In the first Sunday Paper of 2017, Maria shared her personal resolutions to bury four habits that were creating stress in her life:
- The critical voice in my head. I want to remove it once and for all. It’s so judgemental, so boring and so not accurate.
- My Fear. I want to grab my fear by the you-know-what. It’s got no place in my life in 2017. Time is running short and fear keeps me running in place.
- Comparisons. Even though I know that absolutely nothing good comes from making comparisons, I’ve still engaged in them. No more.
- Control. I’m also letting this go. It doesn’t work anyway. I can’t control what people think, say or do, so I’m getting out of that ridiculous business.
Maria, you are not alone. Most of us who are reading this can relate to some or all of these mental habits and find that these things also create unnecessary stress in our life. Our minds are very similar in the ways it can create problems and stress if not cared for and kept relaxed and healthy.
A few of our common mental habits that create stress are:
- Worrying about the future/uncertainties
- Dwelling in the past
- Doubting or second guessing ourselves
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Overreacting and over thinking
- Making things into big deals
- Placing unfair or unreasonable expectations on ourselves or others
- Making assumptions or jumping to conclusions
- Expecting the Worst
- Trust issues, etc.
After reading this list, you may find yourself thinking of your mind in a negative way. The truth is, your mind is a beautiful gift. When you know how to care for and direct your mind, it can and will become your most amazing valuable asset.
Each Sunday for the month of March, we will address one of Maria’s four mind habits that create stress for her and so many of us right here, so keep an eye out. Sign up for my FREE 30 Day Mind Reboot now and you will also receive a daily email with tips, videos and workbooks to keep your mind relaxed and stress-free.
Let’s take a look at Maria’s first resolution: to bury the critical voice in my head. You may be thinking, “I also have a critical or negative voice in my head judging me and others, making assumptions, and not considering or finding out the facts.” The critical voice, if not directed and corrected can produce enormous mental stress, waste your time and mental energy, and create problems for you and your relationships.
Problem: Having a critical mind or critical voice in the head creates emotional upset and relationship problems with yourself and others.
Our minds can get into a habit of negative focus, meaning finding the “bad” and overlooking the “good”. The mind uses critical thinking to create the feeling of sadness, defeat, disappointment, victimhood, injustice, etc. as a form of control to get what it needs.
The mind zeros in on the “bad” in order to produce the emotion that will result in a desired benefit. In other words, it wants to feel bad. It doesn’t want to be happy.
Solution: When we look at this behavior logically, it seems insane. Why would our minds want to feel bad? There is usually some benefit that is received from staying stuck in or returning to these negative feelings.
One benefit may be attention or sympathy from others when you are sad or upset. This may have been the only time you received comfort or attention from the adults in your life as you were growing up. You may have associated this comfort and attention with being loved. Now to your mind, being comforted means being loved – one of the main feelings it’s always seeking on your behalf.
Another benefit may be punishing others with our sadness, a way of using our sadness or upset as a tool to produce guilt and shame in the other person.This is a learned behavior of the mind that is used to manipulate or control others. For example, if you were hurt by someone and they saw that you got over the hurt quickly, they would think their behavior or what they said or did to you is ok and that you are letting them off the hook. So instead, we punish them with our sadness or our bad mood. This is a form of control. It is important to understand, we are only punishing ourselves with this habit.
So, if you are ready to let go of the pain and be happy, let’s change this stress-creating habit with three simple tips.
3 Steps To A Stress-Free Mind:
- Self Soothe to Fulfill Your Love Needs. We seek love because it creates a feeling of comfort. In essence, we are looking to others to comfort or soothe our minds. We think we are looking for love. What we really want is someone to comfort us and make us feel safe. This mentality can open the door to codependency in relationships. As we mature, we realize, that it is our responsibility to comfort and soothe our own minds. Many times we look to those we share intimate relationships with to fill this role for us. (article on How to Self Soothe..coming soon)
- Unhappiness Is Not a Weapon. Refuse to use your mood to punish others. This will retrain the mind to let go of pain and suffering quickly, giving you more moments of overall happiness. Staying in a bad mood or upset is not the tool you want to use, especially if you want people to spend time with you. Happiness attracts more friends to share love with than does grumpiness and feeling sorry for ourselves.
- No Negative Stories Allowed. Stop allowing the mind to retell the story of events in a way that ensures you were the one who was mistreated. No more stories that make you right and them wrong. Feeling mistreated results in a sad mood and reinforces the “searching for what is wrong” habit.
Creating these new mental habits will reduce your mental stress and break the old habit of feeling bad or unhappy. Your mind will be able to have moments of sadness or disappointment and then move through those feelings more quickly, no longer dwelling in those states for long periods of time.
For more detailed information on how to reduce and eliminate the critical voice in your head, and many other common topics of the mind, join Maria alongside her full 30-day Mind Reboot during the month of March. Following a 30-day plan can create the focus you need to reach your goals, and succeed at keeping and completing your resolutions for an amazing 2017.
I look forward to meeting you and your mind there!