Following FlyLady's BabySteps: Day 5
Do you think positive self talk can help you keep a cleaner home?
The fifth day of FlyLady’s BabySteps addresses combating the negative voices in your head by using positive self talk. She wants us FlyBabies to write down what we hear when we hear our negative voices and then turn the words around and combat them with positive self talk.
So what exactly is self-talk? According to a staff memeber at the Mayo Clinic, “Self-talk is the endless stream of thoughts that run through your head every day. These automatic thoughts can be positive or negative. Some of your self-talk comes from logic and reason. Other self-talk may arise from misconceptions that you create because of lack of information. If the thoughts that run through your head are mostly negative, your outlook on life is more likely pessimistic. If your thoughts are mostly positive, you're likely an optimist — someone who practices positive thinking.”
The Mayo Clinic also goes on to say that positive thinking may have the following health benefits:
- Lower rates of depression
- Lower levels of distress
- Greater resistance to the common cold
- Better psychological and physical well-being
- Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
- Better coping skills during hardship and times of stress
Those are some great reasons for learning how to talk positively to yourself. Is it easy? I say no.
FlyLady asks on day five for us to write down all of the negative thoughts we have and then think of a positive thought to counter act it. That is great in theory, but I for one think faster than I can write. So, what would happen would be a stream of negative thoughts as I paused and tried to coherently write down the original thought. So, one negative thought would lead to the next, that would lead to the next, and so on. Basically, I would just be perpetuating more negative thoughts.
What I think FlyLady is trying to accomplish though is something that is very important when it comes to learning positive self-talk. She wants FlyBabies to be able to realize when they are having these negative thoughts. If you don’t realize you are doing it, you most definitely cannot stop it.
There are many ways to combat negative self-talk. Here are just a few:
- Stopping your thought in mid-stream by saying the word “stop” out loud can help you be aware of the thoughts you are having.
- Wearing a rubber band around your wrist and snapping it is another way to become conscious of those ugly thoughts that pop into our heads. The sting of the rubber band should help stop the thought in its tracks.
- Stop using words like “should” and “might“. These words aren’t completely negative, but they aren’t giving a direction of action. If you say, “I will go do a load of laundry” instead of “I should go do a load of laundry,” you are more likely to actually go and do that load of laundry.
All in all, the message that FlyLady is trying to achieve on Day Five is that we need to learn how approach our lives with positive self-talk rather than nay saying. It is really the essence of what FLYing is. Yes, its about cleaning and organizing, but FLY stands for Finally Loving Yourself.
I was up and dressed with shoes on by seven, I went down the stairs to greet my family. My husband had made waffles for the kids and amazingly the dishes were done and sink was shiny. I glanced at my sticky notes, and then I popped on to BigTent and read a few articles before I went off to get my hair cut. I knew that I had to write down my negative thoughts for the day, so I had my handy notebook ready to go. Even if it was something I really didn’t want to do, I felt that I needed to at least try.
I was on my way home from the salon when my friend texted me to let me know that she also woke to a shiny sink. She was feeling pretty upbeat. We both were. She had only written down one negative thought, and I only had three. Both of us were pretty proud of how far we had come in five short days.
By noon, I had written down many negative thoughts, and I gave up on writing them down. It was putting me in a bad mood, and I knew it. It was a vicious cycle of one thought breeding the next, and I already have my own ways to combat them. Positive self-talk was not a new concept for me. I was more than happy to admit defeat on Day Five’s task.
My friend also gave up on writing down negative thoughts around midday. She had real reasons though. Life got in the way, and she had bigger problems to deal with that FlyLady’s BabySteps. But she was dressed with shoes and ready to go when she got an unexpected curve ball thrown at her.
I although we both gave up on Day Five’s task, I don’t think of it as failing. We did everything we were supposed to do except one small part of it. Tomorrow is a new day, and we will be on to Day Six. I’m hoping that maybe we will get to actually do some cleaning. I’m ready.