Heal Your Mind

“The mind is mad,” writes Geneen Roth in her latest book This Messy Magnificent Life. She discusses her mind looping painful stories and thoughts, which make her feel like everything in her life is wrong.

I completely relate. For years I was plagued by judgmental and shaming thoughts, irrational fears, and overwhelming emotion. I'm not alone; my clients deal with this too.

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We all have stories running through our heads: times we played the fool; painful, traumatizing, or scary experiences; words we wished we'd said (or not); mistakes we made… the list goes on and on. Over time we develop ways to cope with the pain, such as overeating, drinking alcohol, taking medications… this list goes on and on as well. Then suddenly these coping strategies catch up with us and we don’t feel good.

Most people tend to focus on the symptoms of the problem, instead of going deeper to understand the root of the issue. For example, if you are gaining weight because you overeat, try figuring out why you are overeating. The food is not the problem; it's what's driving you to overeat. Fix the core issue, and the rest will fix itself. Begin healing from the inside out, starting with your mind. I truly believe a healthy mind creates a healthy body. 

Hypnosis is extremely effective for changing undesired thought patterns. It retrains your brain to think in a positive and healthy way, improving your outlook on life and therefore your physical health. There are also other daily practices you can do to soothe and revive a troubled mind.

Top 5 Mind-Healing Practices

 

1. Stop when your mind is looping 

Being aware of your thoughts takes practice. The more you catch yourself the easier it becomes to recognize unhelpful thoughts and ultimately stop them. If you find yourself repeating the same old story over and over again, take a moment to recognize that it’s just a story and not necessarily true. For example:

I will never get that promotion. I’m just not good enough.  

I’m fat and ugly. No one will ever love me. I should just eat this carton of ice cream.

Literally say to yourself “stop!” and don’t engage with the thought.

2. Counteract negative thoughts with positive ones 

I actually like to say positive thoughts aloud. For example:

If I continue to do my best at work, I will be recognized. If not, there are plenty of other opportunities out there.

I’m loveable; I’m a kind and caring person. Binging on ice cream makes me feel worse. I’m going outside instead.

3. Don’t take thoughts personally (as Geneen Roth says)

Negative thoughts about yourself or other people often stem from a fleeting uncomfortable feeling (such as anger, fear, guilt, or jealousy). When you start feeling better your outlook improves and your thoughts change. We don’t need to believe everything we think, especially when we’re feeling down. Thoughts are fickle- they shift with your mood.

4. Get out of your mind and into your body 

Another way to stop unwanted thoughts, is to stop paying attention to them by getting present. Use all of your senses to experience the physical world around you. Listen to the wind. Watch the sky. Smell the fresh air. If you focus on what your body feels and the life around you, your mind will focus too. Shift awareness from your mind to your body and your thoughts will still.

5. Treat yourself with kindness and compassion

Think happy thoughts, as Peter Pan would say. Be kind to yourself and others. When you’re being hard on yourself, try recognizing the amazing person you are instead. It doesn’t help to hate you and it doesn't help to keep replaying the same old negative stories about yourself and other people. Practice self-love and compassion. You will be amazed at how much better you feel.

If you’ve spent years or even your whole life trapped in a cycle of negative thoughts, it can be hard to break. It might feel uncomfortable at first but the more you practice the easier it becomes. When you retrain your brain to be positive, you will notice incredible changes in your body and life.

Interested in learning more about how to heal your brain and become more positive? Call or email now for your free consultation: 415-407-6369, kate@katehaisch.com.

Reference:

Roth, G. (2018). This Messy Magnificent Life: A Field Guide. New York: Scribner.