How often do you take time to recognize your small successes, be they related to recovery from disordered eating or anything else? Yesterday, I was counseling someone who asked me, “Why is it so much easier to remember the negative than the positive?” I told them that some of us seem hard-wired to focus on negatives and others on positives…HOWEVER…we can always learn a new way of thinking.
Just like the difficulty we encounter the first few times we break the binge cycle and get out of “B.E.D.”, beginning to re-program our minds to focus on the positives (like small successes) can seem impossible at first. However, if you can do it once, you can do it again and again and again… The more often you recognize your success, the more your brain begins to see more of the positives in your life than the negatives. In fact, the positives and negatives actually merge and disappear; you’ll find that every situation has some positive and some negative aspects. Things will no longer be “all good” or “all bad” and you will no longer be “complete perfection” or “a total mess”.
So, take some time today to write out a list of at least five successes (thoughts, deeds, emotions, etc.) you feel you’ve had in the last day (or week). Here’s my list (and thanks for letting me share it with you):
1. Submitted to the publisher the final edits for the second edition of my book, Getting Out of B.E.D.
2. Recognized some black and white thinking that had been clouding my view
3. Kept up with my blog despite feeling like I don’t have much to say
4. Made some time to talk to a friend who made me laugh
5. Respected my body’s hunger cues and did my best to eat what I needed
Give yourself some of that much deserved recognition for all that you are working towards, even if it feels like you’re spinning your wheels and going nowhere. If you can’t come up with a list of five, start with one per day and try to increase it as time goes by.
Peace, joy, and health!