Spring has sprung – the weather warms, flowers begin to bloom, birds are nesting. In quick succession popular media pushes emotional and physical detox diets, and strict exercise regimes to lose our winter comfort layers, directing our thoughts to summer and swimsuits.
Well that escalated quickly
How does your mental chatter react? Is the mental drill sergeant making plans to get out of bed for a 6am gym class and start the detox diet? Is your inner self cringing at the inevitable berating because you enjoyed winter comfort food and fear not living up to impossible self-expectations?
What if we don’t have to reinvent ourselves just because the season is changing? Perhaps this season, it is time to look at change as the universe offering us yet another opportunity to learn and grow.
Spring clean your mind with these truths
Popular media is first and foremost about marketing. Sales.
Media images of ‘natural beauties’ are of carefully make-upped, hair-styled, clothing-styled, photo-shopped and filtered people just like you and me.
Fitness is about how strong and healthy you feel, not your dress size.
Judgement and criticism are choices.
Attitude, directed by our inner voice, is also a choice.
Many of us can relate to the ‘drill sergeant’ in our heads. But consider the long term impact of the harsh inner critic being allowed to direct our inner monologue, chipping away at our confidence with name calling and rebuking. While we may occasionally need a firm talking to, long term negative self talk will have an impact on our health. Like children, we generally respond much better to the positive dialogue of the inner cheerleader.
When I discuss this with people, they often feel they deserve to rebuke themselves for making mistakes and for not being ‘perfect’.
Well here is another truth bomb:
PERFECT DOES NOT EXIST
Would you expect a friend or family member to be ‘perfect’? Would you hold them up for criticism when they are not able to be ‘perfect’? Or would you encourage them to look at the experience and discover what could be done differently next time, to learn and grow from a less than ideal experience?
Then consider how you would speak to someone close to you who is upset, stressed and exhausted. Would you berate them or speak to them gently and with kindness? Why do you deserve less than you would give a best friend or family member.
Our inner self is always listening
Surely you deserve to speak to yourself like would your best friend. Acknowledge how you feel, find the lesson, comfort yourself with an inner (or outer!) hug and do what you need to feel loved and understood.
Here is another truth to consider
When we stay in guilt and anger we are effectively grinding our gears, spinning our wheels and going nowhere. Guilt and anger take up valuable space and rob us of positive emotions.
Let them go
Acknowledge these feelings and let them go so you can move on. When you notice yourself being harsh, finish the thought with “and I am doing the best I can”. Turn your thoughts to using the experience as a tool to find the lesson and move forward.
Life is full of choices.
Take time this Spring to choose self-compassion and self-kindness. If you would like support to reprogram your inner voice, make an appointment today.
Live your best life,