If you want to know the difference between shame and guilt, check out my blog on it, here.
Now the only question is what to do with the information.
If you want to clear our negative thought loops, you must integrate new positive thought loops. Write down and say out loud every morning, “I eat in a way that makes me feel physically good. I am kind. I am positive. I am changing for the better.” Whatever your thing is.
Fill your head with positive thoughts.
How often do we go around calling ourselves ulgy, fat, not good enough, not smart enough?
You’re feeding your brain the only food it has to eat from.
Like Kristen Lamb said, “The mind cannot tell the difference between truth and lie. What we tell it, it simply accepts and obeys.”
If you want a positive life, get your mind out of the negative thoughts you’re soaking it in.
Seek entertainment, music, books, people, situations, and activities that are positive. Not filled with more junk.
If you want to change, you need to prove it to yourself that you can. More than that, you need to prove to yourself that you are changing already.
Every time you don’t drink? Get excited! (if that’s your negative behavior) If it’s unhealthy eating habits, find healthy alternatives that taste good. I have a chocolate problem. Seriously, don’t laugh, it’s unhealthy. So I’ve replaced it with chocolate, bone broth, plant-based, crazy healthy protein shakes and bars. It’s working! I now get excited about getting to eat and drink those things. Because they taste good and feel good.
Figure yourself out. Implement a change. Congratulation yourself when you do, each and every baby step!
If not, then you’re telling yourself it doesn’t matter when you do make changes, because somehow you’re just never going to make changes and you’re a loser.
That makes no sense.
Find Your Why
No one makes lasting changes if they don’t have a solid “why” backing it. The science behind this is so staggering you couldn’t hold all the books on it from last year alone without falling over. And for good reasons.
Why do you want to change? Why does your current state make you feel emotionally and physically (because emotions manifest in our bodies) gross, uncomfortable, not okay? What values are attached to this?
To go back to my own issue of food. I’ve eaten that whole box of donuts. Why? Because I was emotionally eating to fill a void or deal with stress. So I need a new way to deal with stress that is healthy and fits me, and I need a healthy way to fill all those emotional and psychological voids. What value is attached to this issue? I value eating healthy, fitness, and enjoying small amounts of dessert. So now I eat healthily and feel good about it, exercise the way I want to, fill myself up with good books, psychologically informing youtube podcast thingies, enjoy desserts, eat protein bars and drink protein shakes that make me feel like I am eating/drinking a dessert, etc.
We need to know ourselves before we can change ourselves.
Seriously. People you can trust and who will have an idea of what you’re feeling or going through. We are social creatures. Think about a pack of wolves or a pack of dogs. We thrive in healthy relationships. Which is why we all crave healthy relationships.
Pick who you ask for help from wisely. If your problem is a relationship, don’t go to the person in the relationship to get help or clarity of perspective.
Talk about it with trusted friends and family.
Seek out support groups. You might laugh but I was surprised how much it changed my life. How much going gave me the strength and courage to change myself.
Seek out therapy. There’s talk therapy, art therapy, etc…. LOADS of types of therapy.
We all need help through life. It’s called being human.
Write it out. Don’t simply harp or complain. Harp and complain and then slog through the uncomfortable emotions, feelings, thoughts. Analyze yourself. Ask all these questions. No better way to know yourself and find your ‘why’ than to write it all out.
As a writer, I’m not joking when I say – speaking about genre fiction here – that I learn what I have to say once I’ve already written it. Write out all the stream of consciousness you’ve got going on in there. Writing is a huge decluttering tool. You don’t have to be “good at writing”. Who said you had to write in complete sentences? Simply get it out in words and I promise you, you will gain some clarity on who you are and why.
Talk it out. This helps immensely too. But as mentioned above, only with someone who is trusted and will be able to understand your specific issue. And don’t harp. Don’t go to this person and complain about something for a half hour every week. Talk it out. Establish what’s wrong and vent. Brainstorm possible fixes, solutions. Study those out. Talk about progress. Failures and why. Successes. If all you’re ever doing is complaining, well…. you’re not getting anywhere. Get out the gunk and then start working on solutions to the problems.
Don’t forget we are humans and need to rehash some things more than one friend really needs to hear. Therapists are great tools. Utilize them. They care. But find the right fit for you.
Feel Without Reason
Also, we need to feel our emotions. Don’t assign a story, truth, reason, or seek understanding for why you are feeling what you are feeling. I know this goes against what I just said, but we need both.
Just feel it.
By yourself. This is for you and you alone to be responsible for. Feel it. It’s not going to go away. In fact, it’s going to build and build while you’re not paying attention and come back stronger and nastier next time.
Deal with it NOW. Or continue suffering worse and worse.
Accept it. What you’re feeling is part of YOU. It is not going to go away or be ignored forever.
Painful emotions are YOU screaming for YOU to hear YOU. Pay attention. Feel it. Don’t always have to look for a reason. Sometimes we simply need to feel it.