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The Smiling Mind Podcast
The Smiling Mind Podcast

Season 1, Episode 7 · 2 years ago

Let's get physical with Luke Hines and Michael Inglis

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

We all know we should exercise, we all know we should eat well. Move your body, get those endorphins pumping and eat your greens. But the human brain is far more complicated than that. This episode of Thrive Inside is about physical health. Smiling Mind’s CEO Dr Addie Wootten interviews sports psychologist Michael Inglis and celebrity chef Luke Hines on the psychology behind motivation, growth mindset, and the relationship between the mental and physical wellbeing. For more resources on how to Thrive Inside your mind, head to the Smiling Mind website or download our leading app. This podcast was produced by Elsa Silberstein.

Hi, I'm Dr Addie Watton, a clinical psychologist and CEO of smiling mind thrive. Inside, is our podcast series where I interview experts and wellknown Australians about keeping mentally well and understanding our mental health in the midst of an uncertain world. Today I'm talking about physical health. We all know we should exercise, we all know we should eat well, move our body, get those endorphins pumping and eat your Greens, but the human brain is far more complicated than that. The impact of coronavirus was a harsh shot to our system. We lost our routine, our sports clubs, our social lives and some of us are income. It's not as simple as doing what we know we should be doing, and that's why I want to talk to Michael Inglis. He's a sports and performance psychologist who works with athletes, coaches and teams, with a focus on building up mental strength in order to reach our physical goals. Today we're going to talk about motivation, what a growth mindset means and the physiological impacts of exercise on the brain. Celebrity share flu kinds is also coming on for a chat about his personal relationship with food, working out and mental illness. A number of different things kind of happened that always would bring feelings of anxiety kind of to the forefront, and then I've noticed in adult life now that food and exercise are the best for me when it comes to managing those feelings. Now for my conversation with Michael Inglis So, Michael, thank you so much for joining us on our thrive inside podcast. Can you talk to me a little bit about your thinking around how mental health and physical health do work together, like how connected are they? Yeah, that will connected. It's a it's a bidirectional relationship. So where we do something physical get impacts our mind, whenever we do something psychological, obviously has some effects in the body and both they can be both positive and negative, course, depending on what we do or how we think or power respond to ourselves. So during times of really high stress, for example, like you know earlier this year when the bush fires hit us, what would be your advice around prioritizing physical exercise, because it's easy, I think, in times of lots of change, when things are happening like we've just experience at it, sometimes physical exercise and kind of go out the window and and it can be an easy thing to put us push aside. Yeah, interesting, because I think you hear a lot about you know when the right time to start or wins the winds of priority. And let's be like the meditation work, when people always say that they're they're too busy to meditate or practice. Mikepness have been gene with my said my rule of thumb is in double list, you know, and I think it's a little bit similar physical exercise as well. If you see, it is an important part of your health and wellbeing structure with a big physically psychologically you're both. Then to me it's something that we operated all times, whether we're on holidays and relaxed or we are UN distress and they some timeouts or whatever they might be. So I think the idea of mental fitness and providing health and well being routines and the fact that we do things regularly in our route routing because we prioritize it. But when we have space or not, we have time or not, what I haven't slept well for two nights. At the time, when people struggle to exercise, I'll say that their lathargic and don't have energy and so on so forth, and most of the time they won't feel better for a while when they begin. So it's best to going the next one of ten days or two weeks it's actually any more difficult, but after that you'll start feeling more, much more energized. And then you get the other end of the scale where people exercise all the time and when they stop they almost have a bubbling over energy that kind of looks like anxiety to them, you know, naturally wanting to expand that kind of overfill the energy that they have. So if yours talking to someone...

...or someone's listening that you know really you know just doesn't have the motivation that it's really hard to get out and bring exercise into into their life, where do you start? How do you have where would you recommend that someone starts if they're finding it really hard? Yeah, I think it's obviously going back to before about control being force. So what do they feel like? What's going to motivate them? So what's their why? So why are they why they choosing to do this and what is it that they want to achieve? So and let them feeling like they're choosing what that might be, so they could ever since again of autonomy, they've also got a sense that they're competitive in it. They need to feel knowing that they can do it. A lot of the biggest restrictions people have he's I go, I won't be able to do that. So competency is important. I have certainly have had that experience that when I'm at the gym and I look at a piece of equipment, I think I have no idea how to use that, I'm going to be hopeless, I'm not even going to try. It's it's a big, strong predictor of me not not giving things a go for sure. And it's quite funny how often here people say and it's actually the interest because I say it is part of when I was going through my studies, all a personal trainer, which is kind of interesting. So I going to be inside of this as going to my sports like training. So I was this sort of first hand, which is great psychological and physical experience. That point it's time. But then one thing I heard was yell, I'll go and I'll go and join a personal training when I get fish. So that is idea that to have some sort of fitness would to qualify for that. Yeah, that's interesting. So actually looking at what? What's my own personal motivation? Why? Why do I want to exercise? Is it because someone told me to or I think I should be doing it, or is it actually something that is is put is meaningful for me and my life? I think that's a really interesting way of looking at it because that, you know, in this world where we're constantly, you know, looking at social media or comparing ourselves to other people, it's really easy to get sucked into that thinking of will, you know, I should be doing it, I should be eating the best, you know, organic food, and I should be exercising all the time. So it sounds like your recommendation is to forget about all of that and to figure out what is right for you and why you want to do it. Well, that's right. So if you see as you the word should, it's a it becomes a come from a very guilt late and place, meaning it's the only reason you're doing it is because you feeling the emotion of guilt, which won't last very long. That's a that's a small motivator. We actually find that to satisfies and empowers you. That's going to last a long that's really interesting. You've done a lot of work with elite athletes who are, you know, at the peak of their physical game. Does the same apply there? What have you learned from working with with those types of people? The thing to send out to me the most is like the increased drive and motivation and competitives that they have, like they just so highly been driven people. You know, there's also a lot of myths about them as well. In terms of the day they are something very different to the everyday population because by my observation, I would the ideal in the psychological world. But they still have the same anxieties and self doubt, they still have the difficult thoughts and emotions that they need to overcome. They still have challenges and setbacks along the way. But there what's interesting about them is they can recover and they can cope and they use these experiences as a tool to go to the next level and try some very growth mindset. I guess I would respond in that way. So the elite athletes don't have the same social comparison with other people, so they're cously looking for a better version of themselves and not worried about what other people are doing. So the examples that they're always the ones that are training when people are watching, for example, or they're not concerned or worried by the people success of days, just kind of really focus on their own. HMM, yeah, that's really interesting that. How do you face the non elite athletes listening, myself included. How would we...

...cultivate a growth mindset, all that ability to sit with uncomfortable feelings? Like how did we? How do we grow that skill? Okay, could, we will. Let's use you while we're here, because I've most of the time you to be your you kind of. I think you preferred yourself. You're downplayed your physical ability. So I can hear a bit of fixed mindset as you're asking the question. So it's quite simple as what if this is your where you are now is your starting point or with your marker in the road. So think about where would you like to get to next? It doesn't have to be too long term, but think of yourself here. What would you like to achieve next in your next asking asking me a question, or or what would I like to achieve? I would like to be much more flexible. Okay, might be particular Yoga Pos or mobility test, because the ways like well, I'm the beginning. I'm not going to get to that. Wrong, not of that now, and so that can feel very demoralizing. But it's like what can I improve? Well, yes, call a little bit better. Yes, and if I practice is how many times a week, then yes, yeah, yeah, it's about putting ourselves out there and and not going too far potentially, like for me, if I was saying it to run a marathon and I want to do that in the next couple of weeks, I probably just decide that that was too hard and stop practicing. But yeah, so putting yourself out there, but doing it in a way that actually builds our confidence rather than and tests out with you know what we need to work on. Yeah, it should feel a little bit scary, but knowing that you can do it if you work towards it. So it's that kind of committed action piece of well, am I prepared to be three, four, five times a week to attain that? Yeah, yeah, that's great. So it sounds like, you know, motivation, finding that personal driver for yourself is really important, but then also being honest with yourself and pushing yourself a little bit enough to keep that motivation going. Yeah, treat yourself where you want to be, not where you currently are. You know. Yeah, really interesting. We are running out of time. It's been great to talk to you. I am asking everybody that I speak to three questions. What are you reading, what are you watching and what are you cooking at the moment? Who? Okay, I well, let's go the first one of my reading. Well, I'm actually supervising a student right now for the just reaching for the book in front of me. And who wants to be in him? You want to be an expert in acting performance for reading this together as a supervisor and Supervis A. It's a Steve Hays Act book. It's kind of the people, say, the practitioners out there for a very not everyone would like to read it. It's a nice one where it's got good theory and good practice in there as well. Yeah, wow, so accents for acceptance and commitment therapy, so therapeutic can ferage. Yeah, awesome. It's a bit of a wave. Now that's been used in performance settings and sport. The believe athletes as well, and it can be used exercise. You know, if you go to that kind of values driven behavior that we touched on before. Yes, a lot of upside there. What am I watching? Still going through. It sounds horrible because I know people be way ahead of this, but the last dance, which is both, you know, for the NBA basket fans out there, I'm really go on halfway through and he's such a and he is the epitome of a growth mind sest. So yeah, it's criminal that I haven't caught up on that one. What am I cooking? Couple of things in season. I love my soup, so always go towards the tie Pumpkin soap and a red little soup. So that's really hard key soups. But also between two of my kid's birthday so I'll make a lot of cakes. Fun. It's really interesting to talk to you. I think it we can't underestimate that connection between our physical body and our mental health and our mind. I think you've really helped me understand how the two are connected and also how we can practically coach ourselves and and support ourselves to navigate through, you know,...

...into into new areas. I think that idea of following our values and our motivations and drives and also thinking about growth mindset is a really interesting approach to physical wellbeing as well, so thank you for your time. That's okay. Thanks you for having me thrive inside. The podcast series has always been about our community and smiling mind. We wanted to reach out to those who were grappling with the disruption that coronavirus brought into our lives and have conversations about carving out some calm amongst the chaos. Here are some of the messages left on our pod phone this week. Hi, this is Gina. Working from home has meant and a lot of stress on my body from sitting down flarching over from the computer, and one way I've been able to overcome this is by setting myself regular alarms to remind me to get up and walk around and stretch. Hello, my name is rupert. I have actually found that during this time, I've had a bit more time to exercise. I ended up just using that extra time to go for a few more runs, which it really sort of brings you as the moment, I suppose. I know that my brother and my mom both run with headphones in, but that idea sounds ridiculous to me, because I quite like getting into a rhythm and just paying attention to each step. It's time of my chat with Luke Hinds Lucas, a celebrity chef, best selling author of a range of cookbooks and a huge advocate for healthy lifestyle. But Luke story goes much deeper than his ten good looks on his instagram page. He's been through bouts of depression and anxiety and he's learnt that physical health and mental wellbeing go hand in hand. All right, luke, welcome to thrive inside. Thanks so much for joining us on our podcast this week. Thank you for having me. It's always enjoy to talk about all aspects of health. A lot of people know me, I guess, from food and exercise, but I feel like today we're going to be able to touch on some very, very important aspects of health. Cell to Holi stick viewed. Yeah, definitely, we're really came to dig into that connection between health and fitness and food and mental health and wellbeing as well, because I think, you know, the more people I talk to, the more complex I think mental health becomes for me, but also the the importance between all of those aspects of our lives. Sometimes we think about them quite separately and disconnected, but I obviously they're all connected. What have you been doing to keep mentally and physically healthy and well. Well, I'll start off by saying I first wish that I was like able to say to you are it was a breeze. I really changed my life and I adapted because it would be a complete lie. I think there's a lot of people who might look at my social media or see me doing what I do on TV, but the first to maybe even four weeks, I felt like I was in a state of grieving. I was literally grieving the life I knew. There was certain things and changes which happened, career wise, lifestyle, travel, but that's all quite on the surface. What felt inside was a feeling of loss and there was a distinct moment I was in Melbourne and I was flying back to Sydney on my way home from work, and the airline lounge had just been told that you need to close all doors, that this is it and this is probably the last day of normal flights, and I remember I sat on that plane and I looked out the window and I just this full on load of emotion and I just burst out crying and I spent this flight...

...from Meldna Sydney balling my eyes out. I built my identity around all these different things which had kind of come crashing down around me. So, I'm not going to lie, adjusting to COVID was a big adjustment and I feel like now there's still days where I'm getting used to it, but we're on the other side, which is incredible. Yeah, absolutely, I you're I don't think you're alone at all. I think, and in lots of different levels and intensities, people of expressed that to me. So you know that sense of for some people it's just this underlying neggerly weird feeling and for other people it's that over loss and grief that you describe, which is really interesting. But I you know, I think all of us, in lots of different ways, have have had to let go of some of the things that we really love and we cherish, and you know, that feed into who we are as people. And I'm wondering how your relationship with food and exercise has impacted on your mental health, like over over time and whether, yeah, what what do you do like? How did it? How do you look after yourself and what have you learned from those experiences in terms of what you need to do to look after yourself? Yeah, it's a good question. For me, from a very young age, I became aware of what mental health was when I was in primary school, heading into high school. I remember one afternoon my parents said we're heading somewhere this afternoon. It's very important that we go, and remember the drive from school that afternoon all the way to Oakley and Melbourne, and it was actually to see a psychiatrist. Now, at that age I didn't know what a psychiatrist was and I also didn't really understand why until we were sitting in that room with my parents. My Mom and my dad were there, so I knew something must have been up. And then there was a doctor who started to ask some leading questions, I guess, about how often I was washing my hands and what type of strict rules I was giving myself in regards to using the toilet, cleanliness, behavior at home, behavior at school. And it was then that I learnt that I was living with obsessive compulsive disorder. So I had OCD and that was being reflected in lots of my behavior and until I kind of talked about it, I didn't quite know to the level that I was repeating certain actions or focusing and being obsessed on cleanliness for such a high level of cleanliness at that age, and I work with that doctor on that and I remember there was an opportunity where we got to a point where he said we've probably got a few different angles here. We could look at some lifestyle factors that we could change to try to look at this, or we could go down maybe some medication. And I don't think there's anything wrong with medication whatsoever and I think it's got its place absolutely, but at that age for me personally, I really wanted to look at all avenues possible so that that wasn't my crutch. I knew medication was there, but I knew there was some things I could implement the which might benefit me whether I went down medication route or not. That was another conversation. But what could I do before just jumping straight to that opportunity? And it came down to food and exercise. So I was an overweight kid. My nickname was Buddha. People used to rub my big tummy for good luck and I remember I know I needed to make a change in regards to my confidence my self esteem, and as soon as I started eating well and exercising a little bit, I noticed my obsession with the obsessive compulsive behavior actually started to lessen, and then I learned that through being healthier, eating well and moving my body, I actually started to manage ocd so that there was absolutely no signs of me kind of living with that anymore, which was really fantastic. But I wouldn't say that that's the end of my kind of mental health journey. Throughout my life. I feel like...

...a number of different factors growing up, adolescence, sexuality and number of different things kind of happened that always would bring feelings of anxiety kind of to the forefront. And then I've noticed in adult life now that food, food and exercise are the best for me when it comes to managing those feelings of anxiety or feelings of low, being quite low or depressed. Wow. So what do you think happens for you? How does eating well, moving your body, how does that impact on your feelings and emotions and and how you think about yourself? The best way would probably be to describe if I am feeling really anxious or depressed, I feel empty or I feel really blank, and I'm if I'm really low. With that level of feeling blank, it's almost like Huh. Well, that's how I feel. That's just I've got nothing left of just feel like there's no fire inside my belly. So the minute I start moving or a minute I engage with healthy food, it shifts without having to try too much, which is really great, because I could there's two choices there. I could sit in wallow in that feeling, and sometimes that feeling can be addictive for people, is to feeling low and be in that moment. But I learned very quickly that if I'm feeling flat and I'm feeling blank and feeling a bit empty, get up, move and eat well, and it completely changed the trajectory of any of those feelings. And and some something I often feel is anxious about certain things, and I've noticed mindfulness that's when it really comes in. So I say I don't practice mindfulness because I don't practice it just every day when I know it's something that would benefit from me. But if I'm sitting in my car and I'm feeling like my breath is a little out of control and I'm feeling really anxious and I can feel my heart racing, even if it's two minutes of putting everything down and sitting there, connecting back with my breath and being mindful in that moment. It completely brings me back to a feeling of being rational, calm and able to tackle what's next. Yeah, it's so. It's overlated, isn't it? Everything that we do? Yeah, and being aware of that, I suppose, gives us an opportunity to to to make decisions rather than react to things. Yeah, can you tell me a little bit about the mindset stuff. Does my weight does? Does mindfuls fit into your life where? How do you use mindfulness? If you do, how well? You're looking at a self confessed crap mindfulness person. I talk about it, I know how incredibly good it is for you. I have experienced the benefits first hand when I actually do it. Do you think I do it enough, or do you think it's something that I focus on as a priority? Absolutely not, and I say that because I feel like a lot of other people are in the same boat. I feel like there's a lot of people who know the benefits, how have experienced the benefits, but for some reason there's this invisible wall that, no matter what's going on, you know something could be better. If you make a change, you know something's going to be better if you implement that mindfulness. But I don't know, for some people I feel like I hold this back a little bit. Do you think it's the expectation? Yeah, I think there might be a bit of an expectation. I also think the moment I realized what mindfulness actually was and how simple it was, the moment I started to do it, and now it's a case of, okay, I know this is good for me and I want to do it more often. I think it's for me it's about being in that present moment, connecting to your breath and allowing thoughts to come in and out of your mind freely, without feelings of control or without trying to manifest anything in...

...particular. I think if someone said to me a few years ago be mindful, I might have been trying to almost give myself positive managehows or to create thoughts. And now I realize for me mindfulness is being a peace in that moment and being in the present moment and being truly connected to that moment and being mindful of the breath coming in and out of my body. And there will be thoughts that come in that are uncomfortable and they'll be feelings of discomfort at times and it's not about trying to block those, it's about receiving them and allowing them to move on and work through that progress. Yeah, that's really good advice. I think being aware of your the drivers and the triggers and the things that motivate you in that space is really important. Yeah, you've been so open about your experience. It sounds to me like getting to know yourself and learning what helps you to feel good has been a really important part of your life, and and exercise and moving and getting to know your body and and eating well has been a really important part of that. What have you loved cooking or eating over this time? I think that lots of people of have like reinvigorated their love and passion for food over this lockdown period. I'd love to hear what you're what have you been cooking? Well, I'm trying to mix it up. I and someone in every book and in everything I do I'm always trip telling people to eat different fruits and vegis and eat the rainbow for gut health, and it's something that's easy for me to say in a cooking demo but probably harder to implement when I'm just busy and on the run and want to go to my go to recipes, which I just know are tried and true and I can put it on the plate in no time at all. So, with this extra time, it's been fun to explore. I've been road testing when next book. I've been cooking and testing different recipes and with that comes different ingredients, it's different techniques and also, I'm a sweet tooth, but a healthy sweet tooth, and usually healthy and raw desserts require a bit of blending and setting something in the freezer and a bit of blending something else and setting that layer, like raw cheesecakes and whatnot. They're usually a little bit time heavy because you're like doing all these different elements. Well, there's no excuse. So I've been making a hell of a lot of healthy desserts that are all living in the freezer now trying not to be eaten. Yum. Where we are, coming to the end of our time. I'm I'm asking everyone that I told you three questions. I've already asked you one. What are you cooking? What are you reading and what are you watching? Very, very good. I'm reading travel articles and travel blogs. I have always been obsessed with all elements of travel, whether it's the aircraft experience to incredible hotels around the world and then, of course, adventurous destinations. And because we're not getting that hit at the moment, I find that that's what I'm consuming. I'm reading about travel, I'm reading travel journals, I'm reading about potential places to explore, but not just like Ila, London, New York. I'd that I'm not reading about that. I'm trying to read about really different, diverse places that I probably can't even pronounce and that I'm not even reading correctly, but for me that is really cool to get an idea of. When these lists I'm ready and I'm ready to explore and live. And if there's anything that lockdown does, it makes you appreciative of what we had before, which was that ability to jump on a plane and go where you can. Yeah, sounds like you're traveling, traveling with your imagination at the moment, which is pretty awesome. I am absolutely and I've always been someone who reads kind of nonfiction. When it comes to reading, like I love a story, but that's what the TV's for. I read a lot of real stuff and then and save the rest for the movies and the TV. Say, speaking about yeah, what am I watching? What are no watching? I'm up for anything, but I've actually really enjoyed watching killing eve at the month. Yeah, I'm a little...

...bit late to the killing Eve bandwagon, but nothing like finishing all my other shows to then discover new ones and it's it's interesting. The one thing I'll stay about watching killing eve is that there's moments of feeling nervous, anxious, a bit of a thriller, but then in just a moment your crack up laughing and think, what the hell, this is the weirdest thing I've ever seen, and I think that's good. It just takes you through a ride, like like life. It is a roller coaster of emotions. I've been loving that. I agree. It's riveting. Thank you, Luke, for your time. It's really it's great to talk to someone and to learn about, you know, the person that sits behind what we might see, as you know, through social media or TV or your cookbooks, and they are, you know, they're amazing, Beautiful Hook books, but it's really nice to get an insight into how you actually look after yourself. And I'm sure people listening will have learned a lot and there's a lot to take away there. So thank you. This is the last episode of thrive inside. Thank you so much for tuning in and listening to our podcast. I hope you learned something new and took away a few things that you can do in your everyday life. If you haven't listened to all our episodes, I'd really encourage you to go back and have a listen. You can hear how mindfulness decreases the aging process in episode one, the Amidala distresser. It gets bigger and more reactive. We literally damage really important errors of everruary how work can dictate your own self worth in episode two. I had been relying on that job to define what I thought I was going to become next, and many other lessons and experiences with our amazing guests in the other episodes. My name is Addie Wootton. It's been a real pleasure exploring mindfulness and mental health amongst the chaos with you. I want to share one more thing before I go. As we've discussed in this episode, taking care of our mental health through mindfulness is really important for our physical health. You can find hundreds of free meditations in the smiling mind APP if you're new to meditation, try the body scan meditation in our Mindfulness Foundations Program.

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