How Does the Mind Influence the Body?

Have you ever wondered how much does the mind influence the body? At least one subscriber did, and she asked me to write about that topic.



The short answer is “a lot.”

Why? Because the nervous system (which consists of the brain and spinal cord) is really the master control system of the body. It controls your muscles, which control your bones. It also controls your hormones. So anything that happens in the mind can have serious implications on the body.


Your desire plays a tremendous role in your ability to achieve a certain goal.

For example, let’s say that your goal is to lose some fat, and look like a figure competitor (like maybe Jamie Eason). When you think about that, are your thoughts very vivid? Can you not only picture what it would be like, but also feel what it would be like to have that type of body?

One of the biggest predictors of whether you will achieve a goal or not is how strong your desire is. The key, however isn’t just a desire, but a sustained desire. What do I mean by that? Very often, we are inspired for a moment, maybe a day, maybe even a week. But eventually that inspiration fades. If your desire stays with you (or even grows) for a prolonged period of time, you are much more likely to reach your goals.

There is a caveat though. You may have two conflicting desires. Your desire to have the body of a fitness competitor may be strong, but your desire to eat cookies may be just as strong.

Fortunately, there are some ways to strengthen your desire for a particular goal. One way to do it is to simply ask yourself “why is that important to me?” Most likely, you will have a generic answer like “I want to be fit.” If that’s the case, ask the question again “and why is that important to me?” You’ll give an answer that’s a bit more specific and personal. Continue asking the same question until you reach an answer that really grabs you. That makes you feel something.

As a suggestion, it’s much better to have someone else ask you these questions, because when asking yourself, you often don’t dig deep enough. Have someone whom you trust, who is nonjudgmental ask you these questions.

If you find that despite all the digging deep in the world, you don’t feel a strong enough emotion, then that goal may just not be worthwhile enough for you. It might be better to focus on other things.


Desire, however, is just not enough. You not only have to want something, but have the confidence that you’re able to do it. Here’s an example: you may know that you want the body of a certain actor. You want it really badly, you have a very compelling reason to want it, but you have lots of excuses ready to go why you can’t achieve it.

“Oh, but the actress is in her 30s and I’m in my 40s.” Or “it’s her livelihood to look good, and I’m a mother of three girls.”

If you don’t have the confidence to achiever your goal, you won’t achieve your goal. Fortunately, there are ways to build confidence.

A very simple way to do it is to ask yourself “what other mother of three children, who is in her 40s, and has a full-time desk job has achieved the same goals as me?” If you don’t know someone like that personally, ask your friends, go on the internet, or do whatever you have to do to find someone like that. It gives you confidence that if she can do it, then so can I.

Another great way to build confidence is to break your goal down into much smaller chunks. When you achieve a small goal, reward yourself (and no, not with chocolate cake. Vanilla cake is better. Just kidding). Each time you reach a new milestone, have a reward. Why does this build confidence? Because confidence comes from competence.


You need a history of successes to feel confident.


But a history of successes is not enough. These successes need to be related to your goal. For example, a person who is a very successful financial advisor might have great confidence in their ability to give financial advice. But if he never ran a marathon, would he have confidence that he could run a marathon? Doubtful. Now if that same financial advisor started training and first ran a mile. Then a 5K. Then a 10K. Then a half marathon. Would he have confidence that he could run a marathon? Absolutely. Same with you. You need to build small successes that lead up to your goal


Short Summary


  • The mind most definitely influences the body.
  • To achieve your goals, you need both:
    • Desire
    • Confidence
  • To develop your desire, simply state your goal, and ask “why is that important to me?”
    • Keep asking that until you reach an answer that makes you feel something.
  • To develop your confidence:
    • Find someone in the same situation as you who achieved what you want to achieve
    • Break down a large goal into smaller goals. Competence breeds confidence.

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Do you have any questions?


Email me, and I’d be happy to answer them.


Until next week,




1 thought on “How Does the Mind Influence the Body?”

  1. Loved this article and how it dug deeper into the reasons behind what we do and why we do it. Or why we don’t do it! Thanks!

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