09
Confident body, confident mind
Know, then, whatever cheerful and serene supports
the mind, supports the body too.
From The Art of Preserving Health by John Armstrong, poet
(1709–79)
What you have discovered so far
I Life is about choice you can either
choose to have your confidence
knocked or you can choose to think
differently.
I If you reframe how you think you can change how you feel.
I The more you are able to laugh at your absurdity, the lighter you will
feel and the more relaxed you will become.
I If you are trying to meet an expectation that does not fit for you,
expect to become stressed. Dropping these expectations and
lightening your load is a great way to de-stress.
What you are going to discover
I Confidence, and lack of it, is displayed outwardly in our ‘body
language’.
I In our experience, the more rigid the body the more rigid the mind
(this applies to people whose bodies have become rigid through lack
of exercise, rather than physical disability).
I To underplay this would be to deprive you of one of the most effective
methods of becoming a confident person.
I Making simple body ‘adjustments can help you think more confidently.
I Sometimes shifting your body language on a
very small scale can bring quite significant
results.
I This is why meditation can also be very
beneficial: it relaxes your body and the mind
follows.
Your mind and body are inextricably connected and
act as one entity.
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Basic body language
I Every single thought you have transfers into your body
somewhere so that, as you grow older, your body takes on the
posture that reflects how you have been thinking all your life.
I The more you adopt a certain way of thinking, the more your
body will reflect this. If you want evidence just look around at
people you know.
I Those with the most flexible and open minds also have flexible
and open body language. The reverse is also true.
I People who have fixed minds and are unwilling to open up to
new ideas develop fixed, closed body language.
The link from mental tension to physical tension hypertension
Your mind and body are inextricably connected and act as one
entity. This is how you become stressed. Just look at football
managers or coaches during a televised match: they are drawn
and hunched in their seats and chewing gum if their team is
losing, jumping up and down cock-a-hoop and hand clapping if
their team scores a goal, and pacing up and down irate with
hands gesticulating if the referee’s decision goes against them.
Stress starts in your mind and works its way through to your
body which is where stress mani-
fests itself. So you become tense
and stiff and develop aching
muscles, which, if left unattended,
cause real physical problems in
your organs and skeletal alignment.
It is amazing what a single thought
can lead to.
Its all in the posture and tension of the body, and
the more you become aware of how you hold
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163
yourself the greater the range of options you will
have to develop a positive and confident mindset.
Posture and tension
I Think about your own body language and you will notice that
you have some postures that you adopt whenever you are
thinking in a particular way. It is amazing how precise these
postures are, and the more habitual they become, the less
aware of them you tend to be.
I NLP uses this knowledge for positive gain. If the mind works on
the body in this way, then the body can be used to influence
the mind. It is all in the posture and tension of the body, and
the more you become aware of how you hold yourself the
greater the range of options you will have to develop a positive
and confident mindset.
I It really does not matter what type of body you have. So rather
than putting all your effort into exercising your mind, you can
share it with exercise for the body.
Stretching and breathing
In the West we often think that good exercise is about running and
going to the gymnasium, but it really depends what you are doing
as to whether you are gaining any benefit for your mind. If all your
physical exercise is of the hard variety, such as weights and running
on a treadmill, this may result in keeping your mind in its stuck
place. To free your mind you need to exercise in a way that frees
your body using stretching and breathing exercises, as well as
rotating movements such as you would learn from yoga or t’ai chi.
So look at your body from head to toe and identify some specific
changes you could make to become more flexible and open in
your thinking.
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