How You Talk to Yourself Matters Part II
Self-Care Starts with Self-Talk
Stop the Woeful Worries!
By Eleatta Diver
Prints available HERE.
Addicted to worry
My name is Eleatta, and I am a worry addict in recovery. A fretful undertow of anxiety courses through my thoughts gripping my gut like the cuff of a blood pressure gauge. BUT I am learning how to construct dikes to alter the watery swells. I'm learning self-care really starts with tending to our thought life. When my confessions of fretful consternations are met with surprise, I concur with a smile, ‘Yeah, I hid it well…until I didn’t.’ And I explain how the undertow pulled me into darker and darker places until it became obvious that I had two choices. I would either learn how to redirect the flow of my ruminations or drown underneath their force.
Tools to change
Through adept counseling, good friends and self-education, I’m learning to manage the tides of worry by building preventive barriers. Much like sand bags are filled, stacked and used as dikes to hold incoming flood waters, I’m filling my thoughts with new substantive weight to strengthen and protect the borders of my emotional well being. I wish I’d learned this skill much earlier, but as the saying goes, ‘Better late than never!’
Building strong dikes
Dike building experts say the strongest dike reinforcements follow specific guidelines.
Step 1.) Clean away the base area, thoroughly removing any debris.
Step 2.) Determine how high the dike needs to be based on the flood predictions
Step 3.) Properly fill sand bags.
Step 4.) Tap, press and pack the bags as they’re stacked to create a tight seal.
Similar steps can be taken to build strong ‘thought dikes.’
Step 1.) Clean away debris.
Task- Identify thoughts that are scattered around the edges of your thinking. For me, those thoughts were fragments of fearing rejection left over from childhood wounds.
Step 2.) Get clear on a particular type of flood you anticipate.
Task - Again, mine was fearing rejection, so when faced with new opportunities for my business, I could predict the oncoming waters with a meteorologist’s accuracy.
Step 3.) Properly fill those sand bags.
Task - Through meditation, I poured new, healthier thoughts into my psyche.
Step 4.) Press bags to create a tight seal.
Task - With purposeful intention, I tapped , packed and compressed these stacks of thoughts with determination.
If you’re as much of a visual a person as I am, here’s a short video of a sand bag dike being built.
Self-care starts with self -talk
I have come to equate the skill of assembling ‘thought dykes,’ to that of offering the truest type of self-care. Indeed, tending to our thoughts may even give just as much emotional release as a spa massage.
A deeper diver
For a deeper dive into the practical how to’s of changing thought patterns, I highly recommend Deepac Chopra.
Deepac has a fantastic app too. It’s full of simple self-care practices with an emphasis on our thought life and it includes numerous leading voices in well-being. Check it out HERE.