Friday, May 13, 2016

Telling Your Inner Critic to SHUT UP!

Good evening, friends!

Happy Friday to all of you who have the weekend ahead : ) I am almost there! One more day, and then Sunday and Monday is mine to enjoy.

This weekend is the first weekend in a while where we haven't had anything to do. Does anyone else get excited at this thought? No where to be, no pressing plans, the whole day to do whatever!

One of my goals this weekend is to finish the book I am reading. I have been really enjoying it. In fact, I have been enjoying it so much that on my lunch breaks at work I take my book outside and read in the sunshine. It is so peaceful, and being out in the sun is a good bonus, too!

Something I have been thinking about lately is the thought of the "inner critic." You know, that voice in your head that tries to compare you to others, or compare current situations to past experiences. Have you ever heard the saying, Comparison is the thief of joy? It is so true! I battle back and forth with my inner critic. As women (and I know men can attest to this too), we are often times overly critical of ourselves. I am guilty of looking at pictures of myself last year during prep and thinking that I have failed myself, simply because I no longer look like that. Sometimes I feel as if I am not working out hard enough, not eating healthily enough, not doing enough cardio, but at the end of the day - I can only try to make myself happy. Yes, I love to make others happy too, but I am learning that you can truly only count on yourself to turn things around. In a funk? Look inside to fix the problem instead of searching for outside sources to bring you happiness. Don't get me wrong. I love me some retail therapy just as much as the next girl, but if you manifest positive feelings and a positive attitude, you are bound to reap the benefits. You have to be happy with yourself, too, not just extend kindness to others and not showing yourself any lovin'!

Of course, it can be extremely hard to get your inner critic to shut up. One trick to try is that as soon as you start to have those thoughts creep into your mind, try to shift gears and immediately think of a positive thing to replace it with. For example, if you look in the mirror and think, man my legs look fat in these jeans (don't tell me you haven't thought that - I feel you! It sucks! Whatever!) Turn it around and think of a reason why your legs are FREAKIN' AWESOME! "My legs are strong and have powered me through 14 half marathons."

Yeah, that beats skinny chicken legs any day ; )
Disclaimer: that is no hate towards anyone with thin legs. For example purposes only!

Bottom line: make your inner critic shut up by replacing negative thoughts with positive ones.

Easier said than done, of course, but I promise you it is worth it if you try it out! Why flood your brain with negative vibes anyway, right? Happiness is a choice, and though curve balls are thrown our way in life, having a positive outlook and honoring yourself will help you turn your mood and perspective around.

Every day we wake up with a fresh new day ahead of us. How we spend it has a huge impact on our mood, yes, but so does how we start our day. When I start the day dreading my work, dreading my work out, dreading the thought of even THINKING of dinner plans - you're damn right I'm going to have a crappy day, because I have already set off on the wrong foot. On the other hand, when I wake up in the morning feeling grateful, I am more likely to enjoy my day. Seriously. Lay there in bed and think about three reasons why you are thankful for your life (other than the fact that you are alive and breathing and that alone is something to be thankful for). A similar exercise would be looking at yourself in the mirror and listing things that you love about yourself. My dimples, my eyes, my messy I-don't-care hair. Like I said before, we have to look inside ourselves to find the will to turn our day, our mood, our life around. Searching outside for things to fulfill us has the potential to be dangerous (think addiction, self sabotage, etc), and your intuition already knows the solution. Your body and mind are smart, so listen to them accordingly!

Whew! So that was a mouthful. I hope you found it somewhat helpful to read! I swear, this bikram yoga thang is making my head spin - but in a good way! I left class tonight feeling so refreshed and clean from the inside out, ready to relax and enjoy the evening. It cleared my head for all of these new blog thoughts to roll in, apparently!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone. Until next time!

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