Yesterday I read a great blog post by therapist and mental health writer Gabriela who writes at thewellnessworx.com you can check out the full post Here . It is about letting go of toxic relationships and more importantly (for this article at least) the toxic narratives we tell ourselves.
Lately I’ve been becoming more aware of the negative self talk I subject myself too, and how blind to it I was. In this modern society it is so easy to get bogged down with distractions (Hell they create apps for apps now) you can get so trapped in busy you can’t hear yourself think. But just because you ignore the negative self talk in your head, it doesn’t mean it’s not there and that it’s not negatively affecting aspects of your life you have not even considered.
So what are you saying we should we listen to negative self talk? Yes, but that doesn’t mean agree with it! Distracting yourself from negative self talk doesn’t make it go away or free you from it, it just creates a constant state of stress, or what author Brigid Schulte refers to as Overwhelm.
So what’s the alternative, argue with it? Does that work with your co-workers? Or that person you just bumped into with your car in a standstill? When we argue with others or tell them to stop a certain behavior, humans do this weird and crazy thing where they continue or increase that same negative action. The same is true of your relationship with yourself, focusing on the negative brings about more of that negative action.
So then what? When you listen to the self-talk realize that it is not you talking because you are the one listening! How could you be listening and talking at the same time? You are not your negative self-talk! This is in fact an embarrassingly dumbed down version of Mindfulness – This link offers a much better definition.
So What does this have to do with the New Year, New Me mantra?
I recently ran a Google Stats search on the terms Motivation, Self help and Personal development and found that each one of these key search terms sees A Major Hike every year from January to March and then plummets until December, this has been constant since 2004, and I’m sure before then. (click the above separate links and look at the Interest Over Time graph to see this trend) What does this tell us? People suck at Follow Through!
Don’t freak out though! This long drawn out rambling has a point. Recently I interview Dr. Steve Levinson for the Over The Edge Podcast about this exact subject! He has researched this problem for a huge chunck of his life and has found that a lack of follow through is a universal problem! The good news? It can be improved. How, you might ask?
The biggest reason people fail on following through on their intentions is because they get bogged down with everything else going on in life, all the problems, all the stress and lose focus of what they are trying to accomplish.
In a few hours the clock will strike 12:00am and usher in 2016, No matter what your resolution is this year I suggest you bring your full attention to it. Take time out of each day to reflect on your goal and why you set it. Throughout the day when the negative self talk tries to take over and you are drowning in a sea of worries, stop yourself and take a moment to take in your surroundings, or close your eyes and take a breath, take 10 if you need to.
This simple practice has the power to change everything and give new life to your resolutions this year!
My favorite books and teachings on Mindfulness are The Untethered Soul and Fully Present– which both offer more of a scientific and academic explanation as well as benefits and how to. As well as The Power of Now and A New Earth both by Eckhart Tolle which offers more of a spiritual approach to the teaching.
An important part of mindfulness is remember to do it, They have free Apps that ring or vibrate randomly to remind you of this.
Dr. Steve Levinson has also invented a standalone device for this purpose called the MotivAider (this is not an affiliate link) which vibrates to remind you of any intention you set and is fully customizable