When you picture someone with a healthy lifestyle, you probably imagine workouts and fresh foods. But another common element is the negative thoughts that come with the territory. When we skip a workout, or want to skip one; when we grab a second helping knowing we should only have one; when we avoid vegetables, and occasionally when we deal with body-image issues… all these circumstances can lead to negative thoughts about ourselves and prompt feelings of guilt, shame, doubt and insecurity.
While it’s impossible to get rid of them, there are ways to help turn around negative thoughts and prevent them from becoming major obstacles.
Let’s go over these tips to help you the next time these pesky thoughts arise. Some might work better than others for you, so add them to your toolbox to see which technique is best for your brain.
3 Ways to Make Healthy Choices
- Don’t “should” yourself to death: You may find you use judgments in your thinking like “I should,” I have to,” and I must. This type of thinking pattern is too black-and-white and encourages us to feel like we’ve failed if we can’t follow the thought to fruition. Instead of thinking “I should go to the gym,” turn it around with a more balanced way of thinking, like “It’d be a great decision to go to the gym because it fits in line with my goals, and I’ll feel better afterward.
- Write it down: When we hold negative thoughts in our head, they have a tendency to turn into a spaghetti-like mess. This can lead to feelings of anxiety, sadness and anger. So why not get your thoughts out and write them down? Odds are that reading your thoughts aloud will help you identify how imbalanced they might be, and then you can dispose of the thought by throwing the piece of paper in the trash. Why should you hold onto these negative thoughts? How are they bettering your life?
- Positive mantras and visualization: Want to accomplish your fitness goals and make healthier choices? Start developing a list of mantras you can say to pep yourself up, especially on more difficult days. List your strengths and encouraging sayings. Also, visualize the person you desire to be and hold on to that image. This type of thinking and visualizing will give you that extra push on the days that seem to be too much!