When it comes to pulling ourselves out of a funk, there are two primary camps. The inside out and the outside in.
The outside in say:
Fake it to you make it! Change your actions or appearance, and soon enough your feelings will shift.
The inside out say:
Work with your thought patterns. This will change how you act, and in the long run, how you feel.
Personally, I’m not one for polarities. Or as Tanya Evanson coined it – I’m a bothist.
It’s like my commitment to eating paleo & and my undying loyalty to croissants. The two go together naturally.
I’m a bothist when it comes to emotional wellness as well.
I think feeling good happens inside out outside in. I call it my feel good feedback loop.
It’s important to clean up our insides. To get quiet and get in there – meditate, journal, get therapy, check in with our intuition and explore the ins and outs of who we actually are, what we value and how we operate. When we gain awareness of what we are thinking, we have the power to shift our thoughts and fuel feelings that may be more productive and produce better results for us.
However, sometimes shifting a thinking pattern can feel unnervingly similar to attempting to move a mountain. Our habits of thought are developed over years and the neurological pathways that they run on are literally ingrained into our brains. Thankfully, our brain’s neuroplasticity means the construction of new healthier pathways is possible, though effortful and time consuming.
When self-defeating thoughts come up fast and furious, with shame close behind, I invite you to remember the feel good feedback loop.
When I am caught in a moment of intensity, I take stock of my internal process, offer myself a compassionate reminder that I came by it honestly and then redirect my energy. Rather than placing all of my effort into repressing or drastically changing my thinking pattern, I choose to live gently into a different external reality – one that will offer counter evidence to the self defeating thoughts I’m spinning internally.
Sometimes this looks like putting on a nice outfit and taking myself out for a coffee and a croissant, and other days it means committing to an intimidating professional project moment by moment.
Either way, I give myself the opportunity to prove those well rehearsed unkind thoughts wrong. I give myself the opportunity to feel good.