An interesting article. Are they that different?
Eating disorders are mental illnesses, born out of one or a range of complex emotions – low self-worth, a response to trauma, bullying or abuse, a desire for control, to name but a few. The food and exercise element is a symptom, an expression of whatever is happening in the mind. For me, overeating came from the same emotional and mental space as starvation and continued long after I had compensated for the calorie ‘deficit’ caused by anorexia. Which is why I’m reluctant to dismiss extreme obesity as simply a case of physical greed.
Free is good!
A collection of free guided meditations!
This is another article about how we use our inner voice when reading based on some interesting recent research.
As you’re reading this blog post silently to yourself, do you hear an inner voice speaking the words in your head? A new paper published in Psychosis suggests that most people do hear an internal voice when they’re reading. But as this is one of the first ever investigations into the question, and it used an unconventional methodology, it’s fair to say the results are far from conclusive.
What exactly is a critical inner voice? Whether in therapy, a psychology class, in the media, or somewhere in the mountains of self help books or on the internet — I’m sure most of you have heard the term self-talk or the term inner voice, or even the intimidating sounding “critical inner voice” or “negative self talk”.
But what exactly is self-talk or the inner voice? Well, it appears to be a form of natural and automatic “inner dialogue” that pops in and out our conscious thinking. It takes the form of thoughts, expressions, suggestions, ideas and concepts that transmit themselves into our “consciousness” and into our awareness. It is often this “little voice” that guides our day-to-day behaviors and tells us we should “call our mom, catch up on our paperwork or try harder at some task”. No the little voice does not mean you are crazy. Pretty much everyone has a little self-talking voice to some degree.
From the neurobiology perspective the automatic thoughts and inner voice that come with it can possibly be explained by well worn neural pathways that have been created by the combination of our genetics, our years of life experience and maybe especially in all the cumulative experiences of our childhood.
When the Inner Critical Voice is a Problem…
Everyone has anxieties & worries and sometimes even an inner voice that leans towards giving us critical messages. Sometimes these more critical messages can help motivate us and drive us to make better choices and actions in our lives. For some people though, it becomes a much bigger problem. It can readily be described as the jerk or even the a**hole voice in our head, criticizing us, limiting us in what we think we are capable of, or even chastising us with negative “we can’t possibly do THAT” and we will certainly fail if we try” kind of thoughts. Most of us would not abide our work colleagues, friends or family speaking to us in this very negative way, so why do we stand by while we do this to ourselves? Why do we even listen to these insidious little voices?
We listen because they are part of the deep-rooted patterns of thinking that come from all of our past experience and our own uniquely developed patterns of seeing and interpreting the world. Often things like physical and emotional abuse, overly controlling, critical or demanding parents, teachers or coaches, critical friends, and of course past emotional traumas can all contribute to these negative self -talk patterns. We listen to the voice and its castigating, critical language because it’s become deeply worn into our thinking patterns and even into the biological structure and chemistry of our brains. Many people do not stop it because they simply do not realize it is happening and if they do, they do not know how! For many people we take the voice for granted and do not even realise what’s happening, let alone knowing how to stop it.
When people with degrees of anxiety and depression have a negative, critical self-talk message appear in their consciousness, they unfortunately believe it; when that happens they emotionally tear themselves down — and that causes even more negative thoughts to appear!!! These new critical thoughts end up supporting the earlier critical thoughts creating a vicious cycle! It can become a snowballing mess of negative critical thoughts and self-defeating perceptions of ourselves that can push us towards even deeper anxieties and depressions. It can effectively destroy our self-confidence, and self worth, keeping us from trying new things and leading us down the garden path to self destructive, and sometimes even addictive behaviours and habits. The bad coping habits we develop can then create even more negative self-talk messages effectively strengthening the vicious cycle.
How to Shush the Critical Inner Voice…
The first step in taking back our thoughts from the monster of critical inner thinking is……read more