are more but our brains are naturally wired to think negatively first, so the Trapped mindset list came straight out onto the page. Again there are more but you probably get the idea a bit more, especially if you watched the film mentioned above.
When it comes to our health and fitness so so many of us are trapped and we are usually trapped by our own thoughts around our priorities. While only thinking of yourself, in most cases, is seen as a trapped state of mind, this is not always the case. We all know the analogy around the oxygen mask on airplanes, ‘please attend to yourself before attempting to help others’. We are told this everytime we set foot on a plane. Look after yourself first and then attend to others around you. However, it is often a pity we can’t put this analogy into practice when it comes to our health and fitness. There are so many of us who prioritise everything except our own health because you are a people pleaser! We will say yes if our kids want to go somewhere, or our husbands or wives asks us to do something. We will put staying back at work first, yet we may be more productive if we were more energetic from fitness, meaning we would have the work done and wouldn’t need to stay back longer to get it finished. We will be busy in every way we could think of but the gym or food prep will be last on the list. Most of that is because we are living in a trapped mindset, afraid of prioritising fitness, wanting to keep everyone else happy but ourself.
My Dad was the hardest worker I ever saw, I actually do not have a patch on him when it comes to work ethic. His Dad died when he was a kid, so he left school to work, as he was the eldest sibling, spending every penny he earned on his family. He was the same with us, we were always first priority, meaning he worked all the overtime he could get, often working 30 days in a row but it caught up with him and he died 5 years ago of Lung cancer having never smoked, but like all men, was fearful of the signs of ill health, it was easier to ignore them than face them. At 56 he was far too young to die.
Basically what I am getting at is, what good are you to those around you when you get sick or worse again. I have actually have grown men with young kids sign up to my gym, pay, do a session and never see them again. When I ask why they are not attending I get told that it would be selfish of them to do something for themselves. Well I think you can guess my thoughts around that one.
So what is the answer to this?
I will keep it super simple….well simple but not easy. Awareness. Be aware of your thoughts and how they effect your actions.
Did you know that the only fear we are born with is fear of loud noises and the fear of falling. After that everything is created in our heads, Possibly as a result of experiences, family environment, location and friends but again all other fears and anxieties are created internally and we end up trapped by them, unless we take the time to be aware of our thoughts. For example I was reared on traditional ‘Irish’ foods and was hesitant to try ‘foreign’ dishes as a result but all it was, was fear of the unknown….
And the unknown stops people changing their eating habits, hiring a personal trainer, even when we do these things and we start to see results we subcounsciously are afraid of the changes that are happening to our bodies, even though you may be getting the results you wanted, change is scary for people, while others will often be resentful of you but you need to keep strong and forget the people pleaser in you, wanting to keep your friend happy who is shoving a doughnut in front of you while you are on your health buzz.
Again sorry for the inconsistency of the blog lately but I like to claim to be busier than I actually need to be
You can follow Noel on Snapchat on @abcgym and on Instagram here.