If you’ve ever gone on a ‘diet’ you know that it’s typically about removing something. Something a doctor or society has deemed ‘bad.’ And those diets inevitably fail because they aren’t sustainable. But, when you decide to make a lifestyle change that involves replacing or ‘adding’ good foods instead of just removing the bad ones, you shift your perspective about food and it becomes a gradual path to success. It’s the same thing when it comes to our thinking.
When you start to notice your thought patterns and what drives your suffering i.e. fear, guilt, worry, shame; you can then begin to find ways to replace those patterns.
In the past three days, I’ve read several passages, social media posts, and had conversations about this very topic. So, it seemed like something I should write about.
I can say from personal experience that when I decided I wanted to find peace and freedom from fear, I tried my hardest to ‘let it go’. But, that didn’t seem to be enough, and I found myself somehow lacking. It’s because I’d lived with the fear for so long, just like someone struggling to give up sugar lives with donuts as part of their diet.
Then I read a passage from a teacher about shifting perception by replacing unhealthy or unhelpful thoughts with their opposites. For example, if you’re feeling angry at someone, try to find something positive about them to be grateful for. If you’re worried about something, replace that thought with something that you trust or are certain about. Like when I’m nervous about going to a doctor’s appointment, I try to replace that worry with trust. Trust that the doctor has my health in mind. And acceptance that my body is going to do what it is going to do. Replace that self-judgement by celebrating you.
When I feel lost in a thicket of thoughts, I try to step out of the trees and see the whole forest. For me, the serenity prayer often helps, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
The process is slow, just like a successful dietary change. So, I try to celebrate and acknowledge even the smallest progress. Crash diets never work.
– Your Charmed Yogi
(Photo: Pinterest/Merchant Mechanics)
Related post: Have yourself a thought-b-cue