Slim down, trim down and slow down. Not your body . . . Your brain.
5 steps, How to do a Thought Diet
1. Intermittent Fasting
Give your mind a rest. On average we have between 60,000 and 80,000 thoughts a day – EXHAUSTING, RIGHT?. Take time – even just five minutes a day will make a difference – to calm your mind and reduce incessant internal chatter.
Try neurochemical time-outs:
2. Count Calories
Record your thoughts and prioritize. Thoughts filled with worries, stresses and to-do’s can be overwhelming. When you write thoughts down on paper your brain says, “Whew, now I can stop trying to remind him/her OVER AND OVER AND OVER SO THERE’S NO FORGETTING.”
When a worrisome, stressful, hurtful, anxiety provoking thought comes into your head:
- Write it down – keep a running list or write it all down 1/2 before bed (you’ll sleep better)
- Decide what to do with it – if you have no control over the situation or don’t need to do anything about it right now, erase it, put a line through it, let it go. Your brain will remind you again if it’s important.
- If the thought pops up again, repeat #1 & 2 as many times as needed.
3. Communal eating.
Actually listen to people. It’s not ALWAYS about YOU.
A good way of knowing if you are actually listening to others is to check your thoughts while they’re talking – are you thinking about the story you’re about to tell or impatient to jump in with your own anecdote or advice (like eating alone while watching TV)? Focus on what they’re saying without thinking about what you’ll say next or the point you want to get across and notice how you feel more present, calmer.
4. Cut out Inflammatory Food.
Stop beating yourself up. The only person who expects you to be perfect, is you (and perhaps a parent). Give yourself a break and let go of the need to be perfect in everything and anything. You’ll be able to release any guilt that way too.
Speaking of guilt . . . my criteria is Illegal, Immoral, Unethical. IF it doesn’t meet at least one of those standards guilt is the wrong emotion. Pick another feeling food group – sad, mad, glad, disgusted, afraid.
5. Substitute Vegetables for junk food.
Shift your thinking. The way that we think about things has an impact on our neurochemistry which impacts our emotions, our health and our bodies. Flip negative thinking to positive or even neutral is changes the brain chemistry and reduces the stress response.
- Believe it or not, you can find the humor, absurdity in most situations.
- View it from someone else’s perspective
- Even if you don’t believe it – flip the thought from negative to positive.
Catastrophizing a situation can also lead us to make rash and wrong choices. When we respond ‘defensively’ the stress response is elevated.