Welcome back to the blog for busy brains!
I have gone a little bit longer this month without blogging because I was looking for the perfect inspiration, and it eventually came to me! I have a few friends who are struggling with negative self-talk and negative thoughts lately. These friends are super close to my heart, and since I also have been dealing with this topic throughout my whole life, I thought it would be very beneficial to blog about! I will explain what negative self-talk is and then give a helpful exercise to begin doing each time you notice the negative thoughts arising. I will also touch on some ways to cool off at the end of the day and survive the east coast heat wave! I will finish my touching on the sacral chakra, since we are doing one each month!
Negative self-talk can be one of the most debilitating things we do. About a year and a half ago, I was dealing with some pretty intense inner negative dialogue, and finally confronted it using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Doing so, largely improved my quality of life, and my energy! We spend so much time out of our day focusing on these negative thoughts and miss the true beauty in our lives.
Negative self-talk is when a person repeats negative statements to themselves throughout the day, it is essentially bullying oneself. They usually fall into or relate to specific categories, like: work, relationships, health, etc. I will use some classic examples from my past that showed a trend:
Health: If I missed a workout I would think to myself, “I am so fat I can’t even find time to workout.”
Relationships: “He and I will never work out because I am crazy”
Work: “I will be stuck at this mundane job forever”
Each statement is almost like a worst case scenario, that’s what our brains can get into habits of doing, and we blow the situations in our lives out of proportion almost as a defense mechanism, when its really only causing us suffering.
The powerful tool that I learned to remedy these nasty thoughts, is counter statements. A counter statement is a sentence you say back to your negative thought to correct it. Here are examples of counter statements using the examples above:
Health: “I will work out tomorrow, my body needs rest.”
Relationships” “relationships are hard work, but it is so worth it.”
Work: “I am on the path to finding the right career, I am financially stable.
These examples may not apply to everyone. Try to think of a counter statement that is true, and also refutes your negative thought. Write one down for each category that you seem to struggle with the most, and look at this list each day, repeating the counter statements to yourself when you wake up in the morning. If you have the same few, recurring negative thought patterns, it may be helpful to think of one long mantra to say each day to yourself. Each time you say these counter statements to yourself after a negative thought, your brain is slowly changing the way it thinks. Eventually, you will be able to live with less negativity in your life. Remember to be kind to yourself; after all, you have to be with yourself all the time!
I found counter statements to be life changing. I used to be enslaved by these negative thoughts and would beat myself up constantly. This led to very dark times. Learning to love and appreciate yourself is very important, and even though it takes time, any small effort counts!
I have a personal effect to share from this evening. About one- two years ago I was struggling with the negative-self talk (amongst other symptoms of anxiety) quite a bit, which led to a dark depression and chronic fatigue. Tonight, while driving home from yoga teacher training, a song came on the radio that I have not heard since I sobbed to it one year ago, during my struggle. Hearing it tonight, it was overwhelming to see what a transformation has happened in just one short year. I have fought against things like anxiety and depression my whole life, and small exercises like counter statements really work! I am so grateful to be able to share them with all of you.
If you have any questions about this exercise, please email me or comment below!
Moving on to a quick exercise on how to beat the heat…
It has been almost 100 degrees every day here in Philadelphia. For all of you who are also experiencing the heat wave, here is a great cooling exercise to try at the end of your day:
Sit in a comfortable seat on the floor or in a chair and close your eyes. Curl your tongue, hotdog style, sticking it out. Breathe in through the tube of your tongue and out, spreading a cool gust of air, in and out of your body. Do this for about ten repetitions. Stay cool!
I started talking about the chakras last month and wanted to continue with the second chakra, the sacral chakra. It is located between the sacrum and the naval and is associated with the color orange. The second chakra is associated with sexuality, relationships, and creativity. When it is out of balance, we may feel that we are over indulging in food or sex, or lacking in creativity and strong relationships. Yoga poses that help balance this chakra are child’s pose, forward fold, cobra, frog, squat, and many others emphasizing the opening of the lower half. Try breathing into the low back and groin area during the poses.
I hope that everyone enjoys the rest of their week and the lovely month of July! I will be back in August with a new post. Feel free to reach out to me via my blog with any questions, comments, and inspirations!
The light in me honors the light in all of you,