Sometimes, you're a real douche bag.
To be more specific, the part of you that is a douche bag is just north of your shoulders, and often wanders aimless into potentially offensive, morbid and hateful places. I'm talking about your brain... and mine too. Here is an example of something that my douche bag brain did to me just last week.
The situation was this: I had just arrived at the gym. I was tired, a little cranky, and feeling big and weird (otherwise known as almost 8 months pregnant). I put my outside duds away in a locker and found a treadmill to claim right next to a tall, thin, non-pregnant woman who was running. She looked confident and happy. I slowly started up my machine and began my workout: walking. I hooked up my ear phones and started to watch Queen Latifah (like I usually do if her show is on, I love her) when I noticed that my tall gazelle-like neighbor looked over at my TV screen more than a few times.
Here is where my inner D-bag came out to play. Just so we are clear: the dialogue you see below happened entirely in my head.
Runner: OH... nice workout you're having... think your actually doing anything? You're just walking. I mean, you're watching TV. How can you seriously think that you and your round weird body can do anything healthful while walking and watching Queen Latifah? How fast are you going anyway. Oh man... 3.3?? That's nothing... I mean you might as well get off and eat fig newtons because that's basically the same as whats happing right now fattie.... (she went on and on until...)
Me: Are you effing kidding me?! I'm growing a human. I just got here... and I'm warming up... and JUST YOU WAIT TILL I BRING THIS PUPPY UP TO 3.5! Then I'll show you. Also I'm doing my best lady... I'm DOING MY BEST!
...This bizarre and mean dialogue went on in my head for another minute or so before I even realized what was happening.
My own inner douche bag made the whole thing up. I was actually judging myself. My (lovely, tall, skinny, non-pregnant) neighbor had nothing to do with me at all! I let my own crankiness and insecurities get the best of me and my thoughts.
False and negative thoughts can become the truth... if you let them.
This happens to me sometimes when I'm feeling anxious or nervous about something. Anxious and nervous thoughts waltz in and take over for hours, sometimes for an entire day. At some point I realized that I didn't want to think those thoughts. I didn't want to be anxious, nervous, afraid... none of those sounded good to me. So here is what I have started to do to counteract my inner D-bag.
Awareness. I take notice to the negative or false thoughts. I literally say to myself: Wow Stacey, you just had an entirely fake fight with someone who you don't know who most likely doesn't even know you're there. You made it up girl! It's all in yo' head.
Take a breath. Literally. I breathe deeeeeply. I relax my shoulders, my fore head and my jaw. I let those deep breathes bring me into the present moment.
Reroute. Then I decide to take my brain some place else perhaps a little sunnier or more truthful, and to help make that happen I choose a....
Mantra. A short sentence or even a few powerful words. They are simple, truthful and positive. I repeat it over and over for a couple of minutes, while taking deep breaths. I say my mantra in my head mostly. Sometimes I will say it out loud, but it's actually more effective (for me) if I think it.
I'm sharing this with you, because I know we all do this. We all make up stories and let our thoughts run wild into ugly and false places. We all at some point in our day, are letting fear, anxiety and negativity get the best of us.
You are nicer than your D-bag thoughts. You are doing your best. Give your brain a brake and push your inner D-bag to the curb. You can use my approach, or you can even try a great app which I found for one of my clients called "Calm". This app will lead you through simple meditations that will calm your thoughts and your body.
PLEASE, please reach out if you need help kicking that douche bag's ass. You deserve to have the brain space to celebrate how amazing you are.
Love to you,