Creating Your Internal Support Team


Today's post is a follow-up to Darla's from last week on How to Talk Sense to Yourself. Or in other words, changing negative self talk.

ACT II on the stage between your ears….

There's no one we believe more than ourselves, so all that negative self talk that we let aimlessly chatter away harms us. We generally don't talk to anyone else in a harmful way. Neither do we want to talk to ourselves disrespectfully.  Try these steps for starting to change that habit.

  • Start with affirmations. Use them with gusto – up the ante when you need a boost. Believing them wholeheartedly comes with repetition – remember it takes 300 or so to create a new neural pathway.
  • Perfect the pep talk! When you hear that voice that says, “Just stay in bed a little longer,” be ready with your well-practiced pep talk, such as: “Just get up, girl! You know you've never come home from walking and said, 'Gee, I wish I hadn’t done that.'”
  • Let “I've decided . . . . .” (fill in the blank) be your steadfast mantra. When you start to talk yourself into bad and out of good, tell yourself, “This is a decision I've made and don't need to remake today.” Or, “This is not up for decision.” Geez, just think how onerous it would be if every day we had to decide whether to brush our teeth, comb our hair or remind ourselves to put the car in drive so we can go…go..go. Stick with well-formed habits in your internal support network as well.
  • Learn the art of self reinforcement. One way to do this is to give yourself a grade on a wall chart or calendar. This gives you a visual for how you did today so that when you're inclined to forget your successes you can look at the evidence of accomplishments. Counting your successes and vigorously congratulating yourself, on that stage between your ears, on a job well done strengthens the habit of doing the activity or task again.
  • Feeling tender or burnt out? Start noticing when it is time for selfing. Be ready to nurture yourself by putting yourself in water, drinking with straws, rocking in a chair or snuggling up in a blanket. Or, maybe you need alone or down time. Do take it seriously enough to figure out just what would be really really good for you.

Your internal support team is a muscle you can develop just like those bicep curls.  The mindful noticing about what you need and how you are talking to yourself helps you to stay in the moment.  You have a finite amount of psychic energy.  If everyday just a little of that energy is going toward creating your support team, within a moon cycle of 28 days you will have inculcated a new, healthy habit.

The start of the holidays are about a moon cycle away.   Enough time to get that internal support team up and running to make a real difference for you this year. Think about joining us for our Holiday Helpings starting this month.  Thanksgiving is always special at Green Mountain — leave the cooking to us and leave armed with more strategies to help you thrive this holiday season.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About the Author

Marsha Hudnall, MS, RDN, CD

Marsha has been a guiding force at Green Mountain at Fox Run since 1986. In addition to overseeing a professional program that helps women establish sustainable approaches to healthy living, she is a respected thought leader when it comes to managing eating, emotions and weight. She has been a voice of reason for the last three decades in helping people move away from diets, an area in which she is personally as well as professionally versed. An accomplished writer and speaker, Marsha is the author of six books, including the online course Disordered Eating in Active and Sedentary Individuals (co-authored by Karin Kratina, PhD, RD, Human Kinetics), What You Need to Know about Carbohydrates (Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics [The Academy]), What You Need to Know about Vitamin and Mineral Supplements (The Academy), and The Pregnancy Cookbook (co-authored by Donna Shields, RD, Berkeley Publishing). She has worked extensively on a national basis to educate the public about nutrition and the impact of dieting on eating behaviors, including binge eating and emotional eating. Active in many organizations helping to further the cause of health and wellness, Marsha currently serves as vice chair of the Binge Eating Disorder Association and vice president of The Center for Mindful Eating and has been active in the Association for Size Diversity and Health in support of Health at Every Size(R) principles.

View Author Page