Mind Your Mind: Master The Way You Speak To Yourself

Self-talk.  Brain chatter.  We all do it, incessantly, whether we like it or not.

Have you ever stopped to listen to the incessant commentary going on in your head all day long?  That constant drone of judgey, self-critical brain chatter….

  • “My hair is a mess.”
  • “My jeans feel a bit tight.”
  • “Where is John?”
  • “I need to buy gas.”
  • “I should text Elizabeth.”
  • “Gosh I hate pantyhose.”
  • “Right, forgot John had a dentist appointment today.”
  • “Right, forgot John had a dentist appointment today.”
  • “Bother, I’m late.”

And it goes on and on.  You cannot stop it.

In fact, you have 60,000 random thoughts every day.  SIXTY THOUSAND.  That is a lot of thoughts, most of which, are negative and often self-directed.

Imagine 60,000 random self-critical thoughts silently streaming through your brain undermining your well-being.  Is it any wonder we flop onto the couch with a bag of potato chips and a glass of wine at the end of a long day?

What’s even more annoying, is that 90 – 95% of those 60,000 thoughts never change from day to day, and most are inaccurate.  We are repetitively telling ourselves untruths, all day long.

But here is the best news ever.  Seriously – the BEST NEWS ever.  You can tell your brain what to think.  So awesome!

“Hey brain – enough of that nonsense chatter, let’s think about something useful for a change.”

One of the most effective things you can do to utterly transform your life is master how you speak to yourself.

As with most new skills, the first step is to increase awareness.  Shine a light into the deep and dark crevices of your brain.  Don’t be afraid, but be forewarned, it’ll be a cluttered mess.  You will want to turn off the light and remain oblivious to the thoughts that keep undermining your happiness, self-worth, contentment…

Choose differently.  Start to listen to your brain chatter.  Name it and claim it.  Then – and only then – can you change it.

Remember Einstein’s definition of insanity….
“….doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

The second aspect to understand is that it is not your fault.  Read that again – It is not your fault.  It’s evolution.  Your brain is absolutely brilliant.  It not only kept us alive in an eat-or-be-eaten environment, it quite successfully defeated our predators and turned our cold, damp and dark caves into luxury condominiums with climate control and access to all the food we can eat without needing so much as an arrow.  Hunting and gathering became a stroll around the grocery store.

The problem is, our brain is still using the same, centuries old software.  It still thinks we live in an eat-or-be-eaten environment and makes in-the-moment choices from that primitive perspective.  Your primitive brain loves ‘familiar’ and despises change.  As far as your primitive brain is concerned change is lethal, to be avoided at all costs.  It is always on the lookout for danger.  It sees snakes not sticks. Thorns not roses.  A vicious predator, not your boss.

Let’s say – for example – you have decided to get fit.  You purchased your gym membership, dug out your workout outfit and it’s neatly packed with your runners and a towel, ready for that early morning buff-up.

When the alarm sounds in the morning, your primitive brain chimes in….

“Seriously?  What are you thinking woman?!”
“It’s cold.”
“Let’s wait until daylight at least.”
“You haven’t had your cup of java yet and you know you get headaches without it.”
“Just sink back into the pillow.”
“Later is a better time.”

It goes on…

“Remember last year when you went to that smelly gym?”
“All the guys grunting, dripping sweat staring at you?”
“You really don’t know what you are doing with all the viral covered equipment.”
“Isn’t that right?”

Scanning your memory for proof, your primitive brain recalls a nasty encounter with some rude jock 5 years ago.

Sabotage complete.  Pillow wins.  Safe and secure, not dead.

Time to update the software.

Fortunately, evolution provided us with a mind, unequivocally MORE brilliant than your primitive brain.  That mind, can redirect the primitive brain.  Intentionally decide what you want to believe and do.  Then TELL your primitive brain, it will not die.

Instead of listening to the ‘rude jock’ excuse, you can think about your thoughts (called metacognition) and choose differently…

Choose the gym.
Choose to pass on the donut.
Choose to take a risk.
Choose to….

And change your life – one thought at a time!

Buff it up, my friends
Dr Karen

Are you ready to Buff Up Your Brain? Ready to, lose weight, increase your mental clarity and polish up your thoughts? Let’s chat.
Email: DrKaren@karenbackwaymd.com