Day 8 of The Alcohol Experiment: be nice to yo’self!
This was a good reminder for me. I had a great weigh-in this morning but since then have plagued myself with negativity today. After five days of unwanted house guests (who happen to be my dad and stepmom) who have been heavily drinking, I am feeling weak, weary, super frustrated, and just drained. I followed Annie Grace’s daily journal exercise today and I can’t tell if it’s making me feel better or worse. So my apologies for being a bit of a Debbie Downer this evening.
But let’s get to today’s lesson: the power of self talk.
I’m just going to quote Annie Grace here because it’s like she’s speaking out of my brain. “If you’ve ever tried to make a change in your life or start a new habit, you know how easily negative thinking and self-talk can defeat your best intentions. You can start the day strong and full of optimism. But as the day wears on, the voice inside your head can get louder and more insistent until it’s just easier to give in.”
How many of my days have started with, “I am NOT drinking today” and ended with several glasses of wine? Too many to count. And I suspect I’m not alone!
Annie encourages us to become aware of that voice in our head that breaks us down as the day wears on. She tells us we are stronger than that voice. And she tells us how we can conquer it: as my dad would say (see, I did learn some good things from him!), “Kill ‘em with kindness.”
Become aware of your negative self-talk. Inundate yourself with gratitude and strive to see the positive in everything you can. Talk to yourself the way you would want others to talk to you. And you WILL rewire your brain. By thinking about how it feels to believe that negative inner voice, your subconscious will learn to let go of those beliefs because they cause you pain.
I hope she’s right. I need her to be right.
In our journals today Annie asked us to answer three questions to start changing our self talk. Here are some excerpts from mine:
What are you thinking now?
I feel anxious and exhausted. I will never get to my goal weight. I like food and alcohol too much to be able to get down into the 130s.
What are the beliefs underlying these thoughts?
I believe that I will not be able to effectively address the true issues underlying my desire to eat junk food and drink alcohol. I believe that I am incapable of making lasting changes.
How do these beliefs make you feel?
I feel totally weak. I feel frustrated and angry with myself. I feel like a failure. I know that junk food and alcohol are bad for me and I know that they will only make me feel good for a moment, and then will make me feel much worse than I felt before ingesting them.
Yikes. I didn’t realize how negative my self talk can be until I typed this out today. I am really going to make a concerted effort in the coming days and weeks to recognize my negative self talk as the poorly-written fiction that it is. And I hope I can start to retrain my brain.
[The Alcohol Experiment is a free, interactive 30-day program designed by Annie Grace, author of This Naked Mind. For more information: www.alcoholexperiment.com.]