At times, we ALL partake in negative self-talk: criticizing, degrading and comparing ourselves to other people on a sub-conscious level. Sometimes we are not even aware that we’re doing it. MOST of the time we do it we’re not aware that we’re doing it!
Have you ever caught yourself in a reflection and thought “I look so tired and ugly!” …or watching some amazing athletes on the Olympics and thought “my uncoordinated body could never do that!” …or trying on clothes at the store and thought “this shirt would look nice…if I didn’t have so much dang arm fat!”
Come on…in some way or another, we’ve ALL done it! Sometimes it becomes so ingrained in our personality that we don’t even realize that we can choose to think differently.
But you’re saying “Yeah, but I do look bad / feel uncoordinated / etc.”
Not to get all meta-physical on you now, but what you are thinking on a regular basis becomes your life. Your thoughts –> create patterns and habits which –> drive your behaviors which –> create your life. If you are constantly thinking of your body in a negative pattern, your body essentially says “Yes, mind, you are always right,” and complies.
For example, you think you have giant thighs. You communicate this message to your body on a regular basis: “these thighs are not right; there is something wrong with them; they are not a part of who I am.” Your body in an animalistic effort to preserve itself, tries to “hide” its thighs! They “hide” in more “protection” — or fat.
The best way to find out what your emotional triggers are for negative self-talk is to pay attention. The only way to fully pay attention is to relax and be “in-the-moment.” Once you catch yourself using negative self-talk, you can either justify it and keep on doing what you’re doing, or you can change it. Changing your self-talk can be done with a simple mantra.
A mantra, by definition is
- A word or sound repeated to aid concentration in meditation.
- A statement that is frequently repeated; a characteristic formula or refrain.
You can use, for example, “my body is my vehicle for accomplishing my life’s purpose.” …or “my body is curvaceous and sexy.” …or “my eyes are lovely and kind.” Pick something you appreciate about your body and build from there!
Take ownership of the thoughts that help to form and create your body. I’m curious…what thoughts or feelings about your body can you start to take ownership of that you previously disregarded as not a part of who you are? Also, what parts of your body do you already appreciate and “own?”