This weekend I found myself in the kitchen looking for something to eat. I had some dried fruits and dark chocolate, but it didn’t satisfy my craving. ‘Maybe something something salty?’ Hmmmm, also not…. As I was looking for something else that would give me what I needed, I realized any food wasn’t gonna satisfy me, not for long. This was not about me being hungry, or wanting to have a snack, this was me trying to feel better. Sounds familiar?
Everyone has his or her own strategies to deal with a head that is overflowing and full of (negative) thoughts. Here is another one. You decided to relax tonight and mindlessly watch some Netflix. Instead you find yourself grabbing your phone every few minutes, checking your instagram, facebook or email. It’s like you are looking for something to satisfy a restless feeling inside yourself, unsuccessfully though.
We have around 50.000 thoughts every day, at least. Thankfully, we are not aware of all of them, that would cause a big mess. Most thoughts are unconscious, but even though we are not aware of all that we’re thinking, our behavior is still influenced by these thoughts. Have you ever found yourself restlessly munching on junkfood, sneering at someone, or thinking ‘I would love to have a glass of wine right now’ in the middle of the day. And you had no idea why. Probably you have been thinking something which made you feel uncomfortable. It could be a mistake that you made at work, an unexpected bill, or something that you saw on social media. It unconsciously disturbed you and made you feel restless and uncomfortable. We think a lot of negative thoughts and it makes us act in a negative or destructive way. Most of us are judging ourselves, focusing on ‘problems’, frustrated about the weather, the job, the boss etc etc. We are wired to to focus on the negative instead of focussing on the positive. And this only gets worse when we feel pressured to make a career, look good on social media, be a good mother, eat healthy, have a nice car, o yeah and not be stressed.
How are my thoughts causing my Bad habits?
Thoughts are one important factor in your behaviour because; THOUGHTS cause FEELINGS and FEELINGS cause ACTIONS.
And so, when for example you choose to eat a burger instead of a salad or you skipped the gym, while you are trying to lose weight, possibly your brain starts to silently judge you. ‘’You don’t have a backbone, do you? Was it really that hard to make a healthier choice? You do this all the time, you give up, look at…’’ Those thoughts can get really, really ugly and they make your body feel restless or even feel sick. We don’t like this feeling and so we find ways to feel better. By eating, drinking, social media-ing, judging other people, isolate ourselves and so forth. And maybe we do feel better for a little while, but it affects our lifes in a negative way.
It would be great if we could just stop thinking negative things, but unfortunately, that’s not how it works. Why? Because ‘Thinking, Feeling, Acting patterns’ become wired inside your brain. Negative thoughts just automatically happen! Awesome :s What can you do? In this blog, I will tell you step 1, which is the biggest and most important step.
Control your thoughts or your thoughts will control you
Step 1 is; Become aware of your thinking patterns and how it makes you feel.
Think about the things you think about during the day. Are you being nice and friendly to yourself, or are you being judgmental and unforgiving? Notice how the thoughts make you feel ánd what you do to get rid of the feelings?
It’s also a really good idea to turn it around. Become aware of a restless or uncomfortable feeling in your body and ask yourself, what have I been thinking about that makes me feel like this.
Writing is a really useful tool to help you become more aware of your thoughts. The scheme below can help you;
What are my thoughts about?
*Im worried about…, I think I’m not good enough…
How does these thoughts make me feel in my body?
*Headache, tension in shoulders, racing heart,
What urge do I have to make the feeling disappear?
*Eat, smoke, smart phone, looking for reassurance, drink, gossip
Get busy! Good luck, and ask questions any time. Rianne