I understand that making change is tough and in my work and personal life, I recognise that we all need motivation to keep our health goals front of mind when life’s stresses hit us!
That’s when it’s good to have powerful healthy living quotes or mantras to shoot your motivation right up!
The mind will always take us to the negative thought but, like a muscle, we can create neural pathways to train it to look at the glass half full…..not half empty. These are the ones that work for me:RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
1. Whether you believe you can or you can’t, you’ll be right!
We are programmed with experiences we’ve had since childhood – parents, teachers, friends may all have made comments that stayed in our minds as reality.
Therefore you can get ‘stuck’ in low expectations of yourself, like whether you can do a handstand, or when faced with a change in your diet or exercising for the first time – thinking you can’t do that. These are merely limiting beliefs.
Go on! Challenge these beliefs! Ask yourself: What would be a more empowering belief to have than the old one? Start saying you ‘can’ and see what happens….
2. Breakfast like a king, lunch like a queen, dinner like a pauper
This is quite an old saying and I acknowledge that not everyone wants to eat breakfast, so long as it doesn’t lead to binging on carbohydrates later in the morning.
However it does help us to remember that digestion does not work efficiently when we go to bed on a full stomach. And if the food is hard to digest or you have consumed excessive sugar or alcohol, you may wake up during the night.
The main message here is moderation for those who want a healthy digestive system and are trying to lose weight, as well as sleep well!
3. Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food (Hippocrates, 431 BC)
This old saying has been quoted many times by natural health practitioners and the healing properties of food have been reported by cultures worldwide throughout history. We all know the healing powers of lemon and honey for sore throat, or ginger or peppermint for the stomach, or turmeric for the immune system.
There is an abundance of fruits and vegetables that contain nutrients and phytochemicals that prevent disease and are anti-inflammatory – berries, beetroot, sweet potatoes, chia seeds, flax seed, walnuts, salmon etc.
We can measure the effect of dietary changes on blood sugar and cholesterol, whilst cooking can be very therapeutic for some, the act of chopping and stirring combined with the tantalising smells of herbs and spices are miraculous for our wellbeing!
Another quote with similar meaning to the above is The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition (Thomas Edison)
4. The body is your temple. Keep it pure and clean for the soul to reside in (BKS Iyengar)
Iyengar had some great phrases that really get you going! This one is very visual as it depicts the idea of treating yourself as the most important person in your life, valuable and rich.
After all your health is your wealth. By keeping this mantra in mind, you will look after yourself physically, mentally and spiritually in the best way possible. This saying will help you be mindful of wise choices for your health.
5.Take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live (Jim Roth)
This saying has similar connotations to the one above, if you can imagine that your body does so much for you throughout your life, to keep it healthy, will indeed prolong your life and keep you safe regarding your health.
6. Don’t eat anything your great great grandmother wouldn’t recognise as food (Michael Pollan).
There is a massive number of processed foods that were created for our convenience but have done a huge amount of harm to our health because of the high levels of fat, salt, sugar and additives they contain.
Some food labels display a cocktail of chemicals that are unrecognizable to people nowadays, never mind earlier generations.
Therefore the advice I give to my clients is to avoid heavily processed foods generally, if sugar is the first or second ingredient on the list, avoid it and if it’s a long list of numbers and letters – avoid it even more!
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7. We have a pharmacy within us that is absolutely exquisite. It makes the right medicine, for the precise time for the target organ – with no side effects (Deepak Chopra)
I love Deepak Chopra‘s work and this is a lovely description of how wonderful our body is to operate on a ‘lock and key” system for so many bodily reactions.
There’s enzymes for our digestive system, hormones for our reproductive health, neurotransmitters for our brain, collagen for our skin – all wonderfully illustration that if you give your body the correct building blocks in the form of proteins, complex carbohydrates, essential fats, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, you body will operate like magic.
Just like a car operates with the correct fuel. Only when our body gets out of balance do we face disturbance to these bodily functions.
8. Workout, eat well, be patient. Your body will reward you.
This says that if you feed your body well, a bit like the saying above, you will see positive results! And your body and mind will be happy and healthy! Enough said!
9. Visualise the person you want to be and then work for it
It’s extremely important to create your vision for success to make your health goals more REAL. When athletes train for events they mentally rehearse the event in their minds and visualise themselves performing at their best.
Repeating this process creates neural pathways in the brain which draw you towards where you want to go. With health and fitness goals, whether it’s weight loss, or cutting down on caffeine or sugar, you want to move towards rather than away from what you really want to achieve.
It may be easier to stay where you are, it takes much more effort to make the initial changes and that’s what the mind needs to stick at. According to Iyengar, sometimes we have to experience a little pain during a yoga pose, as that’s the point where the exercise is working for your body. I guess that’s where
No Pain No Gain comes from!
Your mind will quit 100 times before your body ever does – feel the pain and do it anyway
So let’s create some positive thoughts to take you towards your vision and keep those thoughts in the present as if you have already achieved them. So ask yourself:
How I feel?
How I look?
What I enjoy doing that I couldn’t do before?
How my health has improved and what this feels like?
In what other ways will my life improve by making these positive changes?
Write the answers down. And remember we always have a choice. Any time doubts creep in, visualise your answers to the questions above.
10. Stop competing with others and start competing with yourself!
Often in an exercise class we look to see what others are achieving or with weightloss we may compare the speed at which we are losing weight with a friend. Whilst healthy competition can be good, so long as it’s positive, remember that we are all unique and set targets for yourself, irrespective of what others around you are achieving. It’s your journey!
11. One workout at a time, one day at a time, one meal at a time
Remember you can only do one activity at the time – the mind may be racing with all the things you want to achieve – however accept that you are on a journey and focus on the task to hand.
This is mindfulness and, instead of focusing on the bigger picture that can sometimes be overwhelming, see it as a process and break it down so that each activity and each day you are achieving a little step towards the bigger picture. Take away the stress that you place on yourself and enjoy the process, not just the end goal.
A similar message is delivered by this quote: The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step (Lao Tzu)
12. Be stronger than your excuses
Often the limitations we place on ourselves are merely excuses and we need to rise above them if we are to get anywhere. What’s yours? Make a list and reframe into positive, empowering statements.
13. Strive to become the change that we want to see in the world
If everyone makes a change, then the overall shift will be great. So lead by example. Children will pick up habits and beliefs from their parents, so make sure you are giving out the right messages.
Aim not to say you are on a diet, choose healthy eating as a lifestyle. Have activity as central to your life, buddy up with a friend or relative and spread the message of how wonderful it is to feel healthy, mentally fit and alive!
Do you have your own mantra for wellness, a quote or saying that pushes you through when the going gets tough? I’d love you to share it with us and, above all – keep calm and carry on!!