Fighting Fire with Fire? Try Water Instead.

My new book, The Perfectionism Workbook for Teens, is available now! To celebrate, I am running a five-part series highlighting some concepts from the book. I’ll talk about some different ways perfectionists struggle, and offer some tools for change. (By the way, although my book is technically aimed at teens, a lot of the tools work for adults too, and these blogs posts will focus on ideas for grownups.) This week’s post is about the cycle of thoughts, emotions, and sensations.

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Our bodies, emotions, and minds are linked. We know this, but we also forget. After a day of ruminating about a past conversation where you think you said something stupid, or imagining future conversations where you tell someone off brilliantly, you wonder why your mood is terrible or your neck is so tight you can barely move. It’s easy to forget the powerful effect your thoughts can have on your feelings or body sensations.

Thoughts impact your bodies and emotions, and bodies also impact your thoughts and feelings. It’s tough to remember this too. So often the first instinct is to fight fire with fire, to try to battle negative or distressing thoughts with more thoughts. To try to talk yourself out of what you are thinking. We’re so enamored with our brains, we think they can do anything!

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