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MindFirst / Mindfulness  / Are Junk Thoughts As Harmful As Junk Food?
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Are Junk Thoughts As Harmful As Junk Food?

Junk food. We know what it is. We even know we should be avoiding, or at least limiting, our intake of junk food.

But what about junk thoughts?

It turns out that what we think, and not just what we eat, can have an impact on our wellness.

Some of us may think that we’ll be happier once we’re healthier. But a study from the University of Adelaide has revealed that it’s actually the other way around: Personal happiness can promote weight loss.

On your journey to a healthier, happier, more balanced you, it’s important to get rid of negative thoughts that could be sabotaging your weight loss efforts.

Here are a few:

Junk Thought: “I’m Not Seeing Enough Change On The Scale. This Isn’t Working.”

Many of us are motivated to lose weight. If we don’t experience weight loss as quickly as we want to, or the numbers on the scale aren’t budging, we can quickly become discouraged and give up.

Obsessing about our weight is a junk thought. The number on the scale does not tell the whole story.

Our wellness has numerous indicators. The more mindful we are, the more we’ll realize that we are making progress every day. But if we become too focused on our junk thoughts, we’ll miss the wonderful improvements we’ve made in our health.

Try focusing on these thoughts, instead:

Am I more energized? Do I sleep better? Does my food taste better? Am I better able to understand what my body needs? Have I made progress in my ability to meditate? Can I recognize and address my stress? Do I feel stronger? Do my clothes fit better?

Junk Thought: “I Made A Mistake, Now I Need To Start Over.”

Maybe you had a few donuts for breakfast. Or a bowl of ice cream after dinner. Now you’re thinking that because you’ve made a mistake, you need to start your dedication to wellness all over again.

This is a junk thought for a few reasons.

First, moving toward wellness is a journey. It does not have a start and end point. And yes, there may be a few detours on the way. But it’s important to always focus on moving forward and not backwards.

Secondly, a few donuts or a bowl of ice cream may not represent the healthiest choices, but they will by no means “undo” everything you’ve already been working toward.

Instead, think about it as a moment of enjoying food you normally don’t, and continue with developing your food habits. Focus on how you feel, and use those thoughts to power your next meal.

No one is perfect. If you keep thinking that you need to be, then you’ll be adding to your stress instead of mindfully enjoying each moment of your day.

Junk Thought: “I Can’t.”

I can’t exercise. I can’t resist my cravings. I can’t let go of my stress. I can’t meditate.

If you are trying to be healthier, happier, and more balanced, there is no more harmful thought than telling yourself there are things you cannot do. You will feel immediately discouraged, incapable, and frustrated.

Plus, you’ll give yourself an easy out anytime something doesn’t work exactly how you want it to.

It’s always important to focus on what you can do. And that’s why mindfulness is such a helpful strategy. With mindfulness, nothing ever needs to be completely right or completely wrong. It’s all about how you feel.

If something seems difficult, take a step back and try again later. Accept that you don’t need to be 100% all the time. If one day, you resist even one craving, then that’s success. Focus on the small victories and you’ll soon be thinking, “I can!”

So Let’s Recap

Junk thoughts can prevent your progress and your enjoyment of each moment throughout your day.

Take the time to appreciate each experience and to focus on the positive – and be mindful when junk thoughts creep in.

If you can resist your junk thoughts like you resist junk food, just think of the benefits you’ll reap.

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