Recently I was introduced to Dr. Caroline Leaf’s work on Cognitive Neuroscience by a new
friend. Dr. Leaf speaks into the scientifically supported impact that our thoughts have on our
physical and emotional health. My friend went on to tell me how he consistently works on
maintaining a healthy, positive attitude in his life – which is evident in his joyful and uplifting
energy. However, he tends to be hard on himself with regards to what he desires as an
ideal body image.
Upon reflection, I found that I do my utmost to focus on the positives in my life, and reframe
negative situations. This enables me to find meaning, purpose, and grace in most situations,
even those that I choose to see as lessons. While it sounds easy, this process can get really
hard in today’s world because of the constant stream of negative information that is fed to us
through social media and various communication channels. That said, Dr. Leaf’s work has
helped me to develop a new awareness of positive thinking, that motivates me into taking
positive action. Positive thinking for me includes extending positive thought processes to the
people around us, especially when they impact our lives in direct and indirect ways. (As they
say, “Your vibe attracts your tribe!”)
I’ve found that reframing situations in line with positive thought processes is very doable and
becomes driven by action! The biggest challenge, however, is that inner critic that exists
within. We all have it, that voice that takes us to that one place where we feel disheartened
and simply not good enough, no matter what we do. Constantly channeling us to focus on
what we believe the worst part about ourselves. I’m sure you know the one I’m talking
A chat with our self-critic often begins with our physical appearance, as we strive to become
what we think others will find attractive. This is often influenced by false, airbrushed
celebrity perfection and what the media portrays as “ideal.” It’s good to remember that we
will always find attractive in others that part of us which we perceive as missing in ourselves,
developing a hype around what we think others would want in us in order to feel accepted.
Simply put, this is usually unattainable for various reasons, genetic or otherwise, and we are
left feeling even more empty and inadequate. Sadly, this filters into self-criticism and
judgment toward self.
In Part 2 of this blog-post, we’ll explore a practical method to redirect our attention away
from that inner-critic, and channel it towards a more constructive and healthy direction.