Monday, 10 November 2014

GUEST BLOG: IS AGE NOTHING BUT A MINDSET? BY LIFE COACH ALISA BURKE

Alisa Burke helps professionals and entrepreneurs transform from drained to revitalised using mind and body techniques so that they can create and sustain positive change and lead a life they are excited about. Alisa’s experience and qualifications included working in an earlier high pressure finance career, as a qualified fitness professional, qualified transformational coach and embodiment trainer.

"Is age nothing but a mindset?  Here's 3 ways you can turn back the clock on your agility AND look and feel younger!

Do you sometimes wish you had the energy, flexibility, and looks of a decade or two ago?

What in your life acts as a trigger transporting you back to your childhood or time at college? Maybe you have kept an object from that time or find music from that era brings back vivid memories? Did you know that research is showing that this may be the clue to a powerful way we can turn back the clock to have more of that energy and youthfulness. Read on to find out how.

While I was on the recent detox retreat with Chloe and Natalia in Tuscany (it was truly fab!), Chloe took us through a Barre Pilates class. Standing there holding the Barre whilst doing side leg raises took me back to the fifteen years I practised ballet. It felt great and has inspired me to stay young in my approach to exercise. 



I was therefore intrigued when shortly after, as ever with my eye out for mind-body research, I came across an article about a series of experiments conducted by Langer and colleagues - a long serving professor of Psychology at Harvard. Many of her experiments manipulate how we perceive things, for example tricking participants as to how much sleep they'd actually had in order to test that a lot of our tiredness is in the mind.

The ones that stood out for me though had two tactics:

The first of these manipulated the environment around the participants by inviting them to stay in a resort where the decor, magazines, music and films etc were all from two decades earlier. They were not allowed mirrors, and photos in their rooms were of them 20 years younger.

The other tactic was asking participants to perceive they were young again and act like they were young again. Even though the group were elderly, they were treated like they were young again such as having to carry their own cases upstairs. A just get on with it approach! The results showed there were actual measurable improvements versus a control group (who merely reminisced about being younger).

Their sight improved, they sat taller, were more agile and looked younger.

Research studies like these above suggest three ways you can run your own experiment to turn back your clock:

1) Change gear in your mindset. Think back to a time in your life you enjoyed yourself, felt great and were happy. Can you try to recreate how that felt? Visualise yourself at that time and allow yourself to smile and feel the energy and lightness or whatever the feelings were you remember having at that time in your life. Is there a time of day such as travelling to work you can practise bringing back how this felt and visualise being that age again?

2) Is there a quality you had at that age that you would like more of again now? What change can you make to your environment that could trigger you to have more of that quality? If you want to have more fun and lightness again in your life, what fun object could you keep on your desk or fun piece of art for your wall? Heres a couple of bits of art in my house that make me grin when I see them:


 3) Could you choose a daily activity that you could practice in the manner of the quality that you would like to be able to access more - e.g. if you used to be calm and would like to have more calm back in your life now, you could walk your dog in a calm manner, or if you want to be more thoughtful, practice gratitude by acknowledging someone every day.


Try to pick just one quality for your experiment - your brain prefers to focus on creating one new pattern at time.

If you are interested in executive life coaching where you can gain a better understanding of how you can take advantage of the powerful mind-body connection, visit www.alisaburke.co.uk to find out more. There you can also subscribe to my mailing list and start to receive a free four part series on how to improve your sleep as well as access to a series of four short videos where you can learn how to switch off, overcome fears and worries, create greater clarity, build a healthier lifestyle and much more!



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