If you’ve read this weekly blog for any length of time, you know that I write encouraging, supportive, and informative articles about health in general and healing from fibromyalgia and chronic illness specifically. Are you looking to find ways to heal? Have you ever tried a little sweet talk?
HINT: Healing may begin in places you don’t expect.
We all know that healthy foods and activities are vital for healing. I write about nutrition and body movement almost every day. I’m nuts about nuts, I vocalize for veggies, I find fitness to be fabulous – (and I’m not-so bananas about bananas)!
All of that is well and good …
but, if you’re mentally blocking the healing benefits, then what?
Are you even aware of your negative thoughts? Are you aware of the things that you say to yourself most often? Are you aware that your mind is awash in bad press about you?
Most people walk around with an inner dialogue that would wilt any effort to make forward progress. How can you move forward if your self-talk berates your methods, past failures, and whatever else you lack? How can you advance when your self-talk says, “No, don’t try anything new. It’s safer to stay exactly where you are. Staying stuck is the ‘logical’ thing to do.”
The funny thing is:
Your self-talk can be your strongest opponent
or your greatest advocate.
For today, when you start to notice your own negative inner dialogue, I suggest turning on your sweet talk. As you make your way through the day, turn on your sense of gratitude and thankfulness. Turn on your sense of what’s good rather than focusing on what’s not so good. Tell yourself you’re grateful for the wonderful foods you’re able to prepare. Tell yourself that your body is doing the absolute best it can as it tries to heal. Tell yourself that where you are today … is exactly where you need to be.
The amazing thing? When the kindness switch is turned on, and you find yourself reacting in kindness to your own behaviors, then healing goes into overdrive.
Think it’s not that direct?
Look at the numerous studies done on the healing benefits of relaxation techniques. It wouldn’t even be noticed if there weren’t documented reports of healing when stress levels are reduced. Relaxation allows the body to return to homeostasis (where all is good). For many of us, the stress we live under prevents us from even visiting that state much less “living” there.
Here’s a sample scenario. What if you’ve had a confrontation with your spouse and you’re freaked out about the potential ramifications. You’re so stressed that your neck feels like it’s made of solid steel, so you head to the massage therapist’s office. Throughout the massage, you continue to fret. The minute you finish, you jump into your car all geared up in full attack mode ready to “chat” with your spouse the moment you get home.
Here’s an alternate scenario. You have the same circumstances leading up to the massage. Instead, you choose to let go – as best you can – while you’re getting the massage. You choose to let go of the stress, anger, anxiety, etc. that brought you there in the first place. You tell yourself that you’re just doing the best you can. You remind yourself that your spouse is doing the best he or she can, too. You choose to BE PRESENT during the massage and let the benefits soak into you – body and soul. You pray, meditate, breathe deeply, repeat affirmations or whatever helps you to relax the most. You find that as you relax and let go, your mind naturally drifts back to the problem at hand, but you remember there’s nothing you can do for the next hour or so. You leave feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. On the drive home, you again reflect on what you’ll say to your spouse when you get home, but you notice that you aren’t worried about it. You feel confident in knowing that a practical solution will present itself that’s good for you both.
We see things differently when we’re in a relaxed state of mind.
Now, let’s get real. No one says that a massage can fix all. Neither can any other one-time treatment. And, no one says that sweet, inner self-talk comes naturally. In fact, it’s human nature to tell ourselves things that are far from sweet.
That’s why it’s SO important to first become aware of our self-talk, then take action and change what we say to ourselves. Your patient and thoughtful inner chatter may sound funny, artificial, stilted, or forced at first, but keep at it. Keep talking to yourself with kindness.
Is it worth being kind to yourself in the pursuit of healing? And, who couldn’t do with a bit more sweet talk?
Have you ever done exercises or processes to increase your awareness of your self-talk? Please share your experiences below!
And, speaking of sweet, are you familiar with JUST WHERE sugar hides in the foods you eat? Grab this FREE Stop Feeding Yourself PAIN guide to find out more surprising truths. Already nabbed yours? Be sure to forward this to anyone (and everyone!) who could benefit from information on making healthier food choices.