New Year, New You?

So we are just finding our feet as February is upon us, and already we are inundated with diet and exercise programmes on TV.

The presenter seems to be earnestly exploring for us which is the best diet or exercise regime that will be the answer to all our problems. So we watch them light-heartedly and go about our business, maybe we will join a gym, or eat more veg, but the mode of our lives doesn’t change that much.

So what would it be like to be totally happy with your body and mind? Is there a way to change habits of a lifetime? Well, the simple answer is there is, but it’s not just by making changes to our exercise regime.

What would it be like to be calm, happy and content most of the time? It’s my understanding after studying psychology and working as a therapist/counsellor for the past 15 years, the only way to change your life is to change your mindset.

We have been programmed over our lifetime to think a certain way. A lot of our programming is based on fear and what ifs.

It’s not surprising when you look at the news and social media, if you don’t measure up you’re falling behind. You’re supposed to look a certain way, act a certain way, even live a certain way. Fashions come and go, and we follow them without thinking about it. What if you took control of your thinking?

Being aware of your thoughts is the most empowering thing you can do to take control.

Once you become aware of what you’re thinking, it is then up to you if you want to continue to think this way or not. Many clients tell me, after a bad night’s sleep that thoughts seemed to go round and round in their heads, like a hamster on a wheel.

It seems that some people can be consumed by their thoughts, and it actually dictates their lives and how they live and act in them.                                                      

When someone is angry with another person, they will think about what that person did and how it has effected them. They will reason that the other person is wrong, and cannot be trusted or liked. You might want to go back to that person and give them a piece of your mind. This we probably have all experienced at one time or other.

Depending on the situation, anger can go on for years and years if it is not resolved. In the end it's you that can get hurt the most. I remember one lady whose husband had left her 20 years ago, she still talked badly about him and said she hated him. This had become a part of who she was, not a happy lady.

So our own awareness of our thoughts is crucial to changing them. Once you understand what you are thinking and why, then you have a choice to think how you always have done, or to change and distract yourself to learn a better way of being. Meditation, yoga, mindfulness are all good tools to help you move forward.

Beverley Sandler

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