February 21, 2016
One thing that has been ringing through my ears during this 21-day transformation is “Garbage in, garbage out.” Obviously, if you are taking in nutritionally poor food, you will be wearing that garbage out in the future in the form of excess weight, acne, etc. But, what about the garbage and negative self-talk that you are polluting your thoughts with?
The negative, self-depreciating thoughts are the “garbage in” part of the equation. The “garbage out” part is the way that your body responds to these negative thoughts like the craving of sugary comfort, or the lack of motivation to exercise, etc. Even confident, independent and strong women still catch themselves in the negative thoughts cycle.
So, how do you halt these patterns? How do you stop your “garbage in, garbage out” behaviors? Well since starting this transformation, I have been testing many possible ways, and here are my top 3.
- Be your own best friend — We wouldn’t let anyone speak to our best friend the way that we often talk to ourselves. Instead, we would build her up, right? So start with what would you tell your best friend – a.k.a. you – to lift her up. What do you appreciate most about her? Start raving about the positive aspects that make you who you are, and you will begin to replace the negative internal chatter with gratitude.
- Meditate — By dedicating a slice of time to myself, I found the days that I started with a meditation finished with fewer self doubts and negative thoughts. There’s power in starting your day in peace and positivity. That being said, I will be the first to tell you that this is so much harder than it looks. My best tip is to try setting a timer for 10, 15 or 20 minutes on your phone or download a guided meditation. By not worrying about the clock, you allow yourself one less distraction, and you won’t worry about time.
- Keep a negative thoughts card — Write down 2-3 negative or hurtful things that you catch yourself thinking on an index card and keep it in your pocket, wallet, planner or even on your phone for a week or so. Every time that you catch yourself speaking negatively, pull out that card — the physical action is key. Then put it away. The strategy is that you will have to take the time to acknowledge that you are negatively thinking about yourself by pulling out the card, so you will bring awareness to your negative inner dialogue which often goes unnoticed.
If I have learned anything about myself in the last few years, it’s this: I didn’t come with an instruction manual. So remember to keep an open mind because what works for you might not be what you expect. And finally, be kind to yourself – especially when you are doing the best you can.