New Concept = A food journal – but for your thought life.
Deny it all you want, but it’s been proven time and time again that (when actually used, recorded, and shared) food journals are really effective at helping people shift eating habits, and therefore health, because they’re confronted with clear evidence of “this input = that result” and it leaves little room for denial.
Imagine if we all did a food journal, but for our thought life. And I’m not talking about journaling as in dumping everything we think into a notebook. No, I’m talking about cataloging our thought life, as if it were a food journal – including date, time, thought, and the feeling that’s accompanying those thoughts.
Part of the effectiveness of a food journal is learning things about how we respond to food, and being able to see a correlation between “when I consume this, that is my body’s response to it.” For instance, when I eat lots of cheese, I get lethargic and foggy-brained. When I’m properly hydrated, I have energy and can think clearly. If I drink any amount of coffee on an empty stomach, I get really shaky. If I eat crap food, I have low energy and my gut hates it!
It wasn’t all evident at once, but it became more so during the season I was intentional with my food journal. I was in a 6-month mindset + fitness program where I was recording what I ate, when I ate it, how much I had, and how I felt (both physically and emotionally) throughout the day. It was wild to see things unfold as the patterns started to emerge!
More and more I’m seeing the plain correlation between my thought life and my emotional state. I can totally and EASILY think my way into joy or distress, depending on where I spend my thoughts.
But you may not realize where your thoughts are going if you don’t take a moment to recognize them. Just like snacking, it can be so easy to eat a whole bag of chips if we’re mindlessly doing it. But yikes! A whole bag of chips today. A crap meal later. Maybe some water here and there. Sweets for breakfast. And all of the sudden we’re on a slippery slope of “I’ve already come this far – no point in trying to change now. I’m too far gone.” and we let ourselves off the hook from shifting behavior because “it might be hard” or “I don’t know where to start.”
Great news, friend! You can start right here, right now. One tiny change can make a world of difference! And as wisdom would share, focus more on what you want and less on what you don’t want.
So, for physical health, you might be amazed at what increasing your water intake will do, even if nothing else changes yet. Drink one additional cup of water per day and watch your health come back. Simple, AND it requires intention. Are you willing to care enough about yourself to be intentional about this one thing?
For spiritual health (and emotional, mental, etc.), start tracking your thoughts. Notice what’s swirling in your mind. Write them down.
>> What triggered that thought?
>> What emotion is connected to it?
>> What are the thoughts you think about yourself and your life?
>> Would you want to share them with anyone?
>> If you did share, would people be able to see progress in how you’ve shifted?
>> What would your external life look like if you really took notice of your thoughts and then changed them to better reflect the life you want?
Start here. Start today.
And as you’re learning to shift your thought life through this “mental food journal” you can start by simply focusing even ten seconds on positive thoughts you want to grow.
Just like water will bring life back into your physical body, a positive thought will bring life back into your life!
Cheers to your health!