I recently wrote an article on Positive Psychology News Daily: “How You Tell the Story of Your Life.”
Here’s another example of a story you can tell yourself that then puts your body or your mind into automatic action:
A friend of mine who is a computer scientist and very interested in using the scientific method to prove things wanted to lose weight. But he didn’t want to change his eating habits or start exercising, so all he did is start measuring his weight on the bathroom scale every morning and writing it down. Within thirty days, just from the daily observations and recording, he had dropped ten pounds.
What is the story that the mind tells the body? Isn’t this just like the hotel workers in the PPND article who were told their daily activity is plenty of exercise, and who then went on to lose weight?
UPDATE: An online friend told me that the above wasn’t 100% clear. Did he think that he would lose weight? Did he expect it?
Yes, he thought that just by paying attention to the weight that it would decrease, and it did. The story he told himself is that he doesn’t want to consciously change any habits, but that he wants to weigh less. So, in fact, he was making subtle automatic changes that were comfortable to him. And his reasoning is that he never felt the changes, and he believes that the changes in his habits (enough to make his lose ten pounds in a month) occured because he was focused on this idea, and told himself subconsciously the story that he was going to lose weight. Without knowing how he would do it.