What you say to yourself matters

Take a moment to think back over the last day. If you can, write down a few things that you have repeatedly told yourself about yourself. Is what you are saying to yourself something you would say to a loved one? If it isn’t, let’s talk a little bit more, shall we?

Often as children we were raised by caregivers who tried to motivate us to be better people by “talking down to us.” Harsh judgments were probably doled out more than kisses on tear-stained cheeks.

In our tender youth, we believed what these caregivers told us about ourselves. We believed them. We accepted what they said, and we internalized it. While our caregivers may have passed on or are no longer saying such harsh things to us, we play their voices back in our heads – sometimes we can recall the incidents and the person, sometimes we’ve just carried on the words. So now I ask, how is this serving you to continue this ritual of punishment?

Habits take focus and commitment to change. When we replace one habit with another, it can be easier to change. What words would you use to comfort a friend who has made a mistake? who has had a bad day? who is having difficulty with motivation? who feels sad over a heartbreak? who feels fat?

Negative self-talk creates within our minds and our bodies a war zone. When we attack ourselves we are both the predator and the prey. Our bodies release hormones to help us to survive through “fight, flight or freezing” Blood sugar levels are elevated to supply our bodies’ muscles with fuel to fight or flee. Blood pressure levels increase to supply muscles with oxygen, as such our breathing pace quickens. Our minds become reactive instead of responsive. We most likely become more sensitive to what others say or do.

We are changing our bodies’ chemistry just by the way that we talk to ourselves. The challenge is that in this scenario, where do we go? We cannot escape nor physically battle ourselves. Meanwhile we’re “stewing” in a cocktail of hormones that are ready for war. To change this scenario, we start by recognizing the things we say to ourselves that are harmful. Then we replace those words with new ones that support us and keep us calm. This helps us to think more clearly and also to receive the words of others more openly.

If someone in your present day life is perpetuating this negative self-talk, then you may begin to ask yourself some different questions. Do I stay or do I go? If I cannot go, then how can I shield myself against their negativity? How can I treat myself better, so as to not be as vulnerable?

I urge you to stop repeating history. Stop telling yourself the damaging things that others have said to you about you. Put no more energy into their negativity. Change the tides. Starting now. You cannot control what was said to you so long ago, yet you can control and change what you do with it now.

Recognize the negative self-talk.
Replace these words with new, supportive ones.
Show yourself the love & compassion you show to others when in pain.
Put down the mental whip. Pick yourself up and try again.
Rinse & repeat.

Namaste.

Further reading:
Come as you are Emily Nagoski, PhD
Cortisol — Its Role in Stress, Inflammation, and Indications for Diet Therapy

Image: Pintrest Ophelia Drowning

Life Changes: Turning Over a New Leaf

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The energy of Autumn heralds change, particularly letting go of that which no longer serves us. As trees release their leaves and needles, we can follow suit and shed the things in our lives that have run their course,  having served their purpose.

Meditation, mantras,  prayers and intentions to change can help us to break habits and patterns that no longer work. As we cannot hold onto the old when we want to grasp the new, shedding is important to help us to propel forward.

Generally,  it’s easier to choose one or two things to change at a time.

Gathering support from others can help to support us in our endeavors.

Remember, just as with any new skill changing a pattern takes practice.  (We all fell many times before we learned to walk, so keep at it.)

What has been “talking to you” that’s ready to shed? Let’s all go forth into the new; turn over a new leaf!

Namaste.

Photo by Salvatore Vuono at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

New Dawn

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The old habits were creeping back in.
Inch by inch,
they started crowding the garden.
Sun blocked.
Clothes getting tight.
Ode to the muffin top.

When feeling low,
irony returns,
bad habits creep back in.
Nihilistic, self-destructive.
Feeding on the bad.
Out of focus.

Consume to feel fulfilled.
Pour something into the void.
Emptiness inside.
Broken.
Hurt.
Lonely.

Amazing how feeling not
enough leads to gaining weight.
Packing on pounds to “have more,”
and fill oneself up.
Eating more when not enough.
Self-protective and destructive, all at once.

Stop the presses.
Where did we derail?
Getting back on track.
Self-care.
Yes,  there’s enough time.
5 minutes to juice.  You’ve got this!

Pulling weeds.
Taking stock.
Blocked Facebook mobile (again).
Return to fresh veggies (again).
Meditating twice per day (new dawn).
Writing more (again).

Working more at work;
more hours to the workday.
More work and less play.
Time for a shift.
Back to the center.
Asana, breathe.

Mediatate at night.
Earlier to bed.
Earlier and easier to rise.
Meditate.
Yoga.
Detox

Back to the basics.
Slowing down.
More love.
More compassion.
When first for self,
then more naturally for others.

Namaste.

Photo by arztsamui at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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