Tai Chi Your Thinking And Self Talk

Nothing is Either Good or Bad Only Thinking Makes it so!

William Shakespeare.

I found a sad, but very thought-provoking article this week regarding the brain scans of two 3-year old children.  Bear with me on this one, I do have a point.  One had been brought up in a loving home, had been cuddled, talked to and engaged with.  His brain was a normal size.  The other child’s brain was considerably smaller.  He had not been held, touched, loved, talked to or engaged in any activity with anyone else expect the bare minimum.

Your Brain and Self Talk 

Why am I telling you this very sad story?  Because it got me wondering.  If this child now suffers from developmental delays and emotional problem just through neglect, then what does our own self neglect and negative self-talk to do our own bodies and brains?

 We Decide how we Talk to Ourselves

Without opening up the whole nature vs nurture debate, I think we can all agree that, to a certain degree we all have a choice.  A choice about how we talk to ourselves, what we eat, who we talk to as friends, what we do in our spare time, how much exercise we do. 

Do you Criticise yourself?

But, when we fall short of the standards we set ourselves and start to criticise ourselves what does that do?  Would you actually talk to another person in the same way you talk to yourself?  Would you actually be that nasty and critical if you had to say those words out loud to someone else?  I doubt you would say them at all! 

 Don’t Run yourself down

And that is my point.  If you wouldn’t say it to your best friend then don’t say it to yourself.  It’s not helpful, it’s not motivating – anything but!  It’s ok to ‘fall off the wagon’ from time to time – we are all human and Joe Wicks has just proved. 

“Mistakes” are how we Learn

You are supposed to make mistakes – it’s called evolution.  It’s what you do after that makes the difference.  So, you ate a piece of birthday cake in the office on Friday – big deal, just don’t give up and use that as an excuse to eat junk food all weekend.  Don’t tell yourself it was inevitable – it’s not!  Making a mistake is inevitable, giving up on yourself isn’t.

 Be Positive with your Self Talk

You can try changing a few simple words around to boost your good brain chemistry.  Try ‘I will’ instead of ‘I can’t’, try ‘sometimes’ instead of ‘all ways’ e.g. I all ways get that wrong – I sometimes get that right.  We often tell ourselves that we ‘can’t’ do something, well you can say ‘I can try’ instead and see what happens! 

It’s Not that you Fall Over its How You Get Up!

And that’s my point with tai chi.  Life flows, sometimes you have it all together and its ticking along nicely.  Then a spanner is thrown into your life works and things are a little out of balance.  You may not practise your tai chi for a day or two – ok, get back to when you can, don’t just give up and walk away.  Be gentle with yourself, tell yourself that you know this is maybe not how you want to be right now, how you want life to go, but that’s ok, life will change again.  Sticking to your tai chi, even if you feel you are practising it badly (can you hear that inner, critical voice again?) will help immensely.  It gives you a routine, it exercises and stretches both your body and your mind.  And when life sucks?  Well, do your tai chi and it will help you to forget the world exists for a while – and it’s great for silencing that pesky inner voice!

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