In my last post, I talked about diet mentality – the mindset we all have towards our bodies, weight, food, exercise and health. Diet mentality is something we obviously want to let go of but in our world, it can be difficult to see that. I have discovered a way to do this that is super simple and it feels good – that’s why I call it a Feel Good Mindset.
Here are 5 main characteristics of a Feel Good Mindset
- Your main goal is to feel good – Your desire to feel good guides all your choices. Whatever you do, it has to feel good. This is achieved either by changing the way you look at things, changing the way you do things or changing what you do. (A diet mindset goal is to look good)
- You focus on how your body feels – You move your body and eat well because it feels good. This means that sometimes you also take an extra rest day because that’s what your body needs. (A diet mindset focus is on how your body looks)
- Your mental and emotional well-being are as important as your physical well-being – if one of these key areas of well-being is being neglected, the other areas suffer too, so you never sacrifice one area in order to reach your goals in another. For example, a restrictive diet often makes people miserable, as does a diet filled with processed foods; a workout class that is too hard for you can make you feel bad about yourself, as does being a couch potato. A feel good mindset helps you to find the right balance somewhere in between these two extremes. (A diet mindset completely ignores mental and emotional wellbeing because the belief is that looking good will make you happy so either it’s a sacrifice worth making or you might believe that you simply cannot be happy until you change your body size/shape)
- You focus on the present – Your goal is to feel good now because you understand that your life is here and now, not in the future, so if you want to live a happy life, you have to make how you feel now your priority. Also, if you feel good now, it’s easy to make good choices that naturally lead to good future results because our choices are driven by our emotions. (Diet mentality focus is on your future goal – this is the reason why you do anything – keep your eye on the prize)
- You listen to your body and intuition first – Your body knows best what it needs and it will never lie to you, so it’s important to first re-connect with your body and learn to listen to it. Noticing how you feel is a really good start, if it doesn’t feel good, something has to change. You should seek expert advice only when it’s really needed. (Diet culture has made us disconnect from our bodies by making us believe we cannot trust them, so we always need an expert or a programme to tell us what is best for our bodies and what to do).
Sounds good, doesn’t it? With this approach, you simply cannot go wrong!
And no, you won’t end up just eating junk and sitting on the couch every evening because if you really listen to yourself and your body, that doesn’t feel good, does it? Think how you’ll feel the next morning? You will have a lot of self-critical thoughts, regret, and guilt and you might feel depressed or have anxiety (if you ate a lot of sugar/chemicals). Physically you’ll feel tired, lethargic, unfit, lazy… So that’s not the decision you’ll be making most nights! However, you can make it some nights because some days that’s exactly what you need and then it’ll make you feel good and there’ll be no regret or guilt the next day so you won’t be spiralling out of control.