Dr Kenneth Cooper, an American medical doctor and former airforce colonel revolutionized our understanding of heart disease prevention. In his book Aerobics (1968) he outlined how people who are sedentary or have diseased hearts, have a limited amount a vascularization ( blood flowing in and out) of our hearts. When those limited pathways are blocked our hearts cannot receive necessary blood flow and oxygen which often results in heart attacks and death.
Dr Cooper discovered that short sessions (20 minutes) of aerobic activity a few times a week actually increased the number of pathways blood could take in and out of our hearts so if one pathway was blocked there were still options availability. This discovery spawned the craze of aerobic dance, Jazzercize, Richard Simmons, leg warmers, headbands and millions of people who did not die because they now felt empowered to be healthier.
I taught aerobic dance in the 80’s and not only was it a blast it also felt awesome to be encouraging all sorts of people who had never exercised to take fate into their hands and be healthy.
In a similar way our own personal thought process can default to a well trodden path of negativity. It can be such a familiar pathway that we often actually just believe that is the way things are. Have you ever been presented with an opportunity and instantly a thought pops into your mind…..I’m not capable of that….I’m not smart enough..not enough people will like me…that is not for people like me…and on and on.
The beliefs we think about ourselves can be like that blocked artery in our heart. With no new thinking we slowly are starved of self love, confidence, joy, appreciation and hold ourselves back from doing the things we so badly want to do.
The great news is that just like a 20 minute dance break can strengthen your heart, taking time to observe our thinking and grow new pathways in our brain can unblock our lives.
Challenging and exploring new outside the box thinking literally helps the Neurons in our brains brave uncharted trails forging multiple new pathways to default to.
The most exciting and rewarding work I do is to Coach clients in discovering alternative options for their thinking. It is such a rewarding experience watching in the beginning a bit of a puzzled look which morphs into a glowing smile and a total change of body posture as they relax into their new mindset of possibilities.