The Importance of Thought


I’ve always been fascinated by human physiology, especially how the mind can affect actions and behaviour. 

In Spirituality this can be described as – ‘as above, so below or in psychology this could be described as ‘Top down’ approach to life.

But what does all of this mean?…

Well let’s take a look at this. 

As a personal trainer I work mainly with the body, but am very aware that the mind plays an essential role in how my clients are as students both in their abilities to change or move out of their comfort zone to achieve results.

As a qualified hypnotherapist I am acutely aware of how the subconscious or unconscious mind can affect behaviour, health and habits.

A book I recommend for deeper knowledge of this is Debbie Shapiro’s ‘The Bodymind workbook’, which as she describes explores how the mind and the body work together. In this book I love how she uses the word disease as dis-ease in the mind causing disease in the body. 

My study of hypnotherapy made me even more aware of the powerful effect of unconscious thought on the body’s reaction, action and behaviour. It taught me how visualisation can help improve peoples quality of life and how we speak to ourself internal and about ourselves externally will show what we really think about self.

So how can you use this information to improve your own life?

Well some people will use ‘mindfulness’ or meditation to become more consciously aware of their thought process. They will achieve greater awareness of the negative or destructive thoughts that then lead into self sabotaging behaviours as well as the power of positive thought on the mind, body and behaviour. 

Meditation can be difficult for a lot of people because they are usually miss informed about the purpose of meditation. The misunderstanding is usually due to individuals trying to stop thoughts and clear their minds. This is not how to meditate, the object is to let thoughts and emotions come to you, but not to have any attachment to them but to recognise them, recognise where they come from, the emotions / feelings they create in the body and then let them go. This is easier said than done and can take many attempts to be able to sit quietly and still for a long period of time and not be distracted by external influences and noises. 

This is the same as mindfulness, it is to recognise the thoughts that come up but not attach to them but look at why, what and when you get them. In other words, become consciously aware of thoughts, emotions and behaviours. Once you are consciously aware of these human traits you can change how you react to them.

This is what the buddhists and Zen masters called the monkey mind, thoughts running rampant and wild but without any conscious action or focus but which create devastation and destruction in ones personal life.

A trick I use on a daily basis to check out how I react to external influences due to my thought patterns is to concentrate on my steps as I walk. As I focus on each step I become aware of how my foot touches the ground, how heavy my step is, the pace I’m going at and how balanced I am in my footsteps. This distracts me from external influences and lets me concentrate on internal disturbances and thoughts. 

For example if I suddenly become anxious, or if something disturbs me and takes me out of my focus or my steps, I can become aware of the who, what ,when, where and why this disturbance has happened.

This allows me to shift my awareness back to my steps if necessary or to pay attention to my environment, feelings or thoughts where necessary. 

I have learnt a lot about my thoughts and distractions through this process, especially how I walk through the world. It improves my ability to focus and become aware of my breath as well as the thought processes that don’t serve me. Also what kind of things disturb my peace and is it a behaviour or attitude I need to change. 

Once I have a more conscious awareness of how I walk through the world I become more open to my affect on it, others and myself. 

What unconscious triggers I might have that affect my ability to move through my environment, both good and bad, and the kind of pace I move through this world with.

For instance, do I enjoy the pleasures and beauty of nature in the moment, am I looking up and out as well as down, am I capable of living in the moment or am I always distracted by thoughts of past and future.

As an over-thinker this has been a life saver for me over the years, it helps me to take ownership of my behaviours and the effect they may have on others and the world. 

Published by fighting fit studio

As a PT I work around the London E9 area, outside training in Well St common, Victoria Pk, London Fields, Wellington Green, etc. Gym training at Titan gym, Hackney London E8 3RD, no membership fees and entrance fee included in PT payment. Workouts - bodybuilding, martial arts and pad workouts, Calisthenics, Circuits, and functional training. I have over 20 years of fitness teaching fitness which includes strength training, body alignment, flexibility, and rehabilitation.

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