Here we are — already into week and habit #7 for 2022! And, it’s an important one: TAME THE INNER CRITIC.
It is estimated that an average brain has anywhere from 25,000 to 50,000 thoughts a day and 70% of them are believed to be negative.
And, most of these negative thoughts lead us to bad choices for our health and wellbeing and keep us from our highest and healthiest self.
The good news is we can and do have control but like going to the gym to work our muscles, we need to work our brain and how it thinks.
One of my favorite ways to tame the inner critic is Tara Brach’s well-known practice called RAIN, an acronym that can help us pause when reactivity (either from thoughts or something that’s happens outside of us) threatens to take over. I really like this practice because I have experienced it working personally and with many clients.
Tara Brach is a well known psychotherapist, author, speaker and meditation teacher. Among her many accomplishments is the Insight Meditation Community of Washington, DC (IMCW), which is now one of the largest and most dynamic non-residential meditation centers in the United States.
According to Tara, when we find ourselves on the brink of reactivity, instead of reacting right away – we:
- Recognize — by grounding first (notice our surroundings) and then bring awareness to what is happening – This means consciously acknowledging the thoughts, behaviors, and feelings that are affecting us. You might do this by silently reflecting on yourself, writing about your experience, or even speaking your thoughts aloud. This simple act of naming an emotion can be enough to take its power away.
- Allow life to be, just as it is – Despite any discomfort that arises, we pause and sit with our emotions, without trying to fix anything. It can help to tell our emotions, “Yes, it’s okay,” as they arise.
- Investigate your inner-state – Encourage ourselves to call upon our curiosity and tap into part of ourselves that can look at a situation with interest, care, and gentle attention. Here, we want to step away from thinking and get in touch with our bodily response.
- Nurture with self-compassion – At this point, we reach deep inside, past the parts of ourselves that we dislike, and find the most tender and wounded parts. Then, extend a gesture of reassurance or care to these parts. You can say, “I’m sorry, and I love you, sweetheart.” Often, such a gesture is all these wounded parts need.
RAIN is very powerful! Not only do we stop reacting but we live in the moment in a more kind and peaceful way. This is life changing!!!
Give it a try! Would love to hear how this works for you.
IIf you want more support and/or you want to join the Badass Healthy Women private Facebook group–click here and let me know.
I am here to support, motivate and gently remind us how important our healthy living is and how a community of like-minded women keeps us on track! When we live the Badass Healthy lifestyle, we reduce inflammation, create and maintain our ideal weight and decrease anxiety. Who doesn’t want that!?
Stay tuned for next week’s habit which is about adding complex movements into your fitness.
Here’s to living badass, healthy and joyful as we head into month two of 2022!
May you nourish. May you move. May you be mindful.