Has this ever happened to you?
When embarking on a new goal you set off full of energy and intention to achieve it. Shortly after, you falter and give up.
For example, many of us watch what we eat all week long until we get to the weekend…then we overeat while thinking
“I’m working so hard to lose weight – I deserve this food!”
Or, we apply for new positions like crazy, only get one interview and subsequently aren’t hired…thinking,
“searching for a new role is making me stressed and disappointed. I’m going to settle in my current position – maybe I’m just not a good candidate.”
Our minds are so powerful. Imagine the success you would have if you tapped into your brain’s strength to change unhealthy, unproductive habits and debilitating thoughts?
According to doctors, such as Dr. Herbert Benson of Harvard Medical School, you can train your mind to reframe your thinking, known as cognitive restructuring.
To start, practice deep breathing for a few minutes to get into a relaxed state. According to Benson, it is easier to challenge your negative thoughts and create a more positive outlook when you
“…open the mind so [it is] more receptive, quieter, [with] less noise, less static so you can change your thinking.”
Next, choose to change that negative self-talk. Whenever you start saying to yourself:
switch it to
“I’m losing weight and becoming more healthy. I love my body!”
Or if you’re telling yourself:
“I’m not good enough for a new employer”
reverse your thoughts to
“I have lots to offer another company – they’d be so lucky to have me!”
Dr. Benson suggests you:
Stop – Breathe – Reflect – Choose
Many people find this process takes them into a meditative state that then fuels their ability to channel positive outcomes in their life.
I realize it can be tough to create that quiet, chilled out state as a busy mom with a million distractions each day! Especially a challenge for me – it feels like my mind is constantly racing with “to do’s” and ideas. I’m committed to learning more and trying this approach after a friend at my MumNet group introduced us to Neuro-Linguistic Programming and the power of our subconscious. I then went to yoga on the weekend and was amazed by how refreshed and energized I felt after the deep belly breathing and meditation part of the class.
A simple resource I found to get started was Benson’s steps to creating the “relaxation response”.
Experts say that when you keep practicing your new language, you’ll create a more positive outlook on life and will ease stress. Ultimately, you’ll move towards success and reduce the voice in your head telling you can’t or you don’t deserve what you want.
I think this practice will also give us some amazing tools to teach our kids as they face stress and life’s challenges.
I’m going to try it! How about you?
For more on Dr. Herbert Benson please check out his books such as:
The Relaxation Response (1975) and Relaxation Revolution (2010).