Sweat & Smiles: The Importance of Introspection and How it Can Change Your Reactions into Actions

By Melissa Romano on September 08, 2018 from Sweat & Smiles via Connect-Bridgeport.com

We have over 50,000 thoughts per day, over half of which are negative and over 90 percent of which are just repeats from the day before. If you don’t make the time and effort to focus your mind in a positive direction, you won’t give yourself the opportunity to grow and develop.
The concept of simply staying positive gets lost on most because it seems “fake”. The reality is positive thinking is lost on most because they’ve never delved deep enough to put actual effort behind their thinking. Human nature dictates a lot of our habits but human ability gives us the opportunity to change our habits to live better, happier, and healthier. 
Introspection is the examination or observation of one's own mental and emotional processes. There are some of us (like me) that may delve a little too long and a little too deep into introspection and others who have never even considered it. Introspection is powerful. Introspection is a gateway to freedom. Feeling negative is not a bad thing. In fact, anything you feel is just that: a feeling.
If we learn to become curious about our feelings and observe our own mental and emotional processes we begin to regain the ability to change the process. Feeling stuck isn’t a bad thing, it’s a sign for change. Whether it’s changing the way we think, the way we live, or the way we treat each other (yes, that’s a Tupac reference). Our feelings are reactions. Thoughts then become a way for us to “do” something with our feelings. The trick is to actual do something instead of letting those thoughts trickle into the 90 percent of thoughts that just get repeated the following day. 
Introspection is a great way to change your reactions into actions. The first step is to ask yourself questions. I’m not talking about asking yourself why you keep messing things up. I’m talking about good quality questions.
The second, and most difficult step, is to ask yourself these questions without judgement. For example, you may want to become inquisitive as to why you’ve kept the same less than desirable eating habits. Good quality questions to get to the bottom of this would start all the way back to childhood and asking yourself where your beliefs about food came from. Were you taught to always finish your plate? This belief may play a role in overeating. Were you taught that ice cream, cookies, and candy were rewards for good behavior? This belief may play a role in rewarding or even punishing yourself with food.
Using introspection without judgement helps to get down to the root of the problem. Once we are able to understand our own mental and emotional processes we are able to start controlling them as opposed to them controlling us. 
While those examples are very specific to eating habits you may not even be aware of what is causing your negative thoughts. Start simple. Set a timer for 10 minutes in the morning to practice introspection. Ask yourself a question and write down you thoughts as you come up with them.
The practice doesn’t have to be perfect, remember this is a practice without judgement. Start with some open ended questions like this: Am I utilizing a healthy perspective? Am I living true to myself? Am I waking up in the morning ready to take on the day? Am I thinking negative thoughts before I fall asleep? Am I taking care of myself physically? Am I letting matters that are out of control stress me out?
Work through a question without judgment until you feel that you’re getting down to some of the underlying beliefs. Once you understand this mental and emotional practice you are well are your way to living better, happier, and healthier. 
Sweat & Smiles,
EDITOR'S NOTE: Melissa Romano is the creator of You First Fitness a revolutionary style of personal training program designed to make you the expert on your life and body. She is also the co-creator of Balanced You Wellness Retreats. After graduating from West Virginia Wesleyan College she completed 200+ hours to obtain her Professional Certificate of Personal Fitness Training from Pierpont Community College.  Since 2009 she has worked full-time as a personal trainer, group fitness instructor and wellness coach. She believes in functional fitness, healthy lifestyle changes and a holistic approach to a better, happier, healthier life. In 2015 she welcomed her greatest joy and fiercest life lesson into the world, Cannon Cobb. The two of them can usually be found outside or at one of the local parks. Visit Melissa's Web site at  https://youfirst.fitness/ or email her at melissa@youfirst.fitness.

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