Change Your Thinking Change Your Life

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Have you ever felt that you don’t have control around food? Have you wished you had more self-control? You are not alone. 
           
If we have practiced a behavior, say over-eating, we will get really good at it. Our brains what to be as efficient as possible. That is how we as humans have survived throughout the years. Our brains are here to protect us, to make things automated so we can worry about other, more pressing things in our lives, like running away from a bear. But the problem is when we want to change our habits, that are no longer serving us, it seems to be the most difficult thing in the world. Creating new neural pathways is strenuous work for our brains. That is what we are doing each and every time we change our behavior.
           
Most of us know we have habits we want to change. We hope to make ourselves evolve into better people, whether it is becoming fitter, more educated, or thoughtful, we all want to evolve.
           
The trick to this evolution is that it takes time and patience. Think about it, did the first birds suddenly have an urge to fly, so they sprouted wings? No. It takes time to evolve into different human beings as well.
           
I am currently evolving into a human being who sits down at the table while I eat, even when I am alone. This may seem simple at first, but it has proven to be tough for me, because when I am really hungry, it is all I can do to not stand in front of the fridge and eat straight out of the jar of peanut butter.
           
Those of us who struggle with disordered eating and negative body image want to change our negative thought patterns, but it is always an up hill battle that does not always stick.  We become frustrated with ourselves, wishing we were different, wishing we were stronger.
           
So, how do we change our habits? We change our thoughts. The first step is to look into our mind and see what thoughts it is thinking. You know those sentences in your head that seem to be going around on a wheel? Those are your thoughts. Notice what you are thinking, start taking an inventory of your thoughts. Writing them down is a great way to take a thought inventory. Once you have taken your thought inventory, take a look at your thoughts on the page. Anything surprising? Anything expected?
           
For my behavior change of sitting down at the table, the reoccurring thought I have is, “it will take too much time, I should be doing something else.” This thought actually comes up for me a lot, especially when I want to do something that falls under the self-care category.
           
The next step is once you have a specific thought, see how that thought makes you feel. For me that thought “I don’t have enough time for this” makes me feel unloved, uncared for, and a little anxious. Those feelings of anxiety, and being unloved, makes me want to rush through the eating process because, it is comforting, especially when I don’t feel loved. This rushing through the eating process leads to overeating and that gives me the result of not feeling well in my body. This then perpetuates the feeling of not caring and feeling unloved.
           
OK, so I have examined my thoughts, now what?
           
The third step is to sit with the thought. Really understand where that thought is coming from, and accepting how it makes you feel. Know that this thought pattern is how your brain is hardwired to work. I have been practicing the thought, “I don’t have enough time to take care of myself” for along time. I have found that this thought stems from attaching my productivity to my worth as a human-being.
           
​It is so important to understand the belief and accept the feeling before you can expect lasting action to take place. Having acceptance and love for your beliefs is important before you change your behavior. Change takes time and practice and the key for success is to greet yourself with compassion and love.
           
I want to help you find some key thoughts that are getting in the way to your lasting change. Sign up for a free mini session with me and we can talk about your habits and how you can start changing them now.
 
Mindfully,
 
Megan P^2



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