What’s the big deal about positive thinking? Why is it so important? Sara Maria, author of Love Your Body, Love Your Life, states, “Thoughts are energy and have the ability to influence our psychology and biology in profound ways, either for good or for ill. Thoughts play an integral role in the development of our lives and in the development of our health and well-being, or the lack thereof.” Psychology, biology, development of our lives, health, and well-being?? Sounds like important stuff to me.
Brooke Castillo, author, master life coach, and CEO of The Life Coach School, has created a model that shows us just how important our thoughts really are. Her model says this: Circumstances exists in our lives, but are neutral, meaning they cannot make us feel any certain way. We choose the thoughts we have about our circumstances. Our thoughts create our feelings. Our feelings drive our actions. And our actions produce the results we have in our lives. Ok, what? That was just a lot. Here’s a visual that simplifies the whole process:
My interpretation of this model says that every result we have in our life, starts initially as a thought. So that’s the big deal!
The piece of Brooke Castillo’s model that I want to focus more on today is that our feelings drive our actions. Feelings, or emotions, are a part of the human experience, and we experience a huge variety of emotions, sometimes even in the course of a day. We can categorize these feelings into two basic categories—positive and negative. Positive feelings are the ones that feel good. We like them and usually want to feel them more. Negative feelings are the ones that don’t feel good to us. We all respond differently to negative emotion, but some common responses are to resist it, to hide from or try to escape it, or to compound it by adding more negative emotion to it. Now, I believe that both positive and negative emotions are necessary and that we should experience both in life. I believe that there is “opposition in all things,” and that without negative emotion, positive emotion wouldn’t feel good. So it’s okay to feel bad!
But here’s what I have noticed: Negative feelings don’t motivate me to the kind of action that gets me the results I want in my life. Positive feelings do. So I want to create those feelings as much as I can. And remember—WE CREATE OUR FEELINGS. Our kids don’t. Our husbands don’t. Our jobs don’t. Our houses don’t. And our bodies don’t. We do, through our thoughts.
When I think about loving my body in the action sense, I think about things like exercise, eating nutritious food, getting enough sleep, and drinking lots of water. And these loving actions are done best and most consistently when fueled by positive emotion.
When I think positive thoughts about my body, I feel positive emotions, such as worthiness, self-acceptance, contentment, peace, and love. All those feelings are far more motivating than disgust, shame, unworthiness, hopelessness, and hatred.
Think about a time that you felt extremely motivated. Motivated enough to truly make changes–not just for a day or a week, but real life changes. I can tell you that that motivation was fueled by love, or other positive feelings. Not by hatred. But yet we continue to think we can hate our bodies into a version we will love better. If I am disgusted enough by my belly, maybe someday I will do something to change it. If I tell myself how embarrassing it is to wear a bathing suit, I will find the motivation to stop overeating. If I compare my body to hers enough times, I will feel all sorts of drive to become her. Guess what? This simply will not work.
If we want to truly take care of our bodies and take actions to become a healthier version of ourselves, it must come from a place of love, and all the positive feelings that are associated with that superlative positive emotion. Are you practicing the thoughts that will get you there? I hope so. You are worth it!
Love your body, and your body will love you. ♥