The Power of Our Thoughts

The Power of Our Thoughts

So you want to love your body more, but it seems so overwhelming. What a project! Where do you even start?

The more I have thought about and studied this topic, the more I realize how important our thinking is in this whole process. Maybe that sounds obvious, but I think most of us don’t truly understand our thinking, or the power our thoughts have. I know I have overlooked and underestimated my thoughts for most of my life.

But recently I learned something that has changed everything for me.

Our thoughts create our feelings.

Did you get that? Our thoughts create our feelings. I had been going along thinking that my children, my bank account, my husband’s choices, my responsibilities, and other things in my life were making me feel the way I felt.  And although some part of this new idea made sense to me, I had a strong desire to deny it.

If I feel overwhelmed, you mean to tell me it’s not because I have five kids? If I feel discouraged, it’s not because we took a pay cut last year? If I feel frustrated, it’s not because my husband isn’t helping me enough? If I feel angry, it’s not because of what she said to me?

Although it may have seemed easier to just let the responsibility for all my feelings fall on my circumstances, I find that it is FAR more empowering to recognize and acknowledge the power of my thoughts. My feelings are not simply at the mercy of everything going on around me, of things outside my control. In fact, the opposite is true. My feelings are completely within my control because of the incredible power of one thing I always have control over: MY THOUGHTS.

I want to stop right here and clarify something that can be tricky in all of this. We have a tendency to sometimes confuse thoughts and circumstances. We state our thoughts as if they are facts. For example: “I am so busy!”  The circumstances may be that I have a dentist appointment, work, a class party, and am having company for dinner, all on the same day. Those are facts–the circumstances. But we still get to choose our thoughts about those circumstances. One thought we may choose is “I am so busy!” But we may also choose to think, “I love my full life! There is plenty of time for everything.” Do you see how completely different feelings are produced by these two thoughts, without the circumstances having to change at all?

So what does this have to do with loving our bodies? Let’s look at some thoughts we may have about certain circumstances dealing with our bodies, and the feelings these thoughts could create.

 

Circumstance #1: Last year, I set a goal to lose ten pounds. Instead, I have gained five.

Possible Thought: “I have no self-control!” Accompanying Feelings: Shame and Frustration

Possible Thought: “My life is out of control. I can never lose weight.” Feelings: Defeat, Lack of Control

Possible Thought: “Last year, I learned what doesn’t work for me. I’m excited to try something new this year.” Feelings: Empowerment, Hope, Motivation

Possible Thought: “My weight does not define me. I am an amazing person.” Feelings: Worthiness

 

Circumstance #2: I saw a picture of a celebrity in a bikini in the checkout stand.

Possible Thought: “If I looked like her, then I would be happy.” Feelings: Jealousy, Frustration

Possible Thought: “I wish I looked like that! But having babies made me so fat!” Feelings: Self-pity, Inferiority, Disgust

Possible Thought: “She is beautiful. So am I. Isn’t it great that we are all unique?” Feelings: Contentment, Self-acceptance, Love

 

Circumstance #3: I lost weight recently.

Possible Thought: “I better be careful. I gain weight when I simply look at food!” Feelings: Fear, Lack of Control

Possible Thought: “I may have lost weight, but my butt is still so big!” Feelings: Inadequacy, Disgust

Possible Thought: “I love taking care of my body. Regardless of the weight lost, I feel so good.” Feelings: Accomplishment, Peace

 

Do you see what I mean? When we acknowledge the power of our thoughts, we learn that our circumstances really do NOT have power over our feelings. I believe that this understanding—once we really own it and believe it–is the first tool we need in our project of loving our bodies. How to choose our thoughts to create the feelings we want would be the next, and is an entire blog post on its own. So I’ll let it be just that. Another post. Stick with me. 😉

Love your body, and your body will love you. 

8 thoughts on “The Power of Our Thoughts

  1. I have often found myself thinking negatively about my body. Many many times a day, actually. I have never thought about the connection between our thoughts and our results for long enough to make a change. I am excited to become more aware of my thoughts and make my life happier even if nothing happens to change my body.

    1. I think most of us don’t make his connection, whether with our thoughts about our bodies or our thoughts in other areas where we aren’t experience the results we want in our lives. I have been doing this work with my thoughts around mothering and it has been eye-opening and incredibly helpful!

  2. This was super powerful, well said! I am excited to apply it to aspects of parenting and how I feel about my body!

    1. Thank you! And it has so many applications!! Now that I have this awareness, every time I experience a negative emotion, I am asking myself, “What thought is causing this feeling?” It has been eye-opening and life changing!

  3. This is the exact concept we had introduced to the YW at girls camp this year! It was such a wonderful message that I wish I would’ve incorporated long ago when I was that age. Since hearing this I have thought of it a few times but have only focused on it occasionally. I am going to try and be proactive and positive about it rather than reactive. Thanks for the reminder.

  4. I love this! I have been working on this for a while now and love how empowering it is when I am successful at it, but am frustrated with how often I forget and let my thoughts control me rather than me control my thoughts. I’m excited to try and make a greater effort to apply this concept in every aspect of my life.

  5. I love this! I have been trying to work on this off and on over the last few months and love it when I am successful at it, but frustrated with how often I forget and let my thoughts control me rather than me control my thoughts. Im excited to try harder to make this a priority in all aspects of my life!

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