Where do you spend your mental energy?
Have you ever felt mentally worn out, burnt out or overwhelmed? When we let our thoughts run around, controlling our emotions and reactions, we can be exhausted just by our own mind. The quick fix is to tune out the thoughts, with different distractions, commonly tv, glass of wine, chat with a friend, adrenaline sports, texting, facebooking, overworking etc. But those pesky thoughts will only be on temporary hold, like hitting the pause button. They tend to come back when you try to get to sleep, or try to focus at work or worse, when you least expect it, like having an unexpected meltdown in the grocery store. Sometimes these chronic thoughts and repressed emotions, will physically manifest in different ways, showing up as a cold, flu, inflammation, digestive issues, anxiety, insomnia, etc. These thoughts such as worry, guilt, fear, relationship issues, difficult conversations, etc. often circulate endlessly like a mouse running on a wheel.
And what about our own self-doubt, inner critic and judgemental thoughts, how do these thoughts affect our wellbeing? How many times have you resisted joining a group, or taking up a class because you thought you weren’t good enough? That you might somehow embarrass yourself, or look bad in front of others? How many times have you responded to a compliment with a self-depricating comment or sarcastic remark? When is the last time you looked in the mirror and noticed only positive attributes?
When we waste our energy and effort on negative self-talk or repressing emotions we limit our ability to reach our full potential of fabulousness! We become exhausted in our own brain drain, which creates a terrible negative feedback loop with distracting behaviours and more negative thoughts. How does this help us thrive? How does this help us achieve our goals and become the best that we can be? Imagine the time and energy you are putting into self-doubt and putting instead into developing positive self-esteem and empowering yourself to thrive! Be conscious of the effects your negative emotions and attitudes have on those who surround you your family, friends and mostly your children. It is up to you to make a difference, to change the way you spend your mental energy, and to help your friends and family make the changes, too!
Gandhi says it so simply “be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Recently 3 women (Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Tawakkul Karman and Leymah Gbowee) were awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize. I wonder if on their incredible journeys how and where they spend their mental energy, do you think they talk about whether they look fat, ugly or somehow inadequate? I doubt it. Karman is quoted as saying “the period where women were victims had ended.” Have you become a victim of your own mind? It is time to let it go, to transform the way you see yourself, inside and out, so that you too can be an inspiration like these beautiful women who have overcome so much to win the Nobel Peace prize.
“We will participate to create a new world that means peace, equal participation, love, helping and working with each other.” Karman
This process of love, peace and harmony needs to begin within, with ourselves, so that we can better share that love, peace and harmony with those that surround us. Be your own ambassador for Peace and Love, find the peace and love within by letting go of the negative restraints that hold you back. Make a difference, don’t let the people around you engage in negative self-talk, instead remind them that they are beautiful and perfect just the way they are.
Be patient, compassionate and kind as this mental shift takes time and perseverance to cultivate, but, it is possible by working with one thought at a time! Catch the negative talk, pause, breathe and switch the story to a positive one. Repeat.