Last week I began with an introduction to women taking care of themselves. I don't know any female client that I see that we don't go over self-care and how they keep balance in this insane, sometimes chaotic whirlwind we call LIFE. There is enough research that shows that stress inside the body comes out in various, unhealthy ways if we do not learn how to manage it.
Self-care is the art of nurturing yourself. Taking care of not only your body, but also your mind. It goes way deeper than that, but today I want to talk about the importance of how your mind plays a huge role in how you feel about yourself, how you respond to stress and ways that you can start improving how you look at yourself and how you look at life.
This is why self-care is more than just scheduling time for yourself, or finding an extra-curricular activity you enjoy. It's the total package. And scheduling time for yourself is an important part of taking care of yourself, but it's a whole lot easier to do those things when you truly believe that you are worth it. See how the mind plays a role in that?
If you start with the inside, it will be easier to put into habit the wonderful extraneous stuff that also feeds your soul, such as that regularly scheduled massage. But a lot of good it will do to feed your soul by getting a massage, taking a bubble bath or getting a manicure if you still think negative things about why you are doing them. Or if you feel guilt or shame for carving out time for yourself (which is just another form of negativity) and "stinking thinking", which I will go into in a moment.
First, the mind....
I did a quick search on bible passages (and I mean quick) and found over 37 verses about renewing our mind.. Here are a couple of my favorites.
Romans 12:1-2 ESV
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.
I don't know about you, but it is very easy for me to get stuck in "stinking thinking". And a healthy person can see that pattern and generally turn it around. Sometimes, life events happen that make it very difficult to pull ourselves out of negative thinking. If you struggle with depression or even anxiety, your mind is often not filled with good things. This is also known as the "critical self".
Oh yeah, we are our own worst enemy.
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. Proverbs 23:7
Women who know how to nurture themselves generally don't have a habit of negative thinking. She is able to reason within her heart what is good and what is bad (Philippians 4:8). It doesn't mean she doesn't ever have a negative thought or wallow in a bad mood now and then. But overall, a woman who knows how to take care of herself knows what she needs, gets those needs met appropriately, and renews her mind on. good. things.
So how do I renew my mind?
The best place to start is just to be aware of how you think. Don't try and change anything, but maybe keep a journal for a week or two about what you are thinking about each day. For people with severe depression and anxiety, therapists often get them to complete a "mood chart" each day. A client recently informed me that there is actually an app for your smart phone you can add that will track your daily mood. Yep. They have an app for that! HERE is a link for more info on that app, appropriately titled, "Moody Me".
Once we see how we are thinking then we can work on changing it. It is amazing once women start doing this they can see how much "stinking thinking" they have allowed in. Poor communication, making assumptions, all or nothing thinking....all of these types of thinking (and lots more) affect our mood, our stress levels and ultimately, our interactions with others in a negative way.
There is an awesome book by David D. Burns, MD that you can get HERE called The Feeling Good Handbook. It. Is. Amazing. And it can go much further in depth than I can with teaching you how to renew your mind (and improve your mood, communication and interactions with others).
We are not done with talking about the mind, but that is all for today. Your homework this week, if you choose to accept it...is to keep a journal of your thoughts, your moods, and how that played a role in how you interacted with others. Put it all in there, the good , bad and the ugly. You are the only one that is going to be looking at it. If you find a lot of negative stuff in there, then get Dr. Burns book. And tune in here next time as we go further with mindfulness and the role it plays in taking care of YOU!!!
It starts in the mind.
Have a great week!!!