If the dieting cycle has trapped you, a negative voice in your head has probably been keeping you down. And this could be what prevents you from losing weight and keeping it off.
That inner voice talks to you perpetually. It is made up of thoughts. Every thought sends out electrical signals throughout the brain. The brain then releases chemicals that influence every cell in your body.
If your self-talk is mostly positive, you function well. If it is mostly negative, you experience stress and emotional instability.
Thoughts are powerful. They affect your deep limbic system, the part of the brain that governs your emotions.
Negative thoughts release a cascade of stress chemicals, such as cortisol and norepinephrine. In excess, these can set off destructive emotions and actions. They can make you irritable, anxious, and moody, thus more likely to resort to comfort foods and beverages.
As for physical symptoms, those thought-induced chemicals can cause your muscles to tighten, heart to beat faster and your breathing to quicken. Worse ailments can follow, such as lethargy, headaches, mild amnesia, and stomach aches.
Happy, hopeful, or kind thoughts, however, release feel-good brain chemicals, such as serotonin and oxytocin. These can cause your muscles to relax, heart rate to moderate, and breathing to deepen. They can create positive emotions, heightening your vitality and zest for life.
So if you want to create positive emotions and constructive actions, vow from this day on to banish negative, limiting thoughts. Start by challenging whether they are true. After all, thoughts are merely ideas and opinions, not necessarily facts or proven truths. Insofar as they are generally based upon limited experiences from your past, they can be biased deceivers. If negative thoughts are not addressed and questioned, they can have a powerful effect over your body and unknowingly become part of you.
A most useful exercise is to recite daily positive statements, called affirmations in combination with visualizations: They are the pictures and thoughts you create in your mind that dictate your actions, and your actions create your habits and ultimately, your outcome.
Affirmations are statements reflecting who you are, using the words “I,” “I am,” “me,” or “my.” They can help build mental images in your conscious mind. Such images will help lessen the power of certain unconscious memories, experiences, habits, and thoughts that dictate your behavior, even though you’re unaware of them.
As you train your thoughts through words, you will be increasingly driven to actions to make your life happier and healthier. Remember, your thoughts determine your actions. They can move you either closer to your goals or further from them.
Say affirmations aloud and write them down daily. The repeated words will help you focus on your goals.
Sample thoughts and affirmations –
– Negative: “I am miserable and lonely and only food makes me feel better.”
+ Positive: “I am healthy and happy and each day I make healthy choices.”
– Negative: “Food controls me.”
+ Positive: “I have gained weight. But, I can lose it and keep it off forever. I am in control!”
– Negative: “No matter how hard I try I can’t succeed at losing weight.”
+ Positive: “Failure is temporary. I am patient, persistent, and successful.”
– Negative: “ I could never give up sodas and French Fries.”
+ Positive: “ I love healthy foods because my body is my temple.”
“No thought lives in your head rent-free. Each thought you have will either be an investment or a cost. It will either move you toward happiness and success or away from it. It will either empower you or disempower you. That’s why it is imperative you choose your thoughts and beliefs wisely.”
– T. Harv Eker Quotes from Secrets of the Millionaire Mind
(Nutritionist, Life Coach and Director of MVB-Health)
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