You know what it’s like when you’re on a diet. All you can think about are the things you cannot have. Dreams are filled with mansized slices of quiche with chunky fries, baked beans and cake for afters. This week though, it’s not food I am avoiding, it’s negative thoughts. Welcome to the hell that is The Seven Day Mental Diet.
The idea is, I do not entertain any downbeat thoughts when they enter my head. Instead, I latch onto positive, uplifting ones. I don’t judge others, I am not filled with spite, anger, jealousy… just lashings of love, kindness and compassion. That’s the theory anyway.
This was all Marion’s idea of course. She’s doing the diet too and from what I gather so far, she’s breezing through. She’s probably sprouted a pair of wings and a halo by now, whereas I can feel the little devil horns trying to push their way through my scalp.
Being judgemental is a major problem for me. It’s easy not to look down on those who are similar, but cross paths with someone who is wildly different and I make Hyacinth Bouquet look like Mother Theresa. Here are some of the banned thoughts that have popped up since I started this thing on Monday – ‘Oh, she could at least have washed her hair,’ ‘She should not be wearing a black thong with that dress’, ‘Oh stop dawdling, I haven’t got all day.’
I reasoned that I would be safer locking myself in the house, but then my husband got on my nerves, followed by the dog who goes off like a fire alarm every time there is the faintest rustle of anything in the bushes.
The good news is, worrying is off the menu and that’s a relief. I’ve decided to put my fretting off for a whole 7 days and feel better for it. I’ve reasoned that there’s no point in getting into a tizzy over anything that doesn’t need my attention right this very minute. Mañana is my new buzz word.
I also keep forgetting that I am on this diet. I’ll be cursing, gnashing and stomping when it suddenly occurs to me that I’ve fallen off the wagon. I get back on, only to fall off it again a few hours later. Still, it is a useful exercise. I see how much time I waste working myself up into a lather about things that don’t really matter in the grand scheme of things.
Emmet Fox, the person who devised The Seven Day Mental Diet says it can change your life and I can see how, if you stick to it. If not, like flab, negativity creeps its way into your psyche and before you know it, you’re finishing off the remains of your daughter’s birthday cake whilst listening to The Smiths.