As a writer, there’s always a critic in my head. She compliments me from time to time, but mostly she kvetches and moans and nitpicks
This type of negative self-talk isn’t healthy, which we all know. But what’s challenging, at least for me, is to ignore the critic. I’ve tried methods like turning my thoughts into clouds and watching them fade away, or exploding my thoughts like fireworks, but sometimes those just make my blood boil even more.
At the core of the program is the advice that we must think critically in moments of decision, and not let stress force us into bad choices. Eventually we will “gain the resilience” that helps us get through the rough patches.
Take fitness. I know I should work out, yet I rarely do. Sometimes I’ll take the dog for a walk, but 15 minutes around the block doesn’t a marathon runner make. And while running a marathon isn’t one of my goals, being healthy is. But I still make excuses, mostly to the tune of “I don’t have time,” which is nonsense, because I work from home and therefore could (theoretically) use my “commute time” as workout time.
See! Right there I followed the program. I challenged my thought and plugged in what the authors call a “thought zapper.” My next steps would be to schedule my workouts, be realistic (“The dog and I will take two 30-minute walks this week” rather than “I will work out for 60 minutes each day!”), and engage a workout buddy.
My favorite chapter so far is about Emotional Radars, which addresses the seven primary negative emotions that exaggerate stress: anger, anxiety, frustration, sadness, guilt, embarrassment and shame. The authors walk you through identifying your “default emotion” which is the emotion you turn to when you’re experiencing something bad. They even list physical reactions to each emotion. This chart alone is worth the price of the book.
Just think. A month from now, you could be on your way to managing your stress and living the life you were meant to live.
Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links meaning I may receive compensation if you use those links. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging with Books for review; all opinions are my own.