Mental Chatter Trantrums

Mental chatter….

The voice that tells you that you can..or that you can’t.

The voice that tells you that you’re worth it…or not

The voice that is in your control…or not

I like to think of the Mental Chatter as Tantrums. These tantrums are alleviated by instant positive reinforcement for negative behaviour—> Reinforcing negative behaviour, with the generalised outcome that it will continue to increase. This is what parent’s do when they give the toy to the screaming toddler.

So the switch becomes for me in learning how to STOP reinforcing the often negative mental chatter in my mind.

What I have learned, in my week of being switched onto my body are these three things:

  1. Mental chatter is always going to be there…it’s how you decided to engage with it.
  2. Mental chatter has NOTHING to do with what your body signals are…it doesn’t respect your body, it doesn’t work with your body, and it doesn’t care about your body.
  3. Mental chatter needs to be silenced acknowledge, but not fed into, by a conscious effort to listen, tap into, and adhere to the notion of respecting your body.

Example (because I like examples..they make things easier for me)

I got to the cafeteria and everything there is crap. French Fries, chicken wings, frozen veggies, bread, cereal…CRAP.

I then have a huge decision…

  • Do I decide to give into the notion that there are ‘good and bad’ foods
  • Do I give into the mental chatter ‘ahh french fries today will be fine, cause it’s exam week. you’ll start tomorrow’
  • Do I give into the mental chatter ‘you should really only be eating salad because you’ve gained weight and anything else would be really not GOOD FOR YOU, you don’t want to get fat’
  • -or-

    Do I stop and ask my body what it wants?

    I got some salad, a couple french fries and sat down.

    I was starving still.

    So I got a small bowl of cereal with soy milk and banana.

    content.

    Then the mental chatter starts again ‘come on a piece of toast with peanut butter and jelly.’

    I listen to it.

    I almost cave in

    Then I tapped into my body: Am I honestly hungry enough for that?

    nope

    grab an orange, walk out and go back to my room.

    I share this with you because for many of us, including myself, I always think to myself..HOW THE HELL DO PEOPLE INTUITIVELY EAT? How do they process the mental chatter?

    I don’t think it’s easy, because for so long we have had many mental tantrums going on in our head. I believe that we try to silence them with diets/rules/over-eating. We often times just don’t let them throw their tantrum and walk away. Instead we try to yell at, punish, deprive, and/or over-feed them.

    So I ask you, how do you deal with your mental tantrums/mental chatter?

    ~Mish

    8 thoughts on “Mental Chatter Trantrums

    1. Skyler Meine says:

      I love this post. It is interesting to really stop and listen to the chatter. The chatter often doesn’t make any sense at all.

      We definitely need to learn to talk ourselves off the edge of giving up or putting off eating right. Consistency with an opportunity to enjoy every once in awhile seems to be the best remedy to all the chatter.

      • Mish says:

        that is so true. most of the time it doesn’t make sense…it’s things blown out of proportion and many times I have had people say to me ‘where’s the truth to what you’re thinking?’.

    2. Amanda says:

      This is such a great topic.

      For me, realizing that the “mental chatter” is only temporary helps a lot.

      I mean, sometimes I’m okay with what I’m eating or not eating and it’s not that big of a deal.

      Today I had a funeral and experienced a lot of intense emotions. When I got home I thought:

      • I’ve fueled my body enough today. I’m at my calorie limit.

      and then

      • My body/mind/whatever needs something more.

      Did I eat for purely emotional reasons? Yep. Did I binge? Nope. Do I feel better now? Yep.

      Tomorrow will be easier.

      Be kind to yourself. You don’t need to be perfect.

    3. kettlebelllove says:

      I do just what you did. I stop and focus on my breath and on what’s going on in my body. If I can stop and bring myself out of my head and into the present moment I usually will realize that I’m not hungry. I’m anxious or tired or frustrated or lonely.

      But sometimes after all of that I still want to eat the Oreos. So I do. But now I don’t inhale them and then feel guilty and starve myself for three days. I take a few, sit down, and eat them and enjoy them.

      I’m not saying I *never* eat mindlessly anymore. I do. But it’s become a rare occurrence as opposed to a weekly event.

      You did a good job. Be proud of yourself. 🙂

    4. missyrayn says:

      I’m still learning that I can’t turn off the chatter even if I want to. But in counseling I’m learning to talk back. I’m learning to tell myself the truth when the chatter is lies.

      I’m not fat.

      I’m not crazy.

      I’m good enough.

      And I usually have to say it out loud or else I won’t believe it. ALl the negativity is ingrained in me so I need to fight back and let it know that I know the truth.

    5. SeattleRunnerGirl says:

      I think the hardest part is STOPPING. Instead of eating automatically, slow down enough to PROCESS whether you’re eating b/c of mental chatter or b/c your body is hungry. That’s the biggest challenge for me. Great post, thanks for sharing!

    6. Corinne (breathe and savor) says:

      i love this post and most specifically “mental chatter will always be there its how you engage with it!” like you said it is SO important to acknowledge it…but then move on…do NOT associate with the mental tantrums either…for they are not you!

      have you ever read the power of now or the four agreements? both books deal heavily with the ego aka the mental chatter! you should look into them 🙂 i recommend

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