Can you recall a single day that you did not have constant chatter in your head? Whether that chatter is beneficial or harmful, it is a continuous stream of thought that follows and impacts us daily.
When was the last time you actively stopped and thought about those thoughts?
Thoughts on Thinking
Many people live life without ever stopping and actively thinking about the thoughts plaguing their headspace each day. This mindset is us living on autopilot- an essential topic within the Wellpower Method.
Let’s back up and get a little bit more technical…When was the last time you sat and noticed where the thoughts you are thinking are coming from? You don’t technically think of them, do you? Yet, they appear from somewhere. A steady thought stream, coming from an unknown source. Read that again.
That source is the pre-programmed thought patterns that we develop throughout childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. All the experiences, trials and tribulations, conflict, trauma, etc., that you have experienced throughout life directly impacts your thought process- the way you are programmed to think.
These programmed thoughts and beliefs translate into decisions and actions, and these decisions and actions form our everyday life.
Therefore, the voice in your head matters and needs attention. After all, it is the one helping you make these 35,000 decisions every day that shape your life every day. And while they feel uncontrollable, you do have the power to control them.
Many humans live day in and day out with negative self-talk. Individuals commonly view themselves and their bodies negatively, making it nearly impossible to develop new, healthy habits and thought patterns to get yourself out of the rut, which we are all too familiar with.
When we cultivate limiting beliefs and use terminology like “can’t,” “won’t,” “unable,” we are directly thinking and believing that we will not be able to do these things we deem as impossible.
Therefore, they remain impossible unless we reframe limiting beliefs and negative self-talk.
Easier said than done, I know. But when you label the thought patterns in your head, it makes them less scary and easier to manage and reframe.
Common Limiting Thought Patterns
An all-or-nothing mentality, or you may have heard black and white thinking. This thought pattern happens when you think of aspects in your life as yes or no, this or that, exercise five days a week or zero, apple or cake, good or bad- sound familiar when it comes to food? We can thank diet culture for that one.
This type of thinking backs you into a corner or pushes you deeper into that rut, where you only have two choices, limiting your options. Yet, this doesn’t need to be the case; you CAN reach for the apple AND the cake.
Learn to think in shades of grey; life is about balance. Use creative and positive thinking, pull yourself out of the all-or-nothing mindset, and look at mistakes as road bumps to learn from instead of negatively impacting us.
Discounting the Positives
As humans, we are flawed; this much is known. Many of us run through life accomplishing incredible feats, yet not giving ourselves the credit we deserve.
Say you make it through a whole day eating healthy, but the next day you don’t. What day do you remember more? Most likely, the day you decided your diet wasn’t necessary and when you were down on yourself.
But, instead of cultivating anger towards the day you fell off the wagon, develop motivation from the day that you decided to stick to your healthy habits. Remember how great you felt at the end of that day, have grace for the day you relaxed from structure, and use that feeling to encourage motivation.
Small wins fuel the fire under us to keep us going and moving forward. One small step forward is far more powerful than staying stagnant and dwelling in the past.
At that summer BBQ with your best friends and family, you bring home the leftovers of Sue’s famous apple pie, and later that night, your emotional brain takes over, and you mindlessly eat the rest of the pie. You then think to yourself, “I am a failure,” “I can never become healthy,” “I am a mistake.”
That thinking is labeling yourself based on an everyday decision (as small as eating pie) as a characteristic and personality trait. That pie does not have the power to dictate your personality and the person you are, nor should you be giving it that power.
Instead, reframe how you talk about yourself and get rid of the labeling! You are not a failure, and you can become healthy; you just made a decision to eat the pie. Instead of going to label yourself immediately, ask yourself what got you to eat the pie mindlessly.
Did you fuel your body enough that day? Is emotional eating a habit from childhood that we need to break from? Are you under a lot of stress that we are not managing? Have you restricted yourself from dessert from that past that we are now impulsively attracted to it? Use it as an opportunity to learn and grow, not to label.
These are just a few thinking patterns that you may be experiencing. Now that you are aware of them, try and identify them throughout your day-to-day thinking and work through the problems they may provoke.
But, what is the benefit of actively identifying them and changing your thinking patterns? Let’s find out.
Neuroplasticity; Your New Best Friend
Neuroplasticity (pronounced, neuro-plas-ticity) may seem like a daunting word, especially if you don’t necessarily have a science-forward brain.
The excellent news is that neuroplasticity is simple; it can change the brain’s circuitry by regenerating brain cells throughout our lifetimes- creating new neural pathways- something constantly worked on throughout the Wellpower Method.
Neuroplasticity busts the previous myth that our brains stop developing and maturing at the age of 26.
Ok, so you can actively change your brain’s circuitry throughout your entire life. This opens doors for people to heal from past trauma, rid toxic thought patterns, unlearn habits, embody new behaviors, become emotionally mature to show up for meaningful relationships, etc., but that leads us to the next question, how does this happen?
Actively Change that Brain of Yours
Mindfulness this, mindfulness that. Lately, that’s all anyone has heard about in our society, especially in the wake of a pandemic.
- Currently, 1 in 5 employees is going through mindfulness training through their employers in the United States.
- The US meditation market has grown from $959 million in 2015 to an expected $2.08 billion in 2022.
- Roughly 9 million US adults have meditated in the past 12 months.
- Studies show that people that meditate can reduce their psychology everyday stress.
People are now stuck in their thoughts and feelings far more now that society has increasingly accepted remote working and the pandemic has kept many indoors. Perhaps unhealthy habits from years ago are resurfacing, or new unhealthy habits are developing as we try to reach and grasp for help managing our emotions by keeping that “voice” in check.
I have some great news; once you stop looking for the answer, you become mindful. You are allowing the headspace once occupied with obsessive thinking to become occupied with focusing on the now.
Self-awareness helps individuals become more conscious of thoughts, actions, and behaviors.
Try not to be turned off from mindfulness by the mere thought of “meditation.” Yes, the two go hand in hand, but there are also many other techniques individuals find mindfulness from, including:
- Creative hobbies (painting, ceramics, etc.)
Once individuals are more mindful, they are empowered to live their most fulfilling life. Incorporating 5-10 minutes of meditation (or other mindful practices) into your day can help you regain control over your voice and identify those thought patterns discussed earlier.
The Bottom Line
The voice in your head does matter, and by identifying negative thought patterns, you will be one step closer to your happiest, healthiest, most authentic self.
Day in and day out, if we let it run a rampage throughout our minds, we may experience continuous anxiety, stress, overwhelming feelings, and feeling out of control.
But combining identifying thought patterns with mindfulness will help us reframe limiting beliefs and change those negative thoughts allowing us to learn, grow and succeed.
Ready to dive into improving your daily mindfulness by getting in control of your thoughts, actions, and behaviors that dictate your health and life? The Wellpower Method is the unique, personalized, and sustainable solution for you!
Gabrielle, a registered dietitian nutrition coach, helps individuals find peace with food and unlearn unwanted behaviors and thought patterns through a 100% virtual program.
Don’t hesitate to begin your path to betterment; find out more information → here.