Don’t Panic

Create your own personal suggestion

As a suggestion, your new description should begin with the words ‘I am….’ That’s a great way to get your subconscious to pay attention. ‘I am…’ Now add a strong, positive emotion to spark a response from the amygdala: ‘I am joyfully….’ Best to put in a verb now, something to express action: ‘I am joyfully living life to the full in my trim, slim, super strong body’ It’s just an example but I want you to make your own power statement right now and start encoding it into your internal dialogue by repeating it over and over.

Notice how it makes you feel? It has to make you feel good. That’s the positive buzz we need from your limbic system and now your amygdala is working for your wellbeing instead of against it. The new mantra might not fulfil all of your goals on its own but it will remove many of the internal obstacles that conspire to get in the way of success. Repeat your mantra. All the time. Until it’s always there. You now have your own private cheer-leading team, giving you support, enthusiasm and encouragement from within. They’re working for you now. All the time.

Whilst you’re introducing better thoughts and feelings and images into your personal transformation programme, we should make a few observations about your posture too. It’s one of those subjects that is too easy to neglect but, if we make a couple of subtle changes to how you hold yourself, we can create better feelings and responses throughout the rest of your body.

Learn to relax

Let’s remember that humans respond at a very deep level to posture and we’re going to start with your shoulders. If you’ve noticed that you tend to slouch or slump forwards, don’t worry. Pretty much everyone suffers from the same appalling posture! All you need to do is move your shoulders a few millimetres backwards. That’s all.

No exaggerated movement, please! Just a few millimetres to the back to open your chest and lungs and give you a more confident and expansive feeling. We usually feel a lot more positive when we open up our shoulders so give it a try. The movement encourages you to feel more relaxed, less stressed and more reasonable.

And that means more calming input from the prefrontal cortex and fewer impulsive urges from the limbic system. Self control, long term success and goal fulfilment all come from our good friend, the prefrontal cortex. Let’s give it every opportunity to do its job and put us firmly back in control of our weight issues. So relax your shoulders and move them back a few millimetres.

We could focus on so many parts of the body when we explore the issue of posture but if we focus instead on a few, key areas, we can achieve great results. The shoulders are always a good starting point. Your jaw muscles can help too because if you can learn to relax your jaw, you’ll notice an immediate reduction in overall physical tension.

Yes, we’re reducing those familiar signs of stress that trigger impulses from the limbic system. We’re learning to manage our posture and tame our tension. Unlocking the jaw muscles sends a message to the rest of the body that we can relax and humans are so much more rational, efficient and creative when they’re relaxed – we need to relax the jaw!

If we’re letting go of tension in the shoulders and the jaw, let’s complete the set by relaxing the butt muscles. If you’re not familiar with the stress patterns that affect human physiology, the idea of relaxing the glutes might seem a little strange. But we tense those muscles whenever we perceive danger – real or imaginary – so the moment that we relax the rear end, we immediately send a signal to the body that spells out the message to reduce overall stress.

That’s incredibly helpful because the more we turn down the stress response, the more we access the calming, rational, reasoning part of the brain that helps us to make and maintain great decisions. It’s how we stay on track and fulfil our plans and goals. So relax your shoulders, jaw and butt.