How To Press The Stop Button On Your Internal Tape Recorder

In previous articles I have written about SOOI (the “Snap Out Of It” concept) that addresses the Yappy Dog we sometimes have in our head that barks out criticism and negative remarks. For some people, this “noise” is a constant and unbearable factor in their everyday lives. I happen to have been one of those people. It took me years to discover how to turn it off, but first, I had to discover who and what turned it on.Stop

When it comes to our mental thoughts, most of us believe we are beholden to them. As if “they” knew what they were talking about, we listen, we try to understand, and we sometimes believe what they are saying no matter how terrible or malicious they can be. Truthfully, we are not always in our “right mind” and most often, we are being directed by nonsense created by our body’s response to its own bio-chemistry. Let me explain…

Excerpted from my new book (coming soon!) “Positive Manipulation: How to Get Out Of Your Own Way”

Years ago I discovered how food related to my moods, but while on that journey, I also discovered how the chemicals we ingest have a direct correlation to what negative thoughts we are thinking and how many times a day or even a minute we may think them. It is rarely spoken about, but certain foods and the bio-chemical reaction our body gets from those foods can perpetuate negative emotions and thought processes. To help you understand, I will tell you about my client Calvin. In a constant state of worry about money, he went to a therapist to work out his issues. No matter how much talk therapy he went through, however, he still had the negative, anxiety-ridden thoughts constantly repeating in his head. It was affecting his sleep, his work and his life. Believing he couldn’t control them any longer, he talked to his doctor who prescribed anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds. They didn’t work, so the doctor upped the dosage and some results were gained, but Calvin was still suffering and his attitude about life was, as he put it “scary ugly”. Frustrated with psychotherapy and drugs and also terrified he was headed for serious trouble, he reached out to a friend who led him to me. After spending a short time discussing his diet and drinking habits, we decided to get his blood taken so we could determine just what was going on bio-chemically. At the time, he didn’t understand how his body and his habits were working against him, but I knew all too well. I needed to help him discover it on his own though, because part of his issue, aside from a sugar and a carbohydrate filled diet, was alcohol. In his case, the food and drinking habits started out (during his youth) as a form of self medication for an already existing issue with anxiety. But as he got older, the attempt at self medicating worsened the up-and-down physical and emotional swings, making him believe he was out of control of his life, and in effect, he was right!

After getting his blood work we discovered the discrepancies in his body chemistry and made some changes. At the advice of Doc Dulin we added in some amino acids, nutrients, and specific foods, but it was up to him and I to figure out exactly what he was consuming that could be making his negative thought patterns so incessant. He followed the doc’s diet for a couple of months and tried to eliminate every item I deemed harmful. It didn’t take too long for him to start feeling better, and within a short time he had weaned off the anti-depressants completely. Unfortunately, he was still reaching for the Xanax when he occasionally felt himself go down what we called “the rabbit hole”. Hoping to show him a pattern, I would consistently ask him what he ate or drank the few days before a severe anxiety episode. He was extremely motivated to help himself and always told the truth. Each and every time we narrowed it down to soda, sugar foods or alcohol. After four months, Calvin made a promise to not drink anymore, but when he tried to stop, he couldn’t completely eliminate it from his life. He had a problem. I didn’t have to beat him over the head with the realization either. It was a conclusion he came to on his own when he recognized that he was choosing to drink even though he knew how terrible it made him feel for days afterward.

“The U.S. Constitution states it is your inalienable right to pursue happiness, but what is your body’s constitution telling you?” DM

Although not everyone has an alcohol addiction, many people still have a terrible reaction from it—depression being the most obvious—and incessant negative thoughts and aggressive behavior are two others. Food can cause just as severe an issue. Yes, alcohol is a known addictive, but so is food! The problem with food though is that it seems far more innocuous than liquor, but it is not. The bio-chemistry some foods create in your body can instigate terrible thought patterns that most probably stem from an already existing sentiment. In Calvin’s case, it was money and his fear of not having enough. In my case, an imbalanced body, caused from sugar and food intolerances, made my tape recorder play back a constant barrage of self doubt and criticism based on my childhood as a dyslexic, learning disabled kid. (Which by the way, was worsened, and maybe created by what I was eating?)

Candies

We take it for granted that food gives our body fuel, but we don’t consider the fuel it gives our brains, creating a constant pump of chemicals that prompt neural connections we may not want. Sugar is a stimulant and can push an already tenuous thought process over the edge. Did you know that over 80% of prisoners are sugar addicts? Most people don’t have any clue just how aggressive a drug it really is. When Calvin sought help for his anxiety, he took medical drugs that were supposed to help, but they didn’t. That is because the other drug (sugar from alcohol and food) that he was ingesting undid any potential benefits. Actually, if he never ingested the harmful foodstuff, he would have never needed the drugs! Most therapists, psycho-analysts, even doctors of psychology and psychiatry have no idea how the food you put in your mouth affects your body or your mind. They were never taught because it is not a constant and every body reacts differently to every substance.

Any drug you take can be nullified or made even more dangerous with the addition of food chemistry. It is an unknown that is hurting our society severely, but there is hope. We can become our own doctors. In fact, we are our best doctors! Hippocrates, the father of medicine who lived over 4,000 years ago (ever heard of the Hippocratic Oath?) said, “Before treating a sick person, change their diet. If that doesn’t work, treat the illness.” He understood what the current generation of medical professionals have turned their backs on—the fact that we are what we eat. Everything that goes in our body has a direct effect on what goes on in our head, which has a direct effect on what we think, say and do. Fortunately, we are our best guide to what works and doesn’t work. When we start taking out what doesn’t make us feel or think “right”, we can finally unplug that negative tape recorder, or better yet, change the message to one that will make us feel happy, positive and most especially, at peace.