Sometimes your brain might sound like a shitty cover band of negative thoughts. Just like a terrible song, negative thoughts can get stuck in your head and it can be difficult to get them out. Their presence can take up a lot of mental space and drain your energy. When it comes to body negativity, you might feel a little helpless obsessing over what you don’t like. If you want to overcome negative body thoughts, it is helpful to try the following strategy. Keep in mind that in order for this to work, you really have to try.
Notice your negative thoughts- The key to changing your thoughts is first noticing what you’re constantly saying and thinking to yourself. You might not even be aware of how often your “inner bully” beats you up. Noticing these negative thoughts will make you more aware of them.
Notice your sob story- Another thing most people have is a “sob story.” In other words, your sob story consists of all the excuses and beliefs that are holding you back from making a change. Maybe your sob story is something like, “I would love to eat healthier, but I never learned how to cook and I just don’t have the time.” Noticing your sob story will help you break free from it.
Create positive thoughts and change your story- After you’ve noticed your negative thoughts and your sob story, just humor yourself and come up with positive thoughts and a new story that align with what you want. You don’t even have to believe them right away. Just make a mental note of what the healthier version of you might think or say. You could even write them down.
Actively choose positive thoughts and your better story. Every time you notice your thoughts going in a negative direction, you must stop yourself from doing so and choose again. The act of stopping these thoughts will help immensely; getting into the habit of choosing new thoughts and changing your story will eventually transform your life.
Of course, this endeavor will not be a perfect one. You will continue to have negative thoughts sometimes and that is ok. Having negative thoughts is part of being human. And to be honest, it’s a big part of struggling with your body. There’s no need to be strict on yourself when learning to redirect your negative thoughts so leave room for mistakes. Treat yourself the way a super loving mom or teacher would. When you mess up, say to yourself something like, “it’s ok sweetie, try doing it this way instead.” While you’re learning, hold close to your heart the commitment you’ve made to choosing positive thoughts and changing your story. If you can consciously do this, you will experience change.