How many times you thought “I’ll go to a gym only if I feel energized” or “I’ll attend that event only if I have the slimmer body”? However, you can’t be full of energy every day, and your body never can be “ideal.”
Our thoughts are a very powerful tool, which we often turn against ourselves. Here is a technique for utilizing the power of your thoughts for your benefits.
Replace “Only if” notion by “Even if”
There are many excuses for skipping a workout or other physical activity. Indeed, sometimes it is important to stay at home and recover. We all need rest when we have a cold, headache and so on. However, often when we feel resistance to physical activity, we are healthy. We even understand that exercising will make us feel better. In that situation “Even If” notion helps a lot.
For example, instead of “I’ll go for a walk only if my friend joins me.” use “I’ll go for a walk even if my friend can’t make it today.”
In Emotional Eating
We often use food as a tool for dealing with stress, relationships and unpleasant emotions. It is crucial to find other tools which do not hurt your body. In other words, your old habit of using only food for feeling better should be transformed into a new one when you can choose different ways for comforting yourself. “Even If” notion can support you a lot in this habit transformation.
For instance, replace “I’ll make healthy choices in eating tonight only if I feel good” with “I’ll make healthy choices in eating even if I feel sad tonight.”
In What The Heck Response
Perfectionism can create a lot of problems. What the heck response is one of them. This response usually occurs when after deciding to do something differently (eat healthy, exercise more, drink less coffee and so on), you suddenly go back to old habits and for example, eat too much during the evening. You feel upset, dissatisfied and maybe angry at yourself. “Probably I just can’t eat healthy. What the heck!” you think the next day and overeat again. Now you are off the rails and feel awful. To prevent this, you can transform your thoughts in advance by “Even If” notion.
For example, instead of “Only if I always stop eating when I am moderately full, I continue this habit” use “Even if I overeat someday, I’ll continue the habit of stopping at moderate fullness.”
In Social Activities
Sometimes we don’t visit public events or exciting places because of many obstacles such as lack of confidence, fear, worries and so on. Most of the times all these obstacles saved us in the past from even more painful experience. Usually, we don’t need them anymore. But we still want to be very confident or fearless in some situations and avoid them because we do not. It is ok to worry and have a lack of confidence before for instance, meeting new people or trying something new. Instead of an avoidance strategy, you can use “Even If” technique and enjoy new experience and connections.
For example, replace “I’ll go to networking events only if I feel confident” with “I’ll go to networking events even if I feel lack of confidence.”