The Magic of Nudging A Comfort Zone
‘No pain no gain, grrrrrr!’ This is what clients used to say to me as I would strip out the knots from their overly tight muscles. ‘Lets get those knots out’, I would say. Not anymore!
The ‘no pain no gain’ slogan apparently came about from the 1980’s Jane Fonda videos. Back in the days when everyone was wearing high cut leotards and leg warmers. We were all encouraged to ‘feel the burn’ when working out. ‘Blast through the pain’. This is certainly not the case for me anymore. These days I try to think like a brain. If the brains big aim in life is to stay safe to me, it seems like madness to go with the no pain no gain philosophy. I like to use the ‘nudge your comfort zone’ approach. It’s by nudging the edge of your comfort zone where the magic happens. What do you mean Elle?
Let me give you an example that I see all the time in the gym. Lets take the common all garden sit up. By using the ‘no pain no gain’ theory you see people either going really fast to complete the exercise or doing way too many for what their body is happily capable of doing. Take a look next time you’re in the gym, or even better have a go on the floor now. With ‘no pain, no gain’ you are going through the motions until you feel like you can’t do anymore. But wait a minute, look closely at the person and you can spot some great cheats their body is doing to try and carry out the exercise. You might see: the beetroot face as they hold their breath, shoulders coming up to try and get some false strength, lower back arching to jam up the joints to support the back, head straining forward like a constipated turtle, toes curling up to grip the ground to counter act the weight of the upper body coming up, hoofting themselves up with momentum the list goes on. Where as if you apply the ‘nudge the comfort zone’ theory you have to listen to the subtle ques of your body like: how are you breathing? From the chest or from the centre cylinder of your body? Do you feel connected around the obliques – the muscle linking the ribcage to pelvis? Can you keep your feet relaxed and soft on the floor? Are your hamstrings and calves relaxed? If these are the case you are good to keep going. You are nudging when you get to the point just before any of the above start to falter. This is where the magic is happening the body is stretching out of its old comfort zone into a new comfort zone allowing it to grow.
How does this apply to you in everyday life? Take a fad diet. They are often hard work for a short time, you will probably loose weight but it is not sustainable and often you end up putting more weight on than when you started. If you make better choices with the food you eat and the times you eat and these compounded together are constantly nudging your comfort zone. This becomes you way of life and the weight stays off.
I love nudging a comfort zone because it works for all areas of life. It’s a top golden rule of mine!