How you speak to yourself about your health profoundly impacts you in ways that aren’t always immediately recognizable. When our health is in jeopardy, our mind creates a protective narrative which is the mind’s response to danger. It is a built-in protective mechanism to ensure that we are never in harm’s way again. Your mind goes into self-preservation mode and creates ways to save you from disasters. This response is healthy, allowing us time to heal and recover.

These protective thoughts are great during that healing process. But sometimes, these thoughts can cause us to get stuck, thus creating a narrative that repeatedly plays on a loop in our minds far past their expiration date. This loop tends to hinder us by making us believe that we are not healthy or strong enough to enjoy the joys of life.

Five telltale signs that your internal narrative is no longer serving you: 

  1. It makes you feel small and weak.
  2. It steals your sense of joy and happiness.
  3. It impedes your ability to live a full and vibrant life.
  4. It interrupts your ability to reach your goals.
  5. It makes you feel fearful, guilty and/or ashamed.

Your internal narrative about your health is one of the most important stories you tell yourself and can determine so much about your current and future health. There is a time and a place for protective thoughts, and there is a time and a place to release those protective thoughts and tell yourself a new story.

We have some tips and tricks for beginning that internal dialogue shift.

Tips and tricks for shifting your thinking: 

  • Journaling. Write out your most significant worries and fears.
  • Acknowledge these thoughts that come into your mind, then ask yourself, “Is this happening to me now? Has this happened to me before? Or am I afraid that this will happen, but it hasn’t happened yet?”
  • Next to each thought, ask yourself, “how is this thought serving me?”
  • Try to create the habit of asking yourself, “what if my worst fear didn’t come true? How would I feel then?”

Nothing happens overnight, and we most certainly don’t recommend ignoring severe mental health issues by using this method. This method works best in conjunction with psychotherapy. We recommend that you see a mental health specialist if you are feeling heightened feelings of fear, shame, guilt, anxiety, and/or depression.

We hope you found this helpful!

Continue to be well,

From Dr. Horowitz & Staff