Your brain wants to stay comfortable…

 

Our brains are wired to keep us comfortable.

You might think “is that such a bad thing? I like being comfortable”.

But to always stay comfortable (in the short term) would mean…

  • Lie-ins every day till 11:00
  • Never exercising
  • Eating almost constantly
  • Never doing something scary like public speaking
  • Never making new friends
  • Never starting that exciting business idea
  • Basically, never going out of your comfort zone!

And, you guessed it, that would lead to a host of outcomes that would make you LESS happy and also less comfortable in the long run!

(Such as having very low fitness, an unhealthy weight, a lack of/a boring social life, un-fulfilled dreams and passions… etc.)

Do those sound as enticing as lazy lie-ins every day?

 

Your brain doesn’t help you…

So, while your brain might automatically choose short-term comfort (and short-term happiness), it doesn’t automatically choose the behaviours that lead to longer-term happiness and comfort!

For example, your brain wouldn’t naturally lead you to:

  • Engage in strenuous exercise
  • Fore-go the sweet treat after a meal
  • Take a deep-dive into your crazy business idea
  • (Basically all opposite scenarios to the list above!)

Yet, these actions, while feeling uncomfortable at the time, will lead to medium- to long-term GAINS in comfort in the physical sense (a fit and healthy body) and the mental sense (a sense of achievement and happiness).

 

Choosing the dis-comfort

Once you understand that your brain’s automatic choices are often NOT in your mid- to long-term best interest, then you can start to say: “NO” to your brain.

To choose the best options for your mid- to long-term health and happiness, you usually have to get comfortable with a little dis-comfort.

For example, going for a run (or other exercise) can be uncomfortable physically, but gives you cardio-vascular and bone strength benefits later on.

 

Your brain’s resistance to yoga

This is where yoga comes in.

Yoga is, indeed, a little uncomfortable! (Raise your hands if you agree…)

Of course this applies mostly to the yoga styles that involve deep stretching and challenging strengthening poses.

Many people want to gain flexibility, good posture and strength from a yoga practice. Others aim to avoid the aches and pains of general ageing. These are all valid mid- to long-term goals which all require a little discomfort in the moment!

A more traditional aim of yoga is to put your body in somewhat uncomfortable/challenging positions, in order to train your mind to stay calm through deep and intentional breathing. This gives you the skill of staying calm in the face of discomfort – which will help you in so many other situations in life.

If you are new to yoga, your brain will probably have a resistance towards practising it. Your brain will not like the idea of getting a bit uncomfortable, or getting up early on a Sunday, or skipping the 3 glasses of wine on Friday or Saturday evening.

BUT if you listen to it – you will NEVER gain all those amazing goals listed above!

 

Examples in my life

Dark chocolate! (I have a real problem…)

It’s very easy for me to crunch through several squares after lunch and dinner, without really paying attention to it. This gives me a short momentary burst of pleasure, but how does this serve me in the long run?

 

My yoga practice when my toddler naps.

After a long morning of toddler entertainment, finding the motivation to do yoga while Ashley naps is hard. I would just looooove to sit and scroll my phone, or also have a nap, rather than do my yoga practice.

It takes a monumental effort, and stern words against my brains immediate desire for vegetating on the sofa, to get on my mat.

But doing a yoga practice 4 days a week consistently has resulted in much more physical and mental benefit, than chilling and phone scrolling would have given me!

 

What about YOUR brain?

Can you think of a scenario where you feel pulled soooooo strongly to the short term comfort? But you know, in your heat of hearts, that in the longer term, you’d benefit more from doing something else?

If you are a Bendywife Yoga member, perhaps your brain is stopping you coming along to my Sunday morning LIVE class from 8-9am….

  • Your brain would rather enjoy the extra hour in bed…
  • Your brain would rather enjoy an extra glass of wine on Saturday…

(no judgement!)

But, ask yourself: In 4 weeks time, what would benefit you more? 4 hours of yoga, or 4-glasses of wine and 4 lie-ins?

Maybe it’s time to CHOOSE to say NO to your brain! 😉

 

Credit where it’s due!

This mini blog was inspired by Nicky Bevan, a cravings and mindset coach.

Nicky is especially good at helping clients manage their food cravings and, in so doing, helping them to get to a healthier weight.

To learn more about Nicky’s work check out her website: https://nickybevan.com.)

Ready to choose for yourself?

(Instead of letting your brain choose?)

I challenge you to make a small change.

Something that gives you only very short term comfort, but that you KNOW doesn’t help you long term.

Perhaps get up at 7:30 this Sunday and join my 8:00am LIVE class! 😄

Just say “no, brain!”

❤️

I hope you enjoyed my ramblings. 🤓

I’d love to hear your views in comments below!

Jolanthe x

Strength, Posture & Mindfulness

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Give yourself the gift of self-care for a super affordable price, while supporting an independent, small business!

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Love, Jolanthe x

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