It can't be that simple…

One of the great contributions of Neuro Linguistic Programming is the idea that the mind and the body affect each other. In other words, if there is a problem in the body you can often affect it by changing your mind and if there is a problem in the mind, you can often affect it by changing what you do with your body.

At first reading, this does not seem particularly radical until you consider how most of the healing professions approach the human body. The desire to cut bits out or medicate with strong chemicals often leaves little consideration for the effect that the mind has on the body (or the body on the mind). NLP practitioners have known for years that to get a different result, you need to do something different but this can sometimes be a surprise for scientists. As an example…

A new book by Professor Marie-Annette Brown When Your Body Gets The Blues reports results of research into finding drug free ways of combating persistent tiredness, irritability and the body blues. Their conclusions were startling - getting plenty of bright light and engaging in moderate exercise can reverse many of the physical changes brought about by low or fluctuating hormones. Another study found that women were more influenced by the amount of light in their environment than they were by their hormones. Walking outside for 20 mins a day was found to be just as effective as two hours in front of a light box. When they compared eating a sweet snack with taking a 10min walk, surprise, surprise, the walk was found to lift moods for several hours against only 30 mins for the snack.

It’s that simple. To get a different result, all you need to do is something different and your result will begin to change. In this case, you can change your mood, stress level and concentration by moving your body differently (taking a brisk walk).

Think about it, you spend all day inside an air conditioned box under artificial light. When you feel tense you drink caffeine and eat sweet things. You leave work on edge and tired but can't really work out why? Even if none of this applies, when was the last time you spent more than 5mins in direct sunlight during a normal working day?

Why not give this a go? If you’re getting tense at work, go and walk outside for 15 mins. The first time I did this at work, I felt really naughty as if I wasn't allowed out of the building unless it was lunchtime. If you manage a team, why not encourage them to go for a walk or better still take them all out for a walk as a way of starting your next team meeting? (Let me know what happens!).

You can also: