Lose the Mind Junk
By Lauren Berger, MSW, RSW
We all understand that to keep our bodies healthy, we have to feed it good things. Chances are you feel much more energetic and balanced on a diet of veggies, proteins, and healthy fats than you do on a diet of Twinkies and soda. We can use this practice to keep our minds healthy as well! If you feed your mind healthy ideas you’ll feel much better than you do when you feed it junk. Time to eliminate these three “junk foods” from your Mind Diet:
Mind Junk 1: “I can’t do it!” Says who?! Chances are, the only person who believes you can’t do it is you! Whether it’s learning a new skill, going for the promotion, or asking your crush out on a date, there is probably no real reason why you can’t do it. “Can’t” often masquerades as “don’t want to.” Perhaps there’s a reason you don’t want to do it — You’re anxious? Concerned it’s a lot of work? Afraid of the change? Afraid to fail? These are all valid reasons to not want to attempt your goal, and you can definitely use them to talk yourself out of it. But then what? Will you always wish you had gone for it, or revisit the same goal every New Year’s Eve, calling it a resolution? Your Healthy Alternative: “I’ve got this.” Believing you can do something is the first and perhaps most important step to success. Notice the confidence this gives you. Also note what the the downside is to trying. Chances are you won’t be worse off than where you started from. What have you got to lose?
Mind Junk 2: “He/she is better/smarter/fitter than me.” Comparison is not your friend. When we compare ourselves to others, we often feel inferior. There is always someone else out there doing what we want to do and perhaps doing it a little better. Your Healthy Alternative: “I’m better/smarter/fitter than I was six months ago!” Okay, there is an exception to the comparison rule; you can compare yourself to… yourself! Maybe you’re not running 5K yet, but are you running more than you were six months ago? Feeling a little less breathless at the end? Then you’re beating your own personal best! You are improving! The bottom line is that it doesn’t matter how well someone else is doing when you’re thinking about your own goals. It matters how you are doing. If you’re seeing improvement, you’re working it!
Mind Junk 3: “I’m bored.” Kids, there is a big world out there! If you’re bored because you’re waiting for the next season of Game of Thrones or because you’ve done the exact same Pilates work out every week for the last year, it’s time to bust out of your comfort zone and try something new. Leaving your comfort zone may seem daunting at first, but that’s okay. No one is saying you should leave your yoga class and sign up for bungee jumping. Small tweaks can yield big results. Your Healthy Alternative: “I’m going to try ___!” Love your yoga class? Try hot yoga at a new studio! See if you dig the change in the activity and atmosphere. Love the pics your friends post of their cottage excursions? Grab a pal and take a hike at your nearest trail. Fall is a beautiful time to reconnect with the great outdoors as the colours change. Don’t be scared; you don’t have to make a huge commitment, you just need an open mind.When you consider the health of your body and brain, consider the health of your mind. They all work together to make a healthy, happy you! What Mind Junk do you need to ditch?
Lauren Berger is BACK at the Integrative Health Institute on January 6, 2016! She is a Registered Social Worker providing counselling and psychotherapy. Check her out at www.laurenberger.ca, drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow her on Twitter: @LaurenBergerMSW.
Book your appointment with Lauren here.