Monday, March 25, 2013

Cling & Clatter, Noise & Chatter

By now it shouldn't, but it never ceases to amaze me at how much I can accomplish in a day when I can find mental clarity and silence all the chatter in my head.  We often take for granted the importance of mental health.  It is obvious to when we need to make our bodies healthier.  The problem is that when we are overweight and begin a weight loss journey we don't give much thought, if at all, to the mental process.  There is an underlying, psychological reason why we got to be overweight.  

Some of us are food addicts, plain & simple, except there is nothing simple about overcoming any kind of addiction.  Some of us are emotional eaters...we eat when we are happy...we eat to fill a void when we are sad or angry...we eat for any reason or no reason.  Some of us don't eat at all when we are upset emotionally.  We eat plenty when we are happy.  Some of us eat out of boredom or because the person next to us is eating.

The important thing is to realize that there is a psychological reason behind our actions, good or bad.  We must admit that we are driven by our emotions.  When our actions are harming us and those around us (because everyone around you is effected by your actions whether you believe it or not), we must find a way to correct those actions so that we are healing our bodies.  

I find clarity when I run, most times, but even then it doesn't quiet all the noise still resounding in my head.  I've learned to admit when I need to speak to someone about what is flowing through my head & weighing me down.  Generally, I can speak to my best friend.  Sadly, it often starts with me having a melt down.  This isn't healthy, and I know it.  It is best to speak to someone on a regular basis, before things get so bad they cause the melt down.  I'm learning that I need to be more ready to admit & ask for help when I need it.

I have a lot of work I need to get done, goals I want to accomplish, which aren't getting accomplished because I keep sabotaging myself with this unhealthy behavior.  Let's remember that our mental health is equally, perhaps moreso, important as our physical health.  Let's vow to work on this daily, too, making it a part of our daily lifestyle.  Let's clear the cling & clatter, noise & chatter.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Mental Health: The Power of Thinking

I've been listening to personal development audio most of the day so far. Currently, I'm listening to Zig Ziglar. He gave a very important reminder of something I have said to countless others. Sometimes these bits of wisdom are forgotten by the very person giving them, myself. The reminder was in the power of our thoughts. The advice I have given others is that if you think it, you will make it happen...good or bad. If you think you are not capable of accomplishing a goal, you are right. On the flip side, if you think you are capable, no matter your situation, circumstance, or background, then you are also right.

This is my very public & very personal confession. Since late last year, I have been struggling a great deal with not being happy. I'm not happy because I'm not where I believe I should be at my career, finances, etc.. I'm not happy because I have yet to experience what it is like to be in a mutually respectful, supportive relationship. I'm not happy because I don't have close friends like I once had or the support of the people from whom I most want it. These are the thoughts that have consumed me for nearly a year. These thoughts have turned to "I will never be happy. It just isn't meant for me. Those storybook, fairy tale relationships are meant for some people but not me. Owning a home is meant for most people but not me. Being happy & satisfied in ones career is possible for some but not for me."

Guess what has been happening.  My work environment is getting more and more hostile.  I'm not achieving anything with the career I truly want (fitness).  Dating is one bad experience after another (for one reason or another, not any one single reason).  My finances are improving but not at the rate that is possible given my situation.  I go home after work mentally exhausted.  I have a laundry list of things I need to do but can't bring myself to check off even one because I just don't see the point.

I spend a good deal of my days uplifting and encouraging everyone around me.  I dispense advice but don't practice it myself.  I have started telling myself that I'm just not worth the effort.  This is heartbreaking.  Never in a million years would I want my kids to have these thoughts.  Never would I tell them it is okay to sink down into this hole and just give up.  So, then, why am I accepting it for myself?

No more! I AM worth it! I DO deserve it! I CAN do this and anything I to which I set my mind. Why.Not.Me?! WHY not me? Why NOT me? Why not ME?

I have so much to happy about.  I have two wonderful kids who are growing into amazing adults who I know will make a powerful, positive impact on this world.  They love me & respect me.  They get angry when others speak badly of me or disrespect me.  I have a good job with full benefits and a great annual bonus.  I have the ability to educate myself on fitness & nutrition and to use that education to help others.  It took me seven years, but I have a college degree that I am using.  I've tripled my income in the last 5 years since graduating college.  I am able to provide for my kids more than so many Americans, and I'm doing it on my own.  I have very little debt.  I have an automobile in very good condition because I've been able to keep up with the regular maintenance.  I do have friends and family in my life who love me.  I don't get to visit with them as often as I would like but they are important to me and know I love them.  I'm a better person for having known them.  I have survived cancer.

I will practice positive self-talk.  I will set goals - daily, weekly, monthly, yearly.  I will take the actions necessary to accomplish my goals.  I will do daily the little things necessary to accomplish these goals.  I will NOT be defeated.

Have you found yourself in this place?  What have you done or will you do to get out of it?