The Power of Words
Getting your Body and Mind in the zone
Words whether we read them, hear them or state them ourselves, directly effect how we think. How we think effects how we feel.
Simple words and phrases have the power to control our well being.
That well being is of both, mind and body.
To us Parkies achieving an “ON” day depends more on being in control of our mind than it is in controlling our body. We long for the days when our mind and body worked in perfect sync,when our movement seemed to flow without conscious thought.
Back in our pre-parkie days if we had a trip or stumble, we gave it no thought. We realized that those things happen every once in a while. Now with our Parkinson’s diagnosis, those wobbles put us off and start a negative trend that can send us in a downward spiral.
You look for some miracle that might stop this downward spiral.
Well look no further that miracle, can be you!
The Mind-Body connection is not some ‘ New Age” construct. Thought induced changes to our fine motor skills allow imperceptible adjustments to occur. These can make a difference in our daily movements.
Sometimes our so called decline in movement may be a matter of perspective, No one can perform at peak levels 100% of the time, Parkinson’s or not. What contributes more to a decrease in our physical movements is more in how we react and adjust to it, rather than the actual disease.
It is so easy to think that the skill of a movement resides in muscle memory. When in reality even the most rote actions involve a tremendous amount of mental processing.
Anxious thoughts trigger and release adrenaline, the hormone that sets the heart racing, primes the muscles to run and puts our senses on alert.
Any movement we do begins in the thinking part of the brain. As neurons get excited they activate nerve cells connected to the area of the brain associated with emotions, such as fear, anxiety, elation and satisfaction. This area is tied into the motor cortex which controls the muscles.
One way to control the jitters is to learn to take control of our inner monologue, our self talk, that endless communication we have with ourselves.
The average person speaks to themselves at a rate of 300 to 1000 words a minute. Since 65 % of this inner monologue is negative, this inner conversation can usually stray into fear of failing. This kind of self talk then becomes counterproductive. The only way to stop these negative thoughts is to replace them with something that’s going to help you.
Self talk exists on three channels; Positive, Negative and Escape. Try to be on the positive channel as much as you can. However sometimes the negative thoughts can seem to be out of control, the anxiety and stress will not go away. That is the time to go to the Escape channel (ie; Meditation, Breathing techniques).
We must learn to corral our nervousness and keep it from interfering with how our body will move.
We have to realize that we are in control and that control, is of both the mind and of the body!
There are certain words that can trigger these negative self talk times.
They seem so harmless by themselves. Yet when combined and used with other words can have a very negative effect on minds. Which can then effect our body and therefore have very negative effect on our lives.
Simple words like, No, Don’t,
Simple phrases starting with, “ I can’t”. “I won’t”
These simple words or phrases can start the sudden release of stress producing hormones and neurochemicals. Normal functioning of the brain will be immediately interrupted, logic is impaired and communication is diminished.
Why does this happen?
By focusing on the negative dangerous words, damage is done to the key structures of your brain that regulates memory, feelings and emotions.
You will experience more anxiety and this anxiety undermines any co operation or trust you have built up between your mind, your body, your medications, your neurologist, etc.
If you are anxious or depressed you will see only the negative items on the list and soon they will become highlighted and make you perform worse.
Worry also stimulates the release of stress hormones.
Furthermore thinking fearful thoughts or imagining them can cause you to react to them as if they were real.
Imagine yourself on a golf course. The course is littered with negative terms, Rough, Sand traps, Water hazards, Out of bounds. They are things that you must try and avoid in order to succeed. Yet eventually you will probably end up encountering at least one of them.
Each hole you play you make reference to where these trouble spots are, focusing on the negative features of the hole. However in reality they make up only a small portion of the actual hole. . So as we stand up at the tee box of a par three hole. We see the green, it has sand traps to the left, water hazard to the right. We tell ourselves “Don’t hit the water , don’t hit the water.” We swing, hit the ball, and where does the ball usually go?…. In the water.
By strictly focusing on the negative, our negative thoughts have made it so!
Your brain can have a hard time responding to positive words and thoughts, because they aren’t considered threats. Therefore our brain has a negative bias. It takes hard work to prime it and focus on the positive.
Research has shown that it takes at least 5 positive messages to overcome just one negative comment.
In order to better manage our Parkinson’s we must try and eliminate as much stress and anxiety from our lives as possible, Words that are chosen wisely can do this! Words that we may read in related literature, words that we say to others and words that we say to ourselves in self talk can be paramount to our health, happiness and success.
Eliminate those negative words and thinking, for they are dangerous to that success!
Engage in the art of gratitude and practice positive thinking!
Negative thoughts lead to failure.
Positive thoughts lead to success.
Chose your words wisely for the proper selection will lead to lower physical and emotional stress. You will feel better and live longer.
Park. A, (2006) getting and staying in the Zone, Time, 167 (03)
Napier, Mandy The Most dangerous word in the world Mindset for Success April 24, 2014
Mind the Net Goaltending Mind and Body:Getting in the Zone