How much do you talk down to yourself? I mean about your status, your measuring up to friends, and yes, even your body? Self-talk is part of being human. From the moment we acquire language, we are rarely without our steady inner chatter. However, the quality of our self-talk shapes the quality of our lives. Self-talk and body image are intimately connected. For many women, our inner monologue about our body can be critical, judgmental, and down-right bullying. There are many reasons for this – some of which we explore in our Body Love program (find out more about Body Love at our April 15 Information Session!). For today’s purpose, however, let’s explore three ways to hack the system, rewire our negative self-talk patterns, and come closer to appreciating and deeply caring for our bodies.
The next time you are having a bad day or life throws you a curveball, pause and check in with your self-talk. What you are saying to yourself is likely impacting how you are thinking and feeling about your circumstances and the people around you.
The act of pausing allows us to touch on what we are saying to ourselves. When we pause, we create some distance between ourselves and our negative self-talk. When distanced, we can become an observer of our inner chatter, and we can assess the degree to which it is supporting us or causing harm. For example, let’s say that I catch myself being overly critical of myself for enjoying a glass of wine while out with friends for a rare socially distanced outing during a week when I promised myself to “be good” about food. This one negative thought can lead to a spiral of sorts that, if allowed, can take me into a deep hole of self-condemnation and shame. Once I catch the thought, I say to myself: “Is this thought empowering or punishing? Does it heal or harm? Would I talk to my sister, daughter, or friend in this way?” The mere act of catching the thought, pausing, and interrogating the thought to assess its value or lack thereof, can be game changing.
If we decide that our self-talk is critical, shaming, punishing, harmful, or negative, we have the power to create a shift – immediately. It is important to own the fact that you do have this power! But, how do we do this? Once you opt to call upon your power to shift, say to yourself, “What is the next best thought I can have about this situation?” Or, “Is there a more elevated way of thinking about this?” Or, “What would I say to my friend if she was condemning herself for enjoying a glass of wine with dear friends?
These are important questions to ask in order to interrupt the negative self-talk loop. Engaging in this sort of mental shifting takes a lot of practice. Once mastered, however, it not only becomes natural, but you are less likely to engage in overly critical body talk.
Improving our self-talk requires awareness, pausing, consciously shifting, and lots of practice. Here are few ways you can practice daily:
One of the key elements of our Body Love program is becoming aware of negative self-talk, interrupting the pattern, learning how to rewire your self-talk programming, and practicing with us! We hope that you will join us for the incredible experience of Body Love. Until then, we hope that these three steps will help you to improve the quality of your self-talk and that this will result in an improved quality of life and an improved relationship between you and your body!
Alexandria Wellness offers achievable answers for anyone who is tired of chasing fitness and health without a clear plan, someone who has struggled and is not satisfied with their fitness and wellness or someone who is open to maximized healthful longevity and fitness along with healthful weight loss. Adrien and her team offer help with food guidance, body acceptance, sleep and stress issues, and insist you have fun along the way.
Schedule your free 30 minute consult here!
215 North Payne Street
Alexandria, VA 22314