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Big Ideas for Your Health in 2014

Big Ideas for Your Health in 2014

Dr. Michael Mantell

You are a big picture thinker if:

-You rapidly identify patterns in complex situations.-You enjoy innovative thinking and doing things that are new and different. -You bristle at busywork, routine and monotony. -You are definitely a right-brained person, the side of the brain responsible for visual processing, big-picture, intuitive thinking and processing ideas simultaneously. -You are a Myers-Briggs “N” intuitive type, who would rather learn by thinking a problem through than by hands-on experience. You think more about the future than the past.

You are a detailed thinker if:

-You think more about physical things in great detail and miss new possibilities. -You are generally more concerned about the actual, present, current and real. -You look at the bottom line, what’s pragmatic, and prefer tweaking what exists, rather than creating something new. -You are left-brained, which is the hemisphere that promotes more analytical, step-by-step processing, uses logic and details, and emphasizes facts and concrete language such as that found in math and science. -You are a Myers-Briggs “S” sensing type for whom experience speaks louder than words.

Regardless of your general style, if you want to make healthy things happen for yourself this coming year, you need to start by thinking positively good, big picture, thoughts.

Here’s an example: Let’s say you are sitting at a dinner. You think, “I’m stressed and am entitled to feel calm right now, so I’m going to eat that pizza.” This is short-range, narrow and erroneous thinking. A big-picture, positive and more novel belief is, “I’m entitled to achieve everything I put on my goal sheet for this month when it comes to my weight management, so I can take a walk, do some deep breathing, or call a friend to calm down instead.”

Here’s another example: “I’m sad and feeling miserable right now, which I can’t stand, so I’m going to have another piece of cake to make myself feel better now.” Again, this is short-range, narrow and inaccurate thinking. “Just because I’m sad and feeling miserable right now doesn’t mean that eating is my right. Besides, my body doesn’t care what I’m feeling and it processes calories just the same. If I eat right now, I’ll still be overweight, which is not my bigger goal for this year.”

“Yes, I know I ate awhile ago, but I’m starving right now!” compared to, “I’m having a craving right now, but that doesn’t mean I must eat right now. It’ll pass if I wait.”

Thinking about quitting your commitment to eating well and maintaining a healthy activity program today? Instead, think about the big picture and you’ll land on why you started.

“Oh it’s only one gym day I’m missing. What’s the big deal if I skip it today and just chill out here on the couch right now?” Compare that to, “If I stay home chilling on the couch, I only strengthen the habit of giving in for the future.”

“I don’t want to tolerate hunger right now.” Compare that to, “I’d rather tolerate being hungry so I can lose weight this coming week.”

“I don’t want to have to work out today when my friends are taking today off.” Compare that to, “I may not want to work out today but really, if my longer-term goal is to get back in shape, it makes sense for me to do it even if my friends get the day off.”

You get the idea. Don’t get stuck in your own magnifying glass that highlights the negative, the irrational, the inaccurate and the illogical. Take the big picture, which is filled with creative wide-angle views that are positive and accurate. You can either take the narrow, short-term view, eat what you want, avoid exercise and think negatively now, or you can take the big picture view and finish 2014 feeling healthy, fit, happy and exceptional. You just can’t do both.