Are you aware of the spirals in your life?
Do you often stop and ask yourself “How did I get here?”
Spirals apply to everything about us as human beings and also in nature and in life in general. Nothing about us stays the same whether it’s our health, fitness, wellbeing, weight, or relationships. There are so many variables that affect us on a daily basis and we are either spiralling up or spiralling down, feeling on a ‘high’ or feeling ‘low’.
I first thought about this metaphor last weekend as my spirits started to rise after a low few days. I had been feeling low for many reasons – lack of sleep, no time to exercise, wrong food & drink choices, difficult clients and bad weather. Then something happened to boost my spirits – a compliment from a valued client – but I realised that all of the other stuff hadn’t changed at all – in fact the weather had got worse!
Do we sometimes sweat the small stuff?
In the big scheme of things, with famine in Yemen, carnage in Syria, Tsunamis in Indonesia … all of them killing thousands, I really didn’t have anything to feel low about and reminded myself that it can be the Mindset that we choose – or which chooses us – that decides how far up or how far down we spiral. Mindset is key! You can choose the Mindset that you have and question the Mindsets that choose you, that we adopt because of our upbringing, social norms, family and friends.
We call these opposite moments having a positive mindset or having a negative mindset like its black or its white.
Fifty shades of grey?
Last week I reminded myself that, just like there are 50 shades of grey, our mindsets and states of being are not just black and white but that there are a lot of different points along the way and that, like spirals, they tend to expand or shrink, become better or worse, positive or negative in a gradual way – depending what we are focused on. We don’t normally suddenly land in a bad place or find ourselves on cloud nine…..it’s a process that starts off small – almost unnoticeable – and then spirals either up or down, gets bigger or smaller, positive or negative
How’s your fitness?
For me it’s easier to apply spirals to fitness…
Just like all mental and physical states, our fitness never stays the same: if we don’t exercise we will become unfit. Now ‘unfit’ is not a static state. If we don’t take action we will spiral down gradually becoming less and less unfit until it seriously affects our health, our mobility and our life. What happens way too often is that people are too busy to realise what is happening to their body and only become aware that they have become very unfit and need to take some drastic action when they become ill or injured, or some other negative life changing event happens to them like not having the strength to lift their child or grandchild anymore or not being fit enough to play with them.
The opposite also applies – there is not a static state called being fit. We cannot store fitness: if we stop exercising we will spiral down into unfitness but if we keep exercising we will spiral up to the realm of super fit and reap the associated benefits.
It always frustrates me when I am out running when people ask me ‘why are you running? You are already fit and you don’t need to lose weight!”
Are you ageing younger or older?
The same gradual process of spiralling towards good or bad, positive or negative can be applied to the ageing process. We presume that as we get older, we will be inflicted with disability and disease – either mental or physical and because we have this negative Mindset it is sure to happen.
Take a look as this diagram of the Ageing Trajectory
The latest research shows that if we adopt healthy lifestyle behaviours and a positive mindset we will stay above the disability threshold and continue to be able to do what we need to do, want to do and love to do well into later life, and for some people this can be spirally up to be fitter, healthier than ever before. Whereas if we do not make the effort to adopt healthy lifestyle behaviours we will not stay the same – we will spiral down to a life of disability, disease and dependency. Notice that the trajectory starts to decline in early adult life! The earlier we start adopting healthy lifestyle behaviours like exercise, good nutrition and mindset the more benefit we will reap in later life.
Are you on a downward spiral blaming it on ‘old age’? Is your Mindset YOUR mindset or one that’s been cast upon you by others?
Want help adopting a more positive mindset and healthier lifestyle behaviours?
Work with me!
I currently have places available for 1:1 Personal Training at my new Sale Pilates studio where we work on all aspects of health, fitness and wellbeing. I welcome all ages – men and women – but particularly women over 60 who want to improve or maintain the quality of their lives and make the
Rather join a small group for Pilates, Talks and Workshops?