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Mental Agreements: How to start the process of healing?

Our mind can be the source of great accomplishments. However, it can also be the cause of our emotional pain and our inability to achieve our goals. Traumatic experiences in childhood and internalized negative beliefs from our past can affect how we see ourselves and the world around us. Our thoughts shape our self-image and impact our actions. While most of the time we have thousands of thoughts rushing through our minds, the first step to reclaiming your emotional wellbeing is to become aware of the thoughts that are shaping your reality. Mental agreements are the thoughts that you have, that you have come to believe as a truth about yourself. Do you find these thoughts going through your mind ‘if I love, I always get hurt’ or ‘I’m a failure, I’ll never succeed.’ While external factors can diminish our self-worth, we are often our own worst enemies. When you buy into negative beliefs about yourself and hold them as unquestionable truths you stop yourself from reaching your full potential. Perhaps, your mother always told you that were a difficult child or you were teased by bullies at school. The close relationships that we have during our formative years have a long-lasting impact. You can start the process of healing by noticing and questioning your beliefs.

Mental agreements that promote a negative self-image can be the source of overeating, depression and addiction. The rigid beliefs that you hold about yourself are one of the major obstacles to your healing and the achievement of your goals. Negative thought patterns are repetitive and they invoke painful emotions. Negative patterns of thought can make you feel trapped. Once you become aware of your negative thoughts and beliefs, you have taken the first step to reclaiming your power. In the past, you may have used coping mechanisms to deal with your negative beliefs without even realizing what you were doing. You may have looked for diversions in unhealthy relationships or tried to numb your feelings with alcohol. You may have used overeating to comfort yourself in response to these difficult emotions. When you start recognizing these negative thoughts it can feel like there is a war taking place in your mind. At this point, it is important to be gentle with yourself and to practice self-compassion. Bringing awareness to your negative thoughts can be painful so take it one step at a time. This will help you to avoid feeling even guilty for having negative thoughts. This process doesn’t happen overnight and if you don’t address the root causes of your problematic thinking, you won’t be any closer to breaking free from it. The key is to change yourself from the inside out.

Negative thinking can result in high levels of stress which puts your body into survival mode. When you become aware of the thoughts that are resulting in emotional pain, it is possible to make positive changes to your beliefs and as a result, your actions. An obstacle to facing our pain and dealing with it in an aware and proactive manner is society’s conditioning which has us believing that emotions should be repressed rather than expressed. When you create a safe space where you can sit with your pain and unearth the thoughts behind it, you are creating a space for healing. Remember, your thought patterns have been learned and, therefore, they can be unlearned and changed.

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