Mental Junk Food

While walking to work recently, I was catching up as I often do with some of my favourite podcasts. The selection for this walk was an episode of Chris Hardwick’s ID10T podcast, featuring Chris Jericho as the guest. (You can listen to the podcast here.) I would be remiss if I were to say that I truly wasn’t expecting the conversation to become as deep as it did. The portion that struck me the most was when they began discussing what they referred to as “Mental Junk Food”.

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The Trouble with Negativity

Show of hands – how many of you have that friend, that family member, that co-worker who’s just plain old negative? No matter what’s going on, they’ll find some way to complain and criticize something. I’m guessing that most of you have your hands in the air. (You can put your hand down.) Now, take a step back and wonder if maybe you’re that person in someone else’s life.

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Catastrophic Thinking

“What’s the worst that could happen?”

How often have you asked yourself that question?  It seems that it’s human nature to always go to a worst-case scenario when we’re looking at possible outcomes. Some of us do it because we’re mimicking the thought process our parents followed, others do it because of a bad experience that occurred that you just can’t shake. Or maybe it’s related to anxiety, chronic depression or other mental health issues.

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Silencing the Critic

Everyone has their own moments of doubt and self-criticism.  For some people, the voice is hard to tune out, or to turn off.  Even the most successful and well-grounded people have that little voice that creeps up from time to time and makes them question themselves and their abilities. 

Over recent months, that little voice of mine has been resurfacing more regularly, more insistently.  It’s definitely caused me more than a few moments of mental downward spiraling.  I get caught up in the negative self-talk, which causes even more negative self-talk, which leads to moments of crushing panic and despair. 

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