Negative Thinking

I recently began following The Dao of Doing blog as they work through BJ Gallagher’s book “Why Don’t I Do the Things I know are Good For Me?” The last couple of weeks they have been focusing on negative thoughts and how they (our own negative thoughts about ourselves) conspire against us, preventing us from becoming the true self we were meant to be. We are supposed to be jotting down the negative thoughts and self-criticisms that we notice throughout the day. I have to be honest and say that I have not been writing these down. All last week I kept wondering just what we were supposed to be noticing and writing down. It didn’t seem like I had negative thoughts … but it turns out I was just so used to hearing them inside my head that I wasn’t even noticing them. As I work at looking for them, I am hearing them more frequently. I suppose this is a good thing, although I don’t think I am appreciating it and I’m certainly not seeing any positive results from it … yet!

Just a few minutes ago I caught myself being extremely negative in my thinking about my weight. I haven’t had a clogging class in over a month (three weeks off while the instructor was traveling and then I missed last week due to a knee problem), we’ve not been walking as I try to bring the inflammation down in my knee, and we’ve been eating out more on the road the last couple of week. All of this has conspired to adding about four pounds that I can’t seem to shake off. Instead of dwelling on the positive (such as hoping my knee feels better by keeping off it as much as possible), though, I was dwelling on all the negative (all the reasons I can’t do a lot of exercise right now). And the next thing I knew, I was rummaging through the kitchen trying to find one last Snicker’s bar (another reason for gaining a few pounds: too much snacky type foods in the house now that David is living with us). And then heard the negative thoughts in my head: “That’s pretty stupid. You were just worrying about those extra pounds and now you want to eat more empty calories!” Perhaps I need to find a notebook and begin taking the exercising in Gallagher’s book a bit more seriously.


  1. Tracy

    “…it turns out I was just so used to hearing them inside my head that I wasn’t even noticing them.”

    Yes!! This is EXACTLY what I was doing too! These grooves are so deep and entrenched that they are what feels normal.

    I think the whole “writing it down” thing just becomes a tool that lets us reflect on what we can do to change the way we’re thinking, rather than letting our noticing these mean moments become one more thing to beat ourselves up over.

  2. Missus Wookie

    hmm, I’ve put on 4lbs talked myself out of buying snickers bars but did buy crisps/chips for the kids lunches and picnics…

    Maybe I should go look at the blog and book too.

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