What does the voice inside your head sound like?
I have been reading a lot of articles regarding how we talk to ourselves and how it can hurt or help us in achieving our goals. Which makes sense, it is about time that issue was addressed in a big way, a huge part of overcoming an illness such as PCOS or obesity, is the way we talk insides our own heads.
I will be honest, mine is negative most of the time. I spend a lot of time worrying, worrying about what people will think of me and how I look in others eyes. I also spend a lot of time obsessing about my PCOS and how it limits me. This negative voice inside my head has stopped me from taking fitness classes (because what if I sweat too much or people stare at me or I can’t make it all the way through), setting certain goals (or believing I will accomplish those goals), voicing my opinions (because what if someone doesn’t agree?), going to yoga (I am seriously not flexible), trying new things and wearing my bathing suit out in public. If I eat a doughnut the voice inside my head rages a full scale war and all that leads to is more binge eating because I eat when I feel like a failure. It is like this weird pattern, I look in the mirror and about 75% of the time I DON’T like what I see because I am busy pointing out my flaws instead of seeing all the good.
In reading these articles they talked about how detrimental that negative self talk can be to being successful. Negative self talk can lead to more binge eating instead of less. Turns out, shrugging off set backs or small slips actually helps us more than bashing on ourselves for our small mistakes. In other words, the kindness/empathy we show to others, should be shown to ourselves as well. This article also mentions how we happen to stop looking for solutions when we think we can’t handle something.
I was talking last week about how I am obsessed with this idea of cleaning the house every single night because I am afraid that if something should happen to me and someone has to come into the house, they will think I am a slob if there is dishes in the sink or fur on the floor. There one question was, why do you care what anyone thinks? Hm why do I? I am not sure. Even at work I am extremely hard on myself and often will get really frustrated when I make little errors. When I miss a workout I tend to really start bashing myself. When my PCOS symptoms are out of control I tend to get angry at my body. I question all my decisions and triple check everything to make sure there aren’t flaws. I have been known to delete Facebook statuses because of small errors that no one probably even noticed. I often won’t ask for help in doing things like cleaning the house or handling household expenses much to the husbands frustrations because I get crazy about any small tiny error. Some people tease me about these obsessive qualities and then I start beating myself up about being too obsessive. It isn’t that I care if there are small errors or fur on the floor or dishes stacked up overnight, but the negative voice inside my head is amazingly good at making me feel like crap for even a tiny error or flaw.
Am I doing more damage than good with that negative self talk? Am I hurting myself by constantly allowing the voice inside my head to be judgmental? I always thought acknowledging flaws and being honest with myself would really help more than hinder. But am I really being honest or am I just being hard on myself?
Lately I feel that negative voice is wearing me out and wearing me down more than it is building me up. I feel it is the reason that a small slip turns into a huge slip. That a few mistakes at work becomes a bad day or week at work. That I push myself too hard and too much to be this person I am not. That I am completely exhausted trying to balance too many things at once and control too many aspects of my life at once. Because I am not perfect. My house isn’t always clean, I am not always in a good mood, sometimes the doughnut wins, I trip over my own feet on flat surfaces, my hair is often unruly, I have scars on my body and some days I won’t exercise when I need to. The other truth, most people are too concerned with their own negative self talk and flaws to worry about mine. Making mistakes, slips and even falls are apart of being human. I know this. I even tell my friends this. But I don’t live it.
One of the things I greatly enjoy about yoga is the promotion of self love and body awareness. This idea of thanking your body for doing what it can, accepting that it can’t quit do everything and that is okay and the idea that loving your body is what is important and why you practice yoga. It is an amazing idea and one of the reasons I got into yoga, to learn to self love. Lately I have been pulling away from yoga, as well as healthy eating and exercising because I was feeling extremely overwhelmed and bogged down with negativity. I have been feeling stretched thin between trying to do everything on my own and all at once. I have been feeling angry and resentful at having to deal with PCOS. AND the more I have let the negative self talk in, the less I wanted to do anything good for my body.
So this last week I vowed to work on that negative voice inside my head. It wasn’t easy. Especially this weekend because I hopped back into working out and eating healthy after a couples weeks off. I couldn’t stop negative thoughts from entering my brain but I worked really hard on making them leave before I started dwelling too much on them. It worked too, I was able to take a nice long walk on Sunday and a nice long bike ride on Monday even though my legs hurt from not working out for a week or so and it was bloody hot as heck. Also for the first time in a long time I didn’t eat desert or ice cream, I stuck to clean eating, no sugar and fruit for desert if I needed it. I think being positive and not letting the negative voice chastise me helped a lot.