Do you ever get stuck in a loop in your head? Do you ever get in a cycle of not following through on your good intentions? Do you ever feel your efforts thwarted by negative beliefs and pessimistic outlooks? Today we are going to discuss a strategy to push out of cyclical failure. This is a good one.
In the last episode we dove into becoming resourceful in our weight loss and health goals so we can really start making progress. When I was recording that podcast I realized that it has been a while since we had a conversation about how important it is not to get stuck inside our own head and what we can do to avoid that.
Dr. Caroline Leaf did some studies on individuals where she hooked them up to brain scanning devices and told them to THINK about something that was worrying them. Then they returned the next day after getting specific instructions not to inform or discuss their worries with another individual. It was fascinating. The scans ended up being nearly identical. No change happened even though it was a worry they were trying to figure out or get ahead of. THen she had them verbally discuss the issue, then take another scan while thinking about it. The scans finally changed and never went back to their original patterns.
She found scientific evidence for something that as humans we feel all the time: Getting stuck on a problem in our heads. Continued study showed that verbal or written conversations, journaling, and prayer all hold the power to break negative cycles in the brain. Wow, right?
For a lot of women I work with, turning to food or beverages to comfort and calm themselves while they are in these cycles is a very ingrained habit. While we’ll work on using other solutions that are healthier for coping, the real solution is to learn to get out of that loop in your brain.
What are you really stressed or worried about right now? Okay, I’m going to walk you through a little exercise. It only takes a few minutes if you stay focused. You can do it on paper, out loud, talk it out with a friend, or pray about it either verbally or in a journal. Alright? The goal is to stop cycles of emotional eating by getting out of the worry cycle instead of just trying to stop ourselves from comforting ourselves from food. Instead we comfort ourselves by getting out of the negative loop altogether.
You’re going to ask and answer a series of questions with the goal of getting a new perspective on the situation, finding a solution, or possibly realizing that there isn’t as big of a problem as you suspected. I’m going to list the questions and then work through one of my own worries with you.
The questions are:
What is the problem?
Why is this a problem?
Is there any way to see this problem as a blessing?
What would have to change for this not to be a problem any more?
What do you have control of?
What are you taking responsibility for that you have no control over?
What can you take today on today, tomorrow, or in the near future?
What do you need to let go and let God take control of?
What would you like to ask others to pray about for you?
I do have a worry. So I’ve never taught highschool English before. In fact, beyond some work in church, I’ve never taught beyond the 9th grade. I’m nervous and afraid that it will be a train wreck…that I’ll be a train wreck.
Before I go through the questions with you, I want to pray, inviting the Holy Spirit into the process.
Dear God, I know you love me, you love my students. Please fill me with your insight, wisdom and peace as I sort through my thoughts, amen.
What is the problem? The problem is that I have never taught highschool English before and I am still learning the standards and the age group.
Why is this a problem? I might not be very good at my job. I might even fail and the students will learn nothing and I’ll be miserable.
Is there any way to see this problem as a blessing? It is a challenge. It will stretch me and grow me. Plus, I’ll get to know what high school students are like a little better.
What would have to change for this not to be a problem any more? I would have to learn the standards, figure out how to teach them, and develop classroom management strategies that work for me and this age group of students. Most of all, I need practice.
What do you have control of? My attitude, my learning, the curriculum,what the physical classroom environment looks like, my self-evaluation process, asking for mentor teacher’s advice and input.
What are you taking responsibility for that you have no control over? The thoughts, reactions and feelings of other students, administration, teachers, and parents. Most of all, I am trying to take responsibility for a future that hasn’t happened yet.
What can you take action on today, tomorrow, or in the near future? I can start to work on the curriculum, begin a process of self-evaluation and journaling, find a mentor, and keep admin involved in my development.
What do you need to let go and let God take control of? My students’ hearts and all my tomorrows.
What would you like to ask others to pray about for you? That I figure things out and develop a curriculum that truly benefits the students and the school and that I develop a rapport with my students that facilitates learning.
What are you worried about today? These questions are found on the show notes for today’s podcast at loraarmendariz.com/podcasts. I encourage you to work through them with a mature friend, your journal, or your prayer time. It is a process that will help you feel more calm and content so much quicker than a sleeve of Oreos. I’m serious. Already I have to tell you that I feel more confident about the school year and even excited about figuring this out.
Thank you, God. and thank you, dear friend. All my love to you! Catch you next week.
by Lora Armendariz
You Can Do It!
Do you want to fall out of love with a destructive habit? The first 42 episodes of this podcast are a resource for anyone who wants encouragement and information as they take a six week break from a habit in order to fall out of love with it.