I’ve been reminded recently of the way our brain works. Back when I started therapy for my BED (Binge Eating Disorder) I was taught about how the brain builds habits and why old habits are hard to get rid off. It’s all in the brain’s neurological connections and how strong these are for habits that are well ingrained in us, as opposed to the weak, fresh, brand new habits we’re trying to get. Think of an olive tree. Very young trees are barely more than an overgrown grass, whether an old olive tree is thick and gnarly and very strong. Habits are the same.
In my constant search for self-improvement, I am attempting to be more positive. To do that, I want to try to actively change negative thoughts into positive ones. I am recording it all in this online ‘journal’ because, why not?
There are things I hate doing. One of them is ironing. But that wasn’t today. Today was grocery shopping. ‘I would rather chop my left foot’ was the way I was thinking at first. Then, on my way there, I tried to see it in a different way. I told myself, as a writer, it would offer a unique opportunity to observe people, which made me feel a bit better.
Did I observe anybody? Not at all, but at least it was slightly less annoying of a task.
Now, you must wonder, why am I trying to go through this exercise. Well, I am actively seeking to improve my body image and in order to do so, I’d like to be more positive about myself. A neighbour and friend was over my house for a glass of wine earlier and she put up a picture of us on Facebook. What did I notice first? That my dress was unattractively caught under my breasts and I look terrible. I’m telling myself at least it looks like I am having a good time, which I was. It’s also a lovely day, warm and sunny (most of the time).
There were more, smaller moments of negative thinking, but those were the main ones. I suppose it wasn’t so bad for a first they. Now, they say it takes 21 days to set up a new habit. I’ll go for 30. Day 2, here I come.