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Why is reprogramming thoughts and beliefs important?

We’ve spoken about nourishing. And about it being okay to go slow. But all of this takes reprogramming. What is it? And why is reprogramming thoughts and beliefs important?

A woman with olive skin and dark hair stands amongst a green bush. A semi-transparent square to the right of the photo contains the text "Why is reprogramming thoughts and beliefs important?"

So what is it?

Reprogramming is when we work to change the beliefs that we have been given, aka the programs. These are the things that run under the surface of our conscious minds. Things that have accumulated over time and rooted deeply. Sometimes they can come into our conscious mind, when we summon them there, but mostly they run unnoticed, informing everything we do.

Why is reprogramming thoughts and beliefs important?

Because these deeply rooted beliefs inform our actions. Even less deeply held ones do to an extent to.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is built around the idea that our beliefs inform our actions.
A thing happens. This is the antecedent.
Then our beliefs inform how we react to it, the behavior.
And then consequences happen, or really the outcome or reaction happens.

Antecedent -> Belief informed Behavior -> Consequences.

When we change the beliefs, or the programs, we change the behavior. Thus we change how we act in the world and how the world reacts to us and we change the energies of the world.

Some of the programs that we have been taught and given are deeply harmful. Programs like white supremacy, heteronormativity, ablism, and so on. These not only harm us but everyone. And it is imperative to root them out.

Other programs or beliefs may not harm as much as they create road blocks that make living life more difficult. These will differ from person to person.

How do we reprogram our thoughts and beliefs?

In so many ways!
Meditation. Tapping. Energy work. Journaling. Therapy. Affirmations. Doing the new behaviors. Reaffirming the behaviors. Rewarding ourselves (a little positive reinforcement anyone?)

But here is one we always come back to – reframing.

How to Reframe.

Write out the belief you are looking to change. We’ll call this the old belief.
Brainstorm new beliefs. This could look like completely flipping the old belief, or it could look like a side step.
Decide on the new belief.

Here is an example:
Old Belief: I hate my body.
Flipped New Belief: I love my body. (See how this is the opposite?)
Side-step New Belief: I accept my body. (It isn’t quite the opposite, nor is it quite the same as the old belief.)

What we do after deciding on the new belief can vary. But very basically, we do things in line with the new belief, remind ourselves of it, and build evidence for it. Over time, the connections in the brain for this new belief strengthen and the connections for the old belief weaken.

Supplemental Tools

Things don’t always shift right away though. So here are some other tools you can use!

Here is a link to a Socratic Questions. This worksheet provides questions for further analyzing the old belief and de-qualify them.

The Be Centered guide includes a worksheet for reframing like we did above, and other tools like tapping or EFT.

Are you doing any of these already?

Tag us on Instagram #smliving in your journaling, energy work, meditation, etc.

We love to see reprogramming!

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