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Today’s topic is about that voice in your head that endlessly evaluates everything, talks you into doing things you should not, and convinces you not to do things you should.

This voice tells you that if you leave your toxic job you will lose everything you worked so hard to attain and that spending your hard-earned money on a hobby or a well-deserved massage is reckless and likely the first step toward becoming homeless.

Unless properly managed, this voice will strive to take you to the mat at every turn. This inner bantering is not only irrational, it is psychotic! It keeps you in a constant state of fear, ensuring that you remain ever on the alert for any and everything that can possibly go wrong. I mean seriously, if you had a companion who spoke to you that way, you would kick them to the curb for continually scaring you to death!

The good news is that you can change this inner dialogue to one that is focused on positive outcomes and possibilities, giving you the ability to make healthier decisions and, yes, experience total peace of mind. That’s right, you can experience a deep sense of inner peace! It takes time and effort, but it is definitely within your reach.

In order to do so, it is helpful to understand that this voice comes from your subconscious mind. It is ultimately trying to protect you from harm, but it is misguided and can ultimately cause more harm than good when its programming is fear based.

This programming comes from many sources going all the way back to childhood, possibly even from the time you were in the womb receiving subtle messages from your mother’s thoughts, feelings, and state of mind. Once born, it was learned from your parents, grandparents, and other family members. Later, it was influenced by television, teachers, peers, and by now, a lifetime of experiences.

Of course, not all of the programming is negative or fear based, but our reactions to the fear-based programming are much stronger and can be so subtle you just get a feeling rather than a thought in the form of words or sentences.

For example, if you work in a corporate environment, there are unspoken expectations around the dress code, political affiliations, sexual preferences, sports team and college affiliations, even which channel you select for your source of news. You may not consciously be aware of every expectation but you sense it and monitor and adjust your behaviors accordingly, even if that’s not the way you would behave if left to your own devices. Why? You are avoiding anticipated discomfort or pain (from disapproving peers to job loss). This is your subconscious mind in action!

As you might expect, changing the tendency to be on constant alert is no small undertaking. And the number of methods for retraining the subconscious is unlimited. I will dive into some of these methods in later posts, but here’s are a few methods I am familiar with:

·      Meditation
·      Yoga
·      Practicing mindfulness in every moment
·      Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
·      Positive affirmations
·      Energy healing techniques (i.e., Reiki)
·      Acupuncture
·      Breathing exercises
·      Prayer

There are also some excellent books out there to help you get started:

·      The Untethered Soul
·      The Power of Now
·      Your Sacred Self (or anything by Wayne Dyer)
·      The Four Agreements
·      A Return to Love (or anything by Marianne Williamson) 

YouTube is also a terrific source of information on this topic. Here are some video links:

·      Spirit Science video series
·      Louise Hay
·      EFT 

I sincerely hope you found today’s topic interesting and worthy of further exploration. Your efforts to shift your inner conversation to a more positive and self-empowering dialogue will pay off in ways you could never imagine. I hope you take that leap!

Yours in health, well being, and inner peace,

Allison

 
 
[to see a prettier version of this post, click here]

In the September 7th newsletter and blog post, I talked about how we will do ANYTHING other than what is truly best for us in order to lose a few pounds and trim our waistline by a few inches. 
 
So what’s the deal? Why are we so impulsive and irrational when it comes to our body image, and why is it so difficult to just eat a healthy diet?  These are two excellent questions.
 
The primary motivating force behind all behavior lies in the psychological phenomenon known as the Pleasure Principle.1We are designed to seek pleasure and avoid pain. It is the driving force behind all of our behaviors and actions. This impulse is so strong that we willingly betray our own better judgment to keep from feeling uncomfortable.
 
Just think about how marketing incorporates this principle to induce you into purchasing something you can’t afford and don’t really need. How? They incite fear and negative emotions (pain) then provide a solution to relieve your pain (pleasure). Double whammy and whoosh - the sale is guaranteed!
 
Example: “Are you tired of seeing your belly hang over your belt? Are you sick of feeling self-conscious every single day because of that extra 10 pounds you are carrying around your waistline?  My name is Dr. VooDoo, and I have successfully treated thousands of overweight patients with Product X…”  You know the drill. This is followed by testimonials and before/after photos which finish off the job of convincing you to buy the product so that you can get relief from the pain you are now suffering.  It’s all made up, they are actors, the whole scenario is fake… and it works. You buy the product which may or may not be effective and you have likely wasted money you couldn’t afford to spend in the first place.
 
Changing your eating habits is subject to the same principle, except it’s the voices in your head that are conducting the sales pitch and response: “Ohhhh, doesn’t that triple chocolate layer cake look yummy?!! Uggghhh, I need that like I need a hole in my head… if I eat that, I will get fatter and feel guilty!  But it will taste soooooo gooood!!!...”  You are literally rallying back and forth over whether or not eating the cake will cause more pain than the pleasure you will receive by eating it. The strongest impulse usually wins, even if it is irrational, bad for you, or puts you in harm’s way.
 
The first step to overcoming this psychotic method of decision making is to recognize it for what it is. Acknowledge it then decide what to do based on what is truly in your best interest. Once you recognize what is going on, you can actively work toward managing your behaviors.
 
There are many methods available for changing behaviors such as reward systems, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), hypnosis, cognitive behavioral therapy and re-training your associations. 
                         
I could go on and on about this topic as it is critical to taking control of unwanted, unhealthy behaviors. So if managing your impulses and subsequent behaviors is a problem for you, keep an eye out for future posts on this topic.
 
Also, in the near future, I will be conducting a video interview with a counselor who uses the techniques listed above to help people gain control of their behaviors so that they can rationally and consciously “decide” what to do rather than irrationally acting on impulse.
 
Thank you for reading today’s post. I hope you found it interesting.
 
Yours in health and well being,
 
Allison