Spring Clean Your Thoughts: How To Let Go Of Negative Self-Talk For More Peace of Mind
So we’re already at week #4 and the final part of the #springclean series — and you’re going to want to check this one out because I saved the best for last (obvi).
Because in order to stay truly centered, happy and mindful in our daily lives, it’s crucial we do some emotional cleansing every now and then.
Real talk — there’s a small part of our brain called the reticular activation system (RAS) that turns on and off our perception of ideas and thoughts. It ultimately determines our lense through which we view ourselves and the world. When you tell yourself you can’t do something you reinforce these negative neural pathways. Thus the more often you have an opportunity to try something new or go after something you really want in life, the more likely your brain will revert back to self-sabotage mode and “I can’t/I’m not good enough/I don’t deserve” thoughts.
However when you consistently practice positive self-talk and affirmations you build new neural pathways in your brain that allow you to see what you can be and achieve.
So when you align your thoughts (“I can, I am a person who”) and actions (such as eating foods that fuel you mentally, physically and emotionally and working out for energy and strength) you’ll be able to really look and feel the way you want and deserve to.
Ultimately, the more you let go of negative self-talk and start showing yourself more self-love the more you’ll free up your headspace, empowering you to go after and experience the things that bring you the most joy in life. Ready to get started?
Below are 3 things you can do to clear emotional clutter today. It doesn’t require any money, it only takes 5 minutes and the benefits add up to a more peaceful mindset and joyful life.
1. Pay Attention To — And Challenge — Your Thoughts
We have so many fleeting thoughts that pass through our heads each day, but I want to challenge you to start paying more attention to them, especially when they have a negative undertone. So the next time you catch yourself thinking something less than kind — whether it’s about how your thighs look in a swimsuit or how you stack up unfavorably vs. your colleague — pause and question that thought.
Try questions like “Do I know this to be absolutely true? What would happen if it were true? How is this thought serving me right now? Is this thought useful or helpful?” Imagine it was a friend saying those very same words — what questions would you have for him/her?
2. Get Real With The Story You Keep Telling Yourself — Then Rewrite A New One
Once you’ve caught those nasty thoughts in action and you’ve begun to question them, it’s time to acknowledge them for what they are — just thoughts. They don’t define you and just because you think them it certainly doesn’t mean they’re true — so it’s time to start getting clear on what is. For example you may witness others successfully launching their own businesses and dream of doing the same, but don’t feel you’re business-savvy enough to make it work (that’s a personal example that I held onto for years :)).
Now that you’ve uncovered this story you keep telling yourself, it’s time to let it go and write yourself a new one. You can do this simply by replacing those negative thoughts with those you know in your heart to be true, such as “I take action towards my dreams/I deserve a life I love/ I show up the best I can every day.” Start replacing “I can’t” with “I am a person who…” and fill in the blank. I have been practicing these thoughts and affirmations every day for 2 years and I have since launched my own business and am living my passion and dream every day.
BONUS TIP #1: Something that I’ve found immensely helpful is simply asking if the words you tell yourself are words you’d say to a friend? Why would you treat or talk to yourself any differently then you would someone you love?
BONUS TIP #2: It really helps to journal this practice. Just the simple act of writing thoughts down releases them out of your head and onto paper. It makes it much easier to reflect, uncover or identify self-sabotaging stories and reframe them into positive ones.
3. Do Things That Take You Out Of Your Head And Fill You With Positive Energy
As important as it is to be conscious of — and challenge — our thoughts sometimes we just really need to get out of our own heads. Because the minute we start to obsess over our choices, we become our own worst enemy.
The best way to do this is whatever it is that brings you back to the present moment and makes you feel happy and free. This is different for every person, but some things that work well for me are cooking while listening to good tunes, going for a walk outside with my dog, calling a friend to catch up or let them know I’m thinking of them. Focusing on others and how you can improve someone else’s day is an awesome way to get out of your own head.
BONUS TIP: Get the support you need. If you want to make healthy lifestyle changes (both body and mind) the most successful way to do this is with constant encouragement, accountability and support. My client’s have the best of intentions but sometimes struggle putting them into action because no-one is there to hold them accountable. We often just need a helper, some sort of teacher or guide for a period of time and brief window in our life to help us take action, empowering us to take the reigns ourselves and continue to heal. If you feel you could use some extra support with making positive changes in your life I encourage you to sign up for a complimentary 1:1 health consultation with me here. I’ll do whatever I can to support you on your journey to a truly happy, healthy state.
Now I want to challenge you — What thoughts could you let go of to spark more joy in your life? What would you do or be able to accomplish if you let go of these limiting beliefs and chose to love yourself instead? I challenge you to spring clean ONE negative thought using the steps above. Let me know in the comments below what you’re choosing to letting go of (or post to instagram with the hashtag #sofreshnsogreen).