Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Be Nice, Brain

I recently started a class combining hypnosis and yoga. Its designed to bring your mind and body into balance and allow you to live a healthier life. In each class we talk about balancing certain areas of our life, stress, eating etc. This week we talked about the messages we send to ourselves, consciously or unconsciously.

Now we all know that we can be our own worst critics. We lable ourselves. We are our harshest judges, the Simon Cowell of our lives. We pick at our faults. This outfit makes me look fat. I'm having a bad hair day (month, year, whatever). My stomach, my butt, my legs are too big. I couldn't possibly wear a bathing suit, people at the beach might think I'm the great white whale. And so on.

If I said half of the things to someone that I say to myself, that person would hate me. I would never think of doing that. And I don't want to raise my daughter to think that way about herself. So why is it okay for me to think those things about myself?

Its not.

Part of the challenge for this week's class is to change the soundtrack our mind is playing. We are supposed to be nice to ourselves. To find the things about ourselves we like and to look at our "faults" differently. We are supposed to practice kindness with ourselves.

And its hard. Normally when I wake up in the morning and look in the mirror as I brush my teeth, I would press play on the tape in my head and the criticisms would begin. Now I search for a new tape to play. I might say I am glad I woke up this morning and was able to walk to the bathroom. I am thankful for my health, for my strong legs that carry me where I want to go.

Its taken me years to get to this point, I am not sure how much I can change in a week. Maybe its enough to recognize the bad thoughts. Once I know that they are there, I can try to change them.


Kate Coveny Hood said...

This is great life advice. I have tried to take that attitude as well. So I hate the pudge next to my knees (hereditary - so it's not going anywhere no matter how much weight I lose)... At least I have knees that bend and support my weight as well as the weight of the children who hang on me every second that I am home with them... There is always something to feel thankful for!

Rachel said...

You're so right. I make a consious effort to not say the things in front of my kids that I think about my appearance in my head. I guess I need to work on not thinking them in the first place, too.

Stacy (mama-om) said...


I have been utterly shocked to tune in and hear the majorly negative thoughts I have (mostly about my parenting or housekeeping)... It has been really eye-opening but also still hard to catch all the time.

Best wishes to you on your journey!

Christy said...

Wow this is a great exercise, and I am going to join you in it. I'm not feeling fabulous at all lately, and I've been thinking about how this could affect my daughter. My mom practices this type of thinking already - and I swear it works for her. What a great post - so glad that wrote it. I really needed to see this, this morning. I'm off to think positively now...wish me luck. Good luck to you too!

EatPlayLove said...

Wow! That's so hard to do, change the tape. I have to admit, yoga is the one time my normally neurotically racing mind is more at ease. I love yoga. I think it's great for us tall women!