Mindset Traps That Destroy Your Health
ON THIS EPISODE OF THE BEST MEDICINE PODCAST
Our Guest: Ryan Diener
I’m very excited to bring you today’s episode of the BEST MEDICINE Podcast featuring Ryan Diener.
Ryan is a holistic health specialist and the founder of “Holistic Health Associates.”
It was an absolute joy to speak with him and I know you’ll get a lot of value out of it as we’re speaking today about a function that’s important to everyone: The relationship of your mindset to your health.
Mindset Traps That Destroy Your Health
We’ve all heard the phrase “mind over matter.” How many of us have applied that thought to our lives?
In trying to transform our lives in any meaningful way, the function of our mindset is essential to master.
If we are trying to lose weight, but do not believe losing weight is possible — we will certainly not lose weight.
In this post I’ll explain a core premise about mindset and how both patients and healers can utilize this premise to spiral more positivity into the world through their own being and interactions.
What’s your mindset about improving your career and education?
Our brains are programmed to seek out negativity.
Jordan Peterson talks about this principle a lot. There is a certain amount of pain, loneliness, or negativity that can cause you and your loved ones to die. There is no amount of happiness that grants immortality. Therefor, our minds are prone to seek problems, then present them as fears and frustrations, so that we may avoid such gruesome fates.
This is largely a useful function. Have you ever been walking down the road and mistake a stick or rope on the ground for a snake? You will get anxious and jump away. This is a pain in the neck, but it sure beats not being able to see snakes which might be venomous and aggressive when stepped on!
In modern times, however, our problems do not exist in such immediacy. Diabetes will not kill you today or tomorrow. It will kill you in 10 years. When you imagine being 10 years older and having to say good bye to your children, being unable to walk properly, and having myriad other health problems (not to mention healthcare debt) — it inspires you to want to change.
But the issue is that in order to avoid the “snake” of diabetes 10 years later, you have to deliberately grab the snake of “diet and exercise” today. This snake is much closer and will cause you (seeming) pain in the immediate moment. Thus, your brain does what it does and comes up with all the fears and reasons not to commit to diet and exercise.
The first reason being “Well, I have 10 years until the other snake approaches!”
The second through 500th reasons being some admixture of “It’s too hard, it’ll take so long, it’ll cost a lot of money for a coach, I don’t understand the science behind this, I don’t want to wake up early to go running, my performance at work will diminish if I’m hungry”
These are all one hundred percent true statements. You will be tired. You will be sweaty and sore. You will have to place your health on a higher priority than performance at work for the moment.
These are real sacrifices. But they’re required to avoid the 10-years-out snake, the snake that will surely kill you.
The process of coming up with reasons NOT to do the thing that is meaningful in the long term is demoralization.
Demoralization is why countries can be subverted by propaganda and why soldiers flee from battle. Demoralization is why your novel never gets written and why that weight stays on you for another 10 years.
Overcoming demoralization is a simple process. Your brain will naturally come up with reasons NOT to lose weight, finish your novel, or take that graduate program.
What you need is evidence that these reasons are inferior to the prize of beating the big snake!
We get that through gradual habit formation.
Staring at a scale that says 300 pounds and knowing it should say 185 is daunting. You have over 100 pounds of body-mass that need to not be there. How many morning jogs is that? How many salads is that?
Julia Cameron, author of the Artist’s Way, has a great turn-of-phrase for working with artist’s suffering from writer’s block.
She will encourage them to take the time to spend an hour a day developing their craft, and to really take the time to do their projects the justice they deserve by becoming masterful and dedicated to the process.
Her clients respond “How old am I going to be before this album/collection/book/screenplay is finished?!”
She says “As old as you’re going to be if you don’t.”
The simple first step is doing something once. Rather than trying to lose all 115 pounds — simply try to walk for 10 minutes during a lunch break today. Tomorrow, have a glass of water before your walk. Next week increase the walk to 15 minutes. And on and on and on. Eventually you will train your brain to enjoy the activities AND the progression of difficulty of the activities.
After a week or two of these walks, you’ll get on the scale and see you lost 1 or 2 pounds.
Now you have a standard to “how many early morning walks?” It’s (115 times the amount it took to lose 1 pound). You now have an answer. You have proof that you can perform the function required to accomplish your goal — now it’s just a matter of repetitions.
The narrative of “I can’t possibly eat broccoli because it’s disgusting” turns into “I might not enjoy broccoli, but I’m proud that I have one serving a day for my health. I don’t have to eat a ton of it, but I eat a tolerable amount and I’m better for it.”
These small wins build up. You apply perpetual enjoyable pressure to yourself — and it demoralizes the demoralization.
Thank you for reading, viewing and/or listening to BEST MEDICINE. I hope you enjoy it.
My hope is that through this podcast I can be a part of the positive inspirational and educational materials you consume to stay accountable on your journey — whether it’s weight loss, an entrepreneurial pursuit, or a new spiritual path.
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Dr Bradley Werrell