By Zach Columbia BS NASM FPT
Meta-Cognition is awareness and understanding of one’s own thought processes.
As creatures of habit, it becomes very easy for us to go about our daily routines thinking the same thoughts as the day before and experiencing the same emotions. Unless something drastically out of the norm happens to us, what we think and what we feel never seems to change day to day. Think back. What were you doing at this very moment exactly one week ago? Odds are you don’t remember. In fact, odds are you don’t remember what you were doing at this very moment yesterday. Our thoughts and feelings have been preprogrammed based on our personal experiences. We wake up knowing what to expect for the day based on what happened the previous day and as such, our bodies experience the same emotions. Essentially, our thought process and resulting emotions are a predesigned matrix we’ve personally created.
Meta Cognition is simply being aware of the thoughts that come into our heads. The more aware we are, the less likely we are to let a thought pass through undetected. Since what we think directly impacts how we feel, our awareness gives us a chance to be present in the moment and identify negative thoughts without them affecting our physiology or behavior.
While it takes a tremendous amount of effort and practice, the process of being Meta-cognizant is truly the foundation to rewiring the brain and creating real lasting behavioral change. Since our minds and our bodies are truly one in the same; meaning what you think is what you feel and what you feel is what you think, FOCUSING ON BOTH THE BODY AND THE MIND IS ESSENTIAL FOR CREATING CHANGE.
Dr. Joe Dispenza states, “If we can turn on the stress response by thought alone, then our thoughts can literally make us sick. But if your thoughts could make you sick, is it possible that your thoughts could make you well?” Working out creates a strong foundation for mind-body connection and makes us more resilient to negative outside factors. However, even the most avid fitness enthusiasts experience stress, feelings of doubt, irritability, and other negatives. If what Dr Dispenza says is true, then these are not just thoughts; they are physiologic emotions that carry hormonal and chemical reactions in the body. If we have thoughts telling ourselves we’re not good enough, or smart enough, or are incapable of resisting sweets, or that we’ll never lose weight, those thoughts are literally creating our environmental reality. Likewise, as silly as it sounds, if we think positive thoughts, we’re able to create the positive reality we want.
Of course, simply saying you want to think positive thoughts is not enough, especially if you’ve been experiencing negative thoughts and emotions for years. Rewiring your brain to think positively, requires the same effort as working out takes to strengthen your muscles. It requires repetitive practice and consistency. It is our belief at Pulse Fitness that practicing mindfulness is the key to accomplishing your goals and that doesn’t just apply to fitness goals. It’s our belief that meta cognition is the critical link most people are missing that prevents them from changing their behavior, attracting the things they want in their lives, and having an overall sense of wellbeing.
So how then does someone begin rewiring their brains and practice meta-cognition?
While there are numerous techniques, The Team at Pulse has created our own. We’re excited to announce that beginning in January 2021, we’re introducing Meta Mindset Wednesdays.
This new Wednesday format is designed to incorporate mindfulness and behavioral change coaching into our fitness program, as well as mobility work and community support.
The new Wednesday structure will include a 25 minute HIIT Style workout, followed by breathwork, stretching/soft tissue work and meta-cognitive work with a different behavior change focus each week.