02 Oct Two Minute Mantras: How to Empower Yourself With Words
That voice in our heads can get pretty nasty, can’t it? It just loves to tell us what we’re doing wrong, what we aren’t capable of, how terrible we look. Today we talked to trainer and author Lizzie Williamson about how to silence the negative self talk.
My nasty voice got a whole lot nastier when I became a mother. It became the norm for me to talk to myself in a very negative way: ‘You won’t be able to stick to anything so why bother, you’re too unfit, you’ve let yourself go, look at the size of your stomach…’ and so on. It would also tell me things like, ‘You may as well eat the whole block of chocolate since you’re never going to have the body you want anyway’.
When my daughters were old enough for me to start telling them how important it was to love themselves, I had such an ah-ha moment.
How could I possibly teach them to do that when I wasn’t even doing it myself? Would I ever say to them the things I was saying to myself? Never!
We produce up to 50,000 thoughts a day and around 70 percent of those are negative, and they’re exactly the kind of thoughts that trigger us to numb our feelings with overeating and other self-destructive behaviours. According to the Mayo Clinic, negative self-talk can even bring about physical as well as emotional stress, undermining your cardiovascular health, gut health and immune system. So how do we begin to turn around those thousands of negative thoughts?
A Two-minute Mantra Helps You to Start Training Your Brain to Think in a More Confidence-inducing Way. Here’s How It Works:
Step one: Pick a Two-minute Mantra from the list below or create your own. Set a timer for two minutes, or check the time on the clock.
Step two: Breathe in, and either think or speak the first half of the mantra, then breathe out and finish it off. For instance, breathe in as you say, ‘My body,’ then breathe out as you finish with, ‘is a miracle’. Imagine the mantra travelling through your body like your breath.
Step three: Repeat until the two minutes are up.
- I am strong
- I am enough
- I am proud of my body
- I’ve got this
- I can do this
- I love my body
- I am worthy
- I am confident in my body
- My body deserves nourishment
A good way to find a mantra that really works for you is to become aware of your negative thoughts and flip them. So if you catch yourself saying ‘I’m hopeless’, add the words, ‘I am capable’ to your list of go-to mantras. If you’re stuck, search a thesaurus for some good antonyms.
ashamed – confident
hate – respect
impossible – believe
loathe – honour
I often practise these mantras while I’m driving, so when I stop at the traffic lights, I pause and repeat a Two-minute Mantra to myself.
Like any habit, if you want to enjoy the huge results of this small step you need to practise it, ideally every day. Think of how many minutes you spend telling yourself what’s wrong with you – how much better would it feel if you spent just two of them repeating to yourself, ‘I love my body’? You never know, you might even start to believe it.
Lizzy Williamson is a health and wellbeing expert, mother and author of Two Minute Moves. For more information about her new book visit twominutemoves.com
Words by Lizzie Williamson