Have you become aware of the critical voice that lives inside your head? Have you noticed how cruel it can be about your body?
Many people believe that they have to be critical in order to push themselves to eat right, stay in shape or lose weight. We put so much pressure on ourselves to do things perfectly so that we can control our appearance. What we don’t realize is that the criticism, pressure to change and attachment to perfectionism have very negative effects on us emotionally, physically and spiritually. And it actually makes us more likely to get caught in a negative cycle of self-sabotage, keeping us from making the change we wanted.
How? The criticism and pressure we put on ourselves can dampen our emotions. We feel bad about ourselves, desperate to change, anxious about having to do things perfectly, worried about the steps we need to take, and guilty and even shameful if we make a mistake. When we’re in this low vibrational state, we’re more likely to emotionally eat or to reach for a drink to calm ourselves down.
Worse, all of this puts us in a state of stress! When we’re feeling stress of any kind, our bodies go into fight or flight mode. Being in fight or flight is known to increase our heart rate, raise our blood pressure and our blood sugar, slow down our metabolism, decrease the absorption of nutrients, slow down our immune systems AND increase our hunger. This is obviously NOT good for our health!
All of this can occur just by being critical and wanting to change our bodies. Imagine how much worse it is when we pile on stress about our jobs, our finances, our kids, our relationships and the many other sources of stress in our lives. Even more disturbing, we don't have to be experiencing stress to have this reaction. We can just be thinking about stress and have the same physiological reaction in our bodies. Yikes!
Most of us are walking around in fight or flight mode 24/7. No wonder we have health issues! Plus, this mode of being is exhausting and just feels BAD.
Luckily, there’s so much that can be done to alleviate the stress we feel. One of the best places to start to change this pattern is with the voice in the head. Instead of constantly criticizing ourselves, we can learn to love ourselves – yes, even with our imperfect bodies.
I’ll be following up in the coming weeks with how to begin to love yourself and how it will benefit your health and transform your relationship with your body.
Love and light,