Brain Exercising Your Body (Achievement Nudge about the Power of Your Mind)

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Last Updated on July 3, 2024 by Bill Truby

When you imagine something, your body reacts as if it is happening. It doesn’t know the difference if it’s real or not. If you imagine someone next to you yawning, you may find yourself yawning too, even if there is no one else there.

Achieve Better “Whatever” by Imagining It

Researchers at Ohio University conducted a study that proves the power of your mind when it imagines something. They took two groups of healthy people and wrapped their wrists with a cast.  The first group was asked to sit still for 11 minutes and imagine strong muscle contractions in their wrists, in effect, mentally picturing the process of exercising their wrist muscles. They were told to do this five days a week, for four weeks. The second group wasn’t given any instructions during the four weeks.

At the end of the month-long study, the participants who performed the mental exercise were twice as strong as those who didn’t. The researchers went on to talk about elderly patients who were bedridden and couldn’t exercise. If they imagined their bodies exercising, it helped prevent muscle atrophy.

Clearly, mental imagination isn’t enough to keep a person fit. But it helps. And this research aligns with the many other studies that show how the mind and body are connected. How the body is affected by the mind. If you imagine something…you feel it in your body. Not to the extent of a “real life” occurrence, but certainly to the extent that affects your health, happiness, and well-being.

When you imagine something negative – the possibility of getting the flu, not being able to pay your bills, a friend or employee taking advantage of you – in a small way, your body literally feels the effects of those things as if they ACTUALLY were happening. Then, your health, happiness, and well-being are negatively affected, too. All because of what your mind is thinking. Not because of truth.

And, by the way, “worry” is nothing more than imagining something bad happening. It’s visualization, and your body suffers for it. You saw the effects of visualizing wrist exercises for only 11 minutes a day. The “worriers” I know do their visualizations a lot more than that.

So, how about using this power for good? What if you regularly imagined what you want? Studies show the power of visualization over many aspects of our lives, not just muscle strength. Your attitude, reaching goals, perspective, even how you treat others…all can be positively (or negatively) affected by the movies in your mind. Athletes do this. They imagine their body going through their routine…and it works.

Now…sit in your favorite, comfortable chair. Put your feet up. Smell the popcorn in the bowl on your lap. Turn on a mental movie that is positive, powerful, encouraging, and motivating. Put the volume at a comfortable level, and watch “you” BE-ing and DO-ing something you’ve been wanting for a long time. Notice how your body feels as you watch the movie. (Is it working?)

Bill Truby

Founder and President of Truby Achievements