This one thing can sink or supercharge your health goals. I am not talking about some super vitamin, a diet or exercise program or a detox protocol – I am talking about your own patterns of thinking.
When you hear that stress contributes strongly to 90%+ of all disease, what is your first thought? If it is like mine a few years ago, you might think, “Well I find that hard to believe, but if it is true is there really anything I can do about it?” I say a few years ago, because my thinking on the subject of stress and disease has grown and expanded over the years and I now realize there is a great deal we can do about it. What we DO about stress really starts with our understanding of the UNIQUENESS of our patterns of thinking. You see, the strategies that work for me, might not work for you and only you can see that as you look at your entire life. No amount of stress buster tips are going to help if you see them as adding more stress rather than helping.
So, only you can find your answers, but the trouble with that is the we don’t see what we don’t see. This is due to a fault in our thinking that keeps us in the rut of our reflexive and reactive thinking. It simply takes less energy to stay there. The problem is if we have gotten ourselves into a bad pattern – weight gain, lack of exercise, hopelessness and other negative emotions ruling our day, etc. – then it becomes tough to find our way out. This is what Albert Einstein meant when he said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
The Thinking Behind Your Choices assessment, has truly been miraculous in my life over the last few years. Without categorizing me or giving me a “10 step plan to fix your thinking,” it simply identifies in a powerful way where my thinking goes first and second as I go though life. As I understand my own unique thinking patterns I have experienced several “clarity leaps” regarding myself and my thinking about what is important to me in my moment-by-moment choices.
My first leap was when I realized I was living most of my life through my doing and becoming and leaving almost zero time for being. I will tell you that I’ve experienced some great coaching over the years and I know intellectually that “Being” is more valuable than “Doing” and “Becoming” and yet seeing it in chart form in front of me was life changing. Through the process of experiencing intrinsic coaching with the assessment, I saw the pattern of my entire life flash before my eyes! This experience brought positive motivation for reducing stress that has stuck with me for years. The cool thing is that when I took the assessment again four months later the change was evident. I was learning how to “Be!”
My second leap was when I really began to understand the role of noticing and valuing. You see, we often walk through life easily noticing the needs of others and yet overlooking our own needs. To make things worse, even when we do notice our needs, we rarely value them long enough to take action! Again, seeing this measurable on paper made me realize that I am just like most other Americans (I believe this is the root cause of much of our stress and our health issues) and that in order to correct this I wanted to put systems in place to support my own noticing and valuing my needs. As I take these thoughts about myself from the back of my mind to the front of my mind, I recognize that I am now empowered to do something about them. This doesn’t feel like something I “have to do” but something I “want to do.” There is an important distinction here that brings us back to the initial point on stress and disease – “have to’s” are stressful and “want to’s” are freeing.