You're A Mean One Mr Grinch: How to Conquer Your Inner Grinch to Beat Negativity
Our inner dialogue can be so negative when we have endometriosis. And our inner Grinch/inner child doesn’t always make things easier. In this blog post I give you 7 steps to help you beat negativity while living with endometriosis. We touch on mental health, inner child healing, activities, and exercises to help you reparent your inner child/inner Grinch.
What Is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a full body inflammatory and immune disease with a hormone component. The endometriosis lesions are similar to but different from the endometrium that lines the uterus, however, they are outside of the uterus. These lesions are hormone sensitive and respond to the hormones of the menstrual cycle, but, endometriosis is not caused by excess estrogen. Some explain the lesions as tiny blisters all over your internal organs. It is listed as one of the top 20 most painful conditions in the world and unfortunately, there is no cure for it. Click here to read more about endometriosis and click here to learn more about common endometriosis symptoms
Your Inner Grinch
If you don’t know the Grinch, and you’ve never seen the movie, stop what you’re doing and go watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the new one, with Jim Carey!
Anyways, here’s a very summed up version of the movie. As a child, the Grinch loved Christmas. He grew up in Whoville and went on like any other kid in town. In school, he was made fun of and mocked when he cut his face shaving. Having the entire class laughed at him caused him to hate Christmas and run away to live in Mount Crumpit alone.
Years later, around Christmas, they celebrate a Who-bilation, where the town nominates a Cheer Meister. Cindy lou hoo who had been researching the Grinch requests that they nominate the Grinch, feeling he deserves it the most.
She climbs up Mount Crumpit to deliver the nomination it to him. He’s cranky at first but decides to go and he seems to be getting into the Christmas spirit. But some events happen involving the kids who made fun of him in school, upsetting the Grinch and causing him to wreak the entire celebration and then go back and steal Christmas
So what does this have to do with us? What does the Grinch have to do with endometriosis and our inner selves?
The Grinch is like our inner child
Our inner Grinch wants to do good and be included and be happy, but will always go back to that first negative thing that happened and retreat because he’s trying to keep us safe.
To our inner Grinch, it is so much easier to hide away in Mount Crumpit, being negative and mean about things than it is to face and overcome our fears. It is easier to ruminate on those negative thoughts and feelings because they are comfortable and we love comfortable.
And our inner child/inner Grinch really just wants to protect his heart. He doesn’t want to get hurt again, so when things start to get uncomfortable he retreats back to Mount Crumpit and continues to ruminate on the bad thing that happened or the bad thoughts just as a reminder of what is safe and what isn’t safe.
Your inner grinch is a hurt and sad child who needs coddling and love and compassion. It is not his fault that he ruminates on the bad, he is going off the only experience he knows. And just like the Grinch who needed to know that he was accepted and that it was safe for him to come down to Whoville where the people down there were nice and not mean. Your inner Grinch/inner child needs to know that it is safe to leave behind those negative comfortable thoughts and that he/she is deserving of love & compassion.
So how do we accomplish this? How do we show our inner child/inner Grinch that he is safe and deserving of love?
How to Beat Negativity Tip # 1: Notice Your Thoughts
Noticing your negative inner Grinch and what he’s saying to you on a daily basis is the first step to beating negativity. Become conscious of your thoughts and notice your language. How does your inner Grinch talk to you about your body, your endometriosis, your life?
Often times, our thoughts are exaggerated and biased. Our inner Grinch tends to catastrophize situations and things that happen in our lives. It’s not uncommon for our inner dialogue to be very mean and to say things such as “My life is over, I’m so lazy, I’m an idiot, Why did I do that? I’m so stupid!, I’m a burden, I’m unproductive. Etc”. As you can see I wrote all of those statements down as I statements. I recommend you do this too.
If this step is particularly difficult for you, I recommend asking a close friend, significant other, or a parent what they notice you saying about yourself on a daily basis.
How to Beat Negativity Tip # 2: Changing Your Language
Now that you have your I statements, the next step to beating negativity is to re-write all of these “I” statements as “YOU” statements. For example instead of I’m lazy, write down you are lazy. This helps you to see these statements not as your own point of view. You can start to dissociate these thoughts from yourself and you’ll start to notice how mean your inner grinch really is to you.
How to Beat Negativity Tip # 3: Find Evidence Against the Thought
The third step to beating negativity from your inner Grinch is to find evidence against your negative thoughts. Looking at evidence on both sides of the argument can help you look at the situation more rationally and less emotionally.
Here is an exercise to help you with this.
Draw a line down the middle of a piece of paper. On one side, list all of the evidence you have that supports your negative thought.
- Do you have actual real facts or evidence that proves this thought or is this just an assumption?
- Is this just your inner Grinch being cranky and throwing out negativity like confetti?
- Do you have real facts that prove you’re lazy or are you just assuming that because you have to sleep extra because of your endometriosis and rest to take care of yourself that you’re lazy?
On the other side of the paper, write down all of the evidence that disproves this negative thought.
- Do you have evidence that disproves this?
- Probably. You cooked dinner or breakfast. That was helpful not useless. You left the house, that wasn’t lazy was it? You went running even though you were in pain? Thats def not lazy? And it doesn’t have to be something that happened recently. Look back at your entire life and find evidence against this negative thought to prove the Grinch wrong!
How to Beat Negativity Tip # 4: Question Your Thoughts
The next step in beating negativity is to question your negative thoughts. Is the thought true and is this really even my thought? Did you hear someone call another person lazy because they take naps during the day so now you have this deep rooted belief that if you take a nap you’re lazy. Is this really your belief? Really dig deep here.
- What is your definition of lazy? Of a burden, of unproductive?
- Are these really your definitions or what society has taught you?
How to Beat Negativity Tip # 5: Challenge Your Thoughts
This next step in beating negativity is to challenge your negative thoughts and respond to yourself and your inner Grinch with compassion. I want you to think of your inner Grinch as a little baby Grinch that got his heart broken and ran off to Mount Crumpit because he was scared and sad. He uses anger and negativity as a defense mechanism.
Here is an exercise for you that will help you show a kinder more honest attitude with yourself and with your inner Grinch
How can you respond to his negative “YOU” statements from step 2 with compassion?
I want you to challenge those statements and rewrite them with compassion towards your inner Grinch.
- “I’m lazy” —> “I may be struggling right now, but that doesn’t need to define me, I am smart and amazing in so many other ways”
- Sometimes this exercise is easier to do with your you statements like you’re talking right to your inner grinch. You’re lazy —> "You may be struggling right now, but that doesn’t need to define you, you are smart and amazing in so many other ways”
How to Beat Negativity Tip # 6: Stop Ruminating
Seriously stop saying over and over in your head that you’re lazy, that you’re a burden, that you’re stupid. Stop thinking back to that conversation that happened this morning and playing it over and over again in your head. Just stop!
I know this is easier said than done. I know for me personally thinking back to conversations and playing them over and over again is terrible for my mental health, but I do it all the time. It is something I have to constantly work on.
Here are a couple ideas to help you with this.
- The art of distraction!
- Distract yourself with an activity - like going for a walk, organizing your desk, talking about a different topic, watch your favorite tv show, listen to a podcast, start to read a book, blast some music and sing your heart out. Do whatever you gotta do to stop that critical negative thoughts before they spiral out of control
By this, I do not mean to tell yourself to stop thinking about the negative thought all together. That’s like telling someone not to think of a pink elephant… that’s exactly what they’re gonna do. But the art of distraction is key.
How to Beat Negativity Tip # 7: Practice Self Compassion
This last step to beating negativity is key. Like I said earlier, the Grinch uses anger and negativity because he thinks it’s gonna keep him safe. So forgive him and yourself for buying into those beliefs. State you do not believe them anymore, and rewrite your new truth. Be sure to focus on kindness and acceptance without judgement.
- I forgive myself for buying into the belief that I’m lazy. I know this negative thought was keeping me safe but I am done believing it. The truth is there were factors beyond my control and I may be struggling right now but taking time to take care of myself and rest isn’t lazy, its self care.
This is an ongoing process and it takes time because like I said earlier, being negative is so much easier than being positive. But if you continue to do these steps and lead with compassion, you can beat negativity!
I hope this was helpful babes! I love you all and I hope you have a stress free, pain free holiday <3
Chelsea Blackburn | Endometriosis Blogger & Podcaster
PS. Be sure to get my Endometriosis Holiday Recipe Guide here for amazing gluten free, dairy free holiday recipes over at the Endo Babe Shop!
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