How To Switch To Positive Self-Talk
How to switch from don’t, can’t, and shouldn’t, to positive self talk, in order to improve the relationship with yourself and with others, including your toddler.
We try not to overreact, but on this tiresome Sunday when our toddler was about to swallow a wireless headphone, my husband Fulvio yelled, “Jasper don’t!” I was cooking at that moment, and I saw Jasper’s little body jump off the ground.
Although it doesn’t happen often, it has happened a few times since Jasper became more agile and independent. I told Fulvio, “Please don’t talk to Jasper that way. You scared him for no real reason. If you keep overreacting, and projecting fear every time he puts something in his mouth, he will grow up to be scared and reactive.” It took some time for Fulvio to realize it’s important to take a moment to PAUSE and REDIRECT his thoughts before speaking.
A few days later, I went to NYC for my Alexander Technique lessons at the Balance Arts Center, and my wonderful teacher Ann Rodiger enlightens me. It’s September 2020 and I almost didn’t make it to my classes due to the pandemic. I arrived in a tired state but after one hour with Ann my body felt completely different. I was much more present, alert, and at ease.
While in my lesson, I mentioned to Ann how my shoulders have been hurting, how my neck is tight, how high levels of screen time are making my eyes tired... Ann patiently listened as she kept on working with me. She would touch my neck so I could sense where I was holding on to tension, then she would say, “Free the neck.” What I love about this technique is that we start to truly understand the power of our thoughts. We simply connect to what’s happening on a mind-body level, and wait for shifts to happen.
Once our private lesson was over, it was time for the teacher training group lesson. She started by talking about how reinforcing a perceived bad habit only makes it worse. Although this applies to everything in life, in the case of The Alexander Technique, we are specifically talking about the mind-body relationship.
She went on to explain:
“If you want to do something better than what you are doing now, then the question is, how can you rearrange things, and deal with the process?”
I keep on tightening my neck.
Free the neck.
I don’t have a good posture when sitting.
As I notice my length and width, I can free my spine, and feel connected to the ground through my hip bones touching the chair while the gravitational forces support my body.
This last explanation is a bit too complex if you aren’t in the training course but let’s apply these terms to my conversation with Fulvio regarding Jasper.
Jasper DON’T put that in your mouth!!
Jasper, this is meant to go in our ear - look, let me show you how it’s done.
If your focus is entirely onto the action, most likely it will be followed by an emotional reaction. The secret here is to integrate emotions so you don’t overreact. If you consciously allow for an open focus, by including yourself and the space between self and action, then there is enough space to pause and integrate emotions and redirect your thoughts and actions towards a better outcome.
We already know Fulvio didn’t communicate at his highest, but funny enough neither did I. Let’s rearrange how I spoke to Fulvio.
Don’t talk to Jasper that way!
I could have paused, noticed my breath, my body in space, the ground below my feet, and approached the situation differently by saying something like this:
I understand we are both tired so it’s easy to overreact, but it’s important to understand Jasper’s neural pathways are forming, and the more we encourage him, the more confident he will be. We are building his subconscious mind until the age of two. All is being recorded there. The most mindful we are, the most mindful he will be. So when we panic, it’s important to pause, notice how we can better communicate in a positive and open ended way.
The more power we give into the issue, the more powerful it gets.
By giving more attention to an issue we think we have, we are drilling it even deeper into our subconscious mind.
Working on the self always seems to be the path in which we can live our best lives, not only for ourselves but for everyone whose lives we touch as well. So taking the time to connect with the self as an observer, and to learn how to open our focus is something we do in our online courses too. You learn tools to build awareness, to find space to integrate emotions, and to take the best course of action.
Next time you find yourself saying, I can’t, I shouldn’t, I don’t, remember this article, and take a moment to pause, integrate, and redirect your mind toward a positive outcome. It will help you ease your mind and body, and improve your overall well-being. The ease you feel will reflect in you as a woman, as a parent, and as a person within your community.
If you are interested in learning more about mind-body connection, and how to practice awareness, check out our early motherhood courses.
Written by: Ariel Pinho
Edited by: Lily Zara