Happy Monday! I'm sitting in a quiet room with the sun creeping through the trees shinning brightly through my window. I finally have a moment to myself, a quiet moment where I can be alone and not be rushed by time or someone else. I read my favourite blogs and watch my motivational video to get me fired up and ready to go! It honestly makes such a difference when I watch this video first thing in the morning. I feel positive and excited to start the day/week. But let me tell you, it doesn't happen all the time, and sometimes I even have trouble waking up in the morning and feeling excited about work/life. I have my days (or nights) filled with doubt, fear and anxiety. Just last night, I had trouble falling asleep because I had 100 things racing through my mind and I felt anxious. We all have days where our negative voices fill our head. But guess what, there's a solution for that - positive self-talk. We have control over what we think and do. So to kick start the week on the right thought, Dr. Dominika Zarzeczny N.D., founder and Naturopathic Doctor of Personalized Wellness Clinic Toronto, shared with me her blog post on "4 Steps To Rid Yourself Of Negative Self-Talk".
Your self-talk creates your reality. We sometimes get stuck on negative self-talking patterns like, “I wish I wasn’t so …”or “Why can’t I …?” that simply don’t serve us. What if you could rewire your brain and create new thoughts to help bring you closer to what you truly want? It’s easier than you think. What’s more, the more frequently you create new positivethoughts, the more quickly they will become positive habits.
Step 1. Choose Your Mantra
Because habits are easier to make than they are to break, it is important that you practice positive self-talk regularly. Simple affirmations or mantras like the ones listed here are a great place to start. You may find some of them silly or maybe even unattainable. That’s ok. Think of your mantra as a pesky pop song that plays on the radio multiple times a day. Eventually it will get stuck in your head, whether you like it or not! The same goes for positive self-talk. You may not believe it (yet!), but eventually it will get stuck in your head.
I have my patients put mantra practice reminders into their mobile devices. A note to those using cell phones: make sure to turn the sound off during your practice so that you don’t get distracted. You can start with once a day and increase the frequency to two to three times a day as you feel comfortable.
Two things have been proven to be effective at reinforcing positive self-talk: aromatherapy and deep breathing.
Step 2. Find An Essential Oil That You Love
Equip yourself with an essential oil that you find pleasant and relaxing. I make my patients customized roll-on doTerra™ essential oils for easy application and portability. I have them apply their roll-on oil under the nose, or rub it into the base of the head or on the bottoms of the feet. There’s no right or wrong way, so you get to decide what works best for you.
Step 3. Deep Breathe
The practice of deep breathing activates our parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), a part of our nervous system responsible for activities that occur at rest, like sleeping and eating. The PNS works in the opposite manner to the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), which is associated with the fight or flight response. When we feel stressed, our SNS is activated, and our negative self-talk can get louder. The connection between the PNS and the SNS that we can control voluntarily is our breath. I encourage my patients to carve out 2 minutes of deep breathing at least once a day. Aim to breathe at about five breaths per minute. At rest, we usually breathe 12 times a minute, so 5 breaths may feel challenging at first. Like positive self-talk, this takes time so don’t rush it.
Step 4. Put It All Together
Settle into a comfortable place where you won’t get distracted for about two minutes. I like to do it in my office and in my car (when it’s parked, of course!). Before each inhalation, state your mantra out loud or quietly. Reinforce it by smelling your essential oil. Then count to six as you inhale, and then to another six as you exhale. The more you practice this, the deeper and slower your breaths will become. Before each breath cycle, repeat your mantra and inhale the scent of your essential oil. Do this at least five times, or for about two minutes.
This practice is also great for moments that cause us distress or anxiety like work, stressful drives home, or flying. It works well for kids who are anxious, have trouble falling asleep, are apprehensive before tests, or who suffer from ADHD. Rub essential oil into their abdomens, behind their ears or into their feet.
Wishing you a wonderful positive self-talk practice.
Yours in health,