Can you tell the difference between the objective feedback your body offers versus the critical condemnation of your mind?
Your body’s objective feedback can help you make lifestyle choices that promote your health and well-being, whereas the critical condemnation of your mind creates nothing but suffering.
Our bodies are incredible messengers, powerful gifts on the journey through life. We can use the constant feedback that our bodies give us to help us make changes and adaptations to promote our health. If we listen to the criticism of our minds, however, it will sabotage us. The negative mental messages can eclipse the body’s natural intelligence and feedback, which will prevent us from making the healthy choices we want to make.
The mind opines, while the body illuminates. The mind makes you mistakenly believe that your body means something about who you are as a person, your self-worth, and your value. It levels judgment and criticism. It makes you believe that you are somehow not good enough, that something is wrong with you and your body.
Here are some examples to elucidate the point:
Objective Feedback vs. Critical Condemnation
- “I am holding weight in my abdomen—I can tell I have been under a lot of stress.”
versus, “My stomach is flabby and disgusting—I am out of shape and need to do more sit-ups.”
- “I haven’t been able to exercise recently and can tell that my legs are weak.”
versus, “My cellulite is disgusting and I cringe when I look in the mirror.”
- “I notice that when I eat sugar regularly it leads to weight gain and is addictive.”
versus, “Why can’t I control myself? I am so weak.”
- “I can tell that my arms are becoming weak—it would be good for me to increase my upper-body strength.”
versus, “My arms are flabby, weak, and I don’t even want to look at them.”
- “It has been too long without a haircut.”
versus, “My hair is flat, dull, and disgusting.”
The key is to use your body for valuable, useful feedback, and to disregard the worthless messages of criticism that come from mental conditioning.
Critical condemnation is when you use your body and appearance to:
- Determine your self-worth
- Use it as a reflection of your “success” or “failure”
- Use it as a reflection of your “strength” or “weakness”
- Use it as a reflection of being “good” or “bad”
Here are three helpful steps to help you use your body’s messages for objective feedback, while dropping the mind’s critical condemnation:
- Become increasingly aware of the difference between the body’s messages and the mind’s messages
- Separate the “wheat” from the “chaff” —use the objective feedback and drop the self-judgment, criticism, and condemnation
- Make lifestyle choices based on the feedback, not the condemnation
A key tool to help you learn to differentiate between your body’s messages and your mind’s messages is meditation.
A regular meditation practice is essential to help you break free from the critical mind-chatter that can sabotage your best intentions.