It’s been a pretty wild month around here. My husband was away for military drill and the kids got incredibly sick. When he was finally allowed to come home to help care for them, he ended up coming down with it himself. We had $1000 stolen from our bank account. The neighbors backed into our car. And yesterday, to top it all off, was his first day at his new job. Don’t get me wrong, this job is definitely one of those “change is good” scenarios and I am absolutely ecstatic about his new hours, the relative safety of this job compared with his previous one, and what this means for us a family, overall. However, like all change, it’s come with a few challenges as we adjust and adapt.
I could go into detail about all the difficulties of the past month and all the things that have happened that have been hard or different or complicated but that would be counterproductive to the reason I really wanted to write this post.
In the midst of all this craziness, I experienced a shift in my wellbeing. I was tired, scared for my kids when they were extremely sick, feeling alone before my husband was able to get home, aggravated by added stressors like the bank account theft, the car being hit, and a new schedule. I wasn’t able to find time to meditate because I wasn’t able to find time to think, let alone devote time to my own self care. And so, little by little, it started to happen. I was engaging in increasingly negative self-talk. I was saying things, out loud as well as internally, about how I was tired and overwhelmed. How I couldn’t do it. How I was failing. How I felt sick and down and unhealthy. How my body wasn’t good enough.
Guess what? It had an effect. My temper was shorter. I was less kind, to myself, to my kids, to my husband, to everyone. I had frequent headaches. My energy felt too low and I didn’t feel up to teaching my classes or doing anything at all. I was saying negative things about my body and discounting my progress with the physical challenges I am working on. Overall, I was feeling sorry for myself and I was working myself into a pretty serious state about it.
Then, I finally, truly, noticed it. I noticed the things I was saying and I realized they were becoming true, not because they were inherently true things, but because I was devoting so much time and energy to making them true. To be fair, some were out of my control. I was actually a bit ill which caused my decreased energy and headaches. But the rest of it? I was actively choosing to focus on feeling bad. And I was reinforcing it by saying it over and over again. I know this place already, this vicious cycle of knocking yourself down over and over again with falsehoods and fear. It frightened me a little to find myself here because this was one of the biggest challenges I had to work to overcome on my journey to improving my health and wellbeing. I was a champion of negative self-talk. And even though I feel very proud of the fact that I have mostly overcome this hurtful behavior, as you can see, I still suffer from bouts of it, especially during these “when it rains, it pours” times.
Fortunately, I’ve come a long way and I have learned that I can break the cycle of negativity and recenter myself in positivity and truth. I have tools at my disposal to help put me back on track. Now that I’ve realized it, I’ve been able to take action to stop the behavior and return to positive, encouraging thoughts and self-talk. I’m making time for meditation, even if it’s only 5 minutes. I’m creating the time. It’s not always my ideal of being able to get out my mat and sit in silence with myself for an extended period of time. Sometimes it’s just a few minutes while I’m holding a sleeping baby or standing in front of the dryer folding clothes but I’m making the time. I’m carving it out of these everyday moments and reminding myself that it’s better than nothing. Also, I’m flipping upside down every single day. Bringing my headstand away from the wall is my current yoga goal. It makes me feel good to be working on something, to be making progress. It makes me feel good to shift my perspective this way. It makes me feel strong and accomplished and it reinforces my knowledge that, with practice, I can do anything.
As for the actual negative, false words that I was subjecting myself to, I’m actively countering them with positive affirmations. When I hear myself say, “I’m tired and I can’t do this.” I say instead “I have plenty of energy to accomplish all the things I need and want to do today.” When I hear myself say negative things about my body, I say “My body is strong, lean, and beautiful.” Guess what? It’s working! Just the same way the negative thoughts had the ability to affect me, the positive thoughts do too. I feel physically and mentally better today than I did last week. And I know that I can keep up, and continue improving this state of happiness and wellness by continuing to devote my time and energy to doing and saying positive things, both out loud and to myself. More importantly, I know that this propensity for negative self-talk may never go away, but now I know how to be stronger. I know how to stop that self- loathing, negative behavior in its tracks and turn it around so that my mind and my energy are serving to lift me up and help me improve my situation.
Are there things keeping you from being the happiest, healthiest, best, and truest version of you? Can you identify them? Are you ready to change them? Leave me a comment or send me a message if you’d like to talk about how I can help facilitate this process by working with you as your Health Coach!