By Olivia Crescenzi, Regular ContributorAugust 20, 2015
Our minds are both our best friends and our worst enemies. The majority of our daily conversations actually take place in our heads.
No matter how aware of them we are, whether we’re watching TV, roaming the streets, or reading a book, we are engaging in full dialogues with our mind. Now, for the most part, these exchanges are harmless ways to sort through the information we’re receiving. When it comes to ourselves, however, it’s a very different story.
The conversations we have with ourselves, about ourselves, truly make or break our every moment.
Everytime we look in the mirror, are faced with a menacing situation, or simply look down at our bodies, we make note of something we don’t like. Our minds instinctively go towards the most negative reaction, because, as girls, we’ve always been taught that what we see and feel is never enough. Why haven’t we lost those last ten pounds? Why didn’t we get an A in that class? Why doesn’t every guy we meet fall madly in love with us? It must be because there’s something wrong with us, and that makes us mad. Sad. Frustrated beyond belief. Yet, who is usually making us feel that way? Telling us those crazy, irrational lies? Our minds.
image via sharifahnorhamidah.blogspot.com
I was recently in a tough situation that led me to despise so many things that had happened in my life, resurfaced so many memories about things I have absolutely no control over. For a few minutes, I sat in bed condemning myself to a week of hell because things were going so wrong, but then, in a moment of clarity, I stopped myself. What was I complaining about? What was truly so terrible about my life? Sure, I’ve been through some really annoying, gut-wrenching things, but we all have and, more importantly, I have so many things to be grateful for. And, as I started re-working my brain cells and listing the things I’m thankful for, I noticed I didn’t care about anything else. Just like that. It was seriously that easy.
In opening this post, I mentioned that our minds can be our best friends, and it’s true. How many moments can you think about that you were able to work through on your own, just by talking to yourself about them? Probably millions. The thing is, these inner dialogues really do help us a lot of the time. And more often than not, the negative thoughts are really easy to change.
One important thing to note is that our non-vocal conversations have a huge snowball effect. They get so loud, so scary sometimes, that they become the focal point of our entire day. It’s completely up to us to make sure they never make it there. That’s the point of this article.
We all have the power to change our thoughts.
The next time you walk past a stranger and begin to judge them, point out something you like about them, and, I promise, it’ll change the way you see yourself too.
I think that, as girls, we bypass the essential need to check up on ourselves way too often. So, every once in a while, when you start to notice your mind turning dark and scary like it usually does, I want you to sit with yourself for a moment and try as hard as you can to re-work those brain cells. Turn them around. Physically picture them doing a full 180 degrees if you have to. I swear it helps.
The more you become aware of your thoughts and take control, the more you can reap the advantages of how powerful you truly are. All it takes is you. I, as well as everyone in this amazing IATG community, believe in you.
How do you maintain a positive attitude in life? How do you keep your thoughts from going dark? Tell us below!
I am a twenty-year-old Microbiology & Immunology student at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. On the (more often than not) moments that I’m caught procrastinating my studying, I’m just your regular teenager (yes, still) that values friends, family and dramatic reality TV more than anyone. I would say that I am a collaborator, an empathizer, and pretty middle ground between an idealist and a realist. Most importantly and above all, however, I’m obsessed with our culture as young girls and women, and I want nothing more than to delve deep into this important discussion with you.
Every girl is a work in progress. If you need more help, click here.