You might have noticed that I have been quiet for a while. No blogs, no Instagram, and a couple of Facebook posts that are not always relevant to my work. And to those of you that might have noticed and wondered why (thank you), I will tell you. For months now, we have been surrounded with news of Covid-19, job loss, economic devastation, financial ruin and the emotional spin offs of this –fear, anxiety, depression, insomnia, overeating, under-eating, uncertainty to name just a few behaviours and emotions. But then added to this, we have had the political unrest as a result of the intense racism and injustice in the world. And whilst this has been there for so long, at the moment it is pretty hard to bury our heads and pretend we can ignore it. Now this is not a political forum for us to debate this notion of racism, but it certainly is an opportunity for me to use it as an example of how, whenever we try to ignore something, or put a Bandaid over something, it doesn’t make it go away. Somehow or other, it has an uncanny way of still making itself heard.
As Einstein said, “You can’t solve a problem with the same thinking that created it.” He was right. Doing the same old, with the same old thinking will bring about the same old results. With many of you out there feeling this sense of overwhelm, stress, uncertainty and trepidation trying to focus on new diets, new exercise regimes and setting unrealistic goals is only setting you up for limited success or worse. Take a step back, a deep breath in, slow breath out before you react to my words. I am not saying give up, tuck into the not so healthy stuff and become a permanent couch potato. What I am saying is that when you are in this fight-flight survival brain, your brain is wired for fighting off that sabre tooth tiger and wired to think in the negative. Your body is brilliant, it is geared to lead you away from danger or pain, towards safety and pleasure. It is this automatic neurological system that is impeding your good intentions.
How about for now, you simply begin to just notice your thoughts. Pause. Just a second to ask yourself, are those thoughts true?
I could spend the next few minutes educating you on what you should and shouldn’t do and give you a list of rules to follow but then I would simply be adding to this already heightened fight-flight response. So I am not asking you to stop trying to trick your brain and mind into submission or silence. How about for now, you simply begin to just notice your thoughts. Pause. Just a second to ask yourself, are those thoughts true? Does this thought serve me? Or does it bring me down? Could I have a better thought? You are not your thoughts. Thoughts are just thoughts. Thoughts come and go, they are transient.
Your inner voice, your inner critic is not your friend. It doesn’t support you and neither does it have your best interests at heart. So, trying to ignore this voice will not make it go away, but rather, will make its voice louder. Where thought goes energy goes. Use your energy wisely. Put your energy into lifting yourself up not bringing yourself down. Put your energy into showing some compassion to yourself. Change your thoughts, change your actions and so change your outcomes. Your actions and your habits become your lifestyle…. But the healthy ones come only when we learn to show yourself compassion and self -love.