Diabetes Blogs

The Mind is the Thing

 

Whether it's stress management, eating well, managing your weight, or just being happy in your daily life, the mind plays an enormous role in helping you to remain balanced and in tune. The mind is a powerful ally, and it can also be your strongest enemy. Where does your mind wander every day? 

Worry Saps Your Strength

It's easy to worry. We humans do it well, and we can become quite expert in this regard. Are you a worrier, or do worries roll off of your back like water from a duck as it glides effortlessly through the water? 

Worry is one of those energies that can deplete your stores of good feelings, increase your level of anxiety, and wreak havoc with your plans. If you spend time worrying, it's clear that your thinking and planning then become clouded and unrealistic. And although your worries may seem "realistic", they keep you focused on the negative rather than the positive, and you miss out on the power of your mind to help you along the way. 

If anything can sap your strength and take you off course, worry will do it quite efficiently. For your own good, it's a healthy practice to give your worries a few moments of attention, acknowledge that some of those negative thoughts may be worth considering, but then it's time to set those worries aside and take positive action to counteract your worries. 

Worry is a signal that there are things on your mind that need attention. When you can allay those fears with realistic action and forward movement, then the worries have less power to derail you. 

Sure, Sometimes Life is Hard

We all know that life can be hard, but we also know that there are often ways to make things a little easier, and how you think about those challenges can make a huge difference. 

For instance, if you're worried about money and your financial well being, those anxieties will only get you so far. The worrying, anxious part of your mind will want to focus completely on the fact that there's not enough money, that you're broke, and that you'll never have enough.

The feelings generated by those anxieties will then cloud your thinking, as I mentioned above, and you won't be able to see clearly in terms of how to improve your financial health. The worry is fine if you don't let it prevent you from action, but if you allow it too much time and energy, you'll become stalled in your ability to overcome your circumstances. 

Similarly, if your mind is focused on the fact that it's hard to lose weight and all of those holiday meals are just going to make it harder, you won't be able to think it through and come up with a solid plan to eat reasonably and healthily while everyone else gorges themselves at the holiday table.

Meanwhile, your anxiety-ridden mind may try its darndest to prove to you that it's right, manipulating you into making poor choices and overeating at every opportunity. Once you've done that, your mind can then say, "I told you so. You can't lose weight!"

So, even though life is indeed sometimes hard, you can make healthy choices, override those worries, and plan accordingly.

Watch Your Mind

In order to combat those negative thoughts and worries, watch your mind closely. When you notice that you're focusing on the negative, balance those negative thoughts with positive ones. 

If you're constantly thinking, "I can't lose weight. I always overeat. There's too much pressure at these holiday parties," balance those thoughts by also telling yourself, "Sure, it's hard to lose weight, but I can control myself at those parties. When others are having three desserts on top of their meal, I can choose to make smart choices and eat wisely. I know I can do it if I want to."

The mind is habitual, so if you train it to not focus on the worry, it will actually become easier to focus instead on the positive. It takes practice, but your mind will do what you want it to do when you pay attention and focus it in the proper direction.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Like I said, it takes practice. The mind is a powerful tool, and if you allow it to simply wander on its own, it may wander to places where you'd rather not hang out. So, pay attention to your thoughts, stop the negative ones from their habitual patterns, and instead insert positive ones to balance the scales. 

The mind can be your friend, so befriend it every day, and it will serve you well both in times of happiness and times of stress. This is a very good thing to do during the holidays when stress levels can be high. And if you can do it at this time of year, you can do it any time! 

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