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Cognitive Dissonance - actions v beliefs

I have been looking into the psychological aspect of ‘loving the skin we’re in’ … I have always said you need to work on the mind before you can work on the body right. Have you ever heard of Cognitive Dissonance - actions v beliefs. Take Sandra, Sandra knows that if she works out and eats well she will feel good. She is feeling sluggish and getting out of breath when she is taking a flight of stairs. Each day she doesn’t exercise or focus on eating well, she feels a slight disappointment. This feeling of guilt or feeling bad is dissonance, we can use this to create motivation… we can use it in a way that’s good for our actions v beliefs. For example: Belief - I value kindness … Action - I just punched someone in the face - is going to bring on a sense of guilt and regret. The opposite of dissonance is integrity - when we line up our actions with our values. Closing the gap between what we think and how we act … which creates peace, secure and capable. 3 ways to resolve dissonance: 1) Change your behaviour to line up with our values Lets think about Sandra - if she sets a realistic goal, to say, track her steps, log her food and vow to one workout a week. A realistic goal has a greater chance of being completed, this will in turn create the feeling of pride, integrity and motivation which will help her self belief and make her feel more peaceful. 2) Change our thinking to line up with our behaviour Sometimes our emotions are built on faulty beliefs… I have to work out 7 days a week. By setting an unrealistic goal it is likely and not achieving it, you’re probably going to be left feeling guilty, negative and upset. 3) Justifying our behaviour Resolving the feeling of dissonance by numbing, blaming, excusing or avoiding the fact that our behaviour doesn’t align with our beliefs. This is the most common way people do respond to dissonance but is the most destructive: - ’no one will know’ - ‘its not that bad’ - ‘I’m not the only one’ Don't avoid guilt, take a moment to reflect on what you want and how you will change your behaviour to line up with your values. But be sure that your values are not unrealistic.

Lets work on feeling more peaceful - take a moment to check your goals.

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