When thinking about your health, what kinds of things do you allow yourself to do and what
kinds of things do you have strict rules against? Whether due to societal pressure, the way you
were raised, or a conscious choice about how to live, we all hold internal rules and judgements
that give structure to our lives and routines.
When it comes to our internal permissions, we do this at many different levels — the foods we
allow ourselves to eat, the clothes we allow ourselves to wear, the amount of exercise or
movement we allow time for, etc.
These are all important aspects of overall health and well-being; however, there is one more
area that has perhaps the biggest impact of all: our internal dialogue. Internal dialogue, also
known as inner dialogue, is simply the way we talk to ourselves. Is your internal dialogue harsh
and negative? Do you call yourself names, berate yourself or make empty promises? Or is your
internal dialogue positive, kind, supportive, compassionate, patient and trustworthy?
From the fields of psychology to mindfulness to quantum physics, many researchers agree that
our thoughts become our reality. So if you want to feel great and look great, take a minute to
explore your health habits from the inside out.
Getting curious about your own self-talk can provide rich and eye-opening awareness of deep-
seated feelings and beliefs that might keep you in negative or self-destructive patterns. This
cognitive exploration is a key component in overcoming blocks around exercise routines, eating
habits and other forms of self-care such as relationships and finances. What do you believe you
are capable of, worthy of and allowed to have? In the words of Henry Ford, "Whether you think
you can, or whether you think you can't, you're right."
Sometimes this type of personal development can be tricky and deceiving. Our minds are
powerful machines and it is easy to get sucked into our own games and distortions. It is often
helpful to work with a coach, mentor or therapist to get real and get honest about these internal
struggles. When thinking about your health and wellness goals, ask yourself this simple
question: Where do I want to go and who can help me get out of my own way so I can get
In my opinion, everyone can benefit from a coach, whether it's for an athletic sport, business or
relationship. And when it comes to having a coach to whip your internal dialogue into shape to
build the life you want, it may be helpful to consider a therapist, meditation instructor or
someone well-versed in navigating the mind and the psyche.
Siri Khalsa-Zemel, PhD, RDN, LDN, is the chief strategy officer for Focus Treatment Centers in
Chattanooga, and is also the executive director of Focus Integrative Centers in Knoxville. She
earned her doctorate in Mind Body Medicine from Saybrook University and her master's degree
in Nutrition from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
"From the fields of psychology to mindfulness to quantum physics, many researchers agree that
our thoughts become our reality. ... Getting curious about your own self-talk can provide rich
and eye-opening awareness of deep-seated feelings and beliefs that might keep you in negative
or self-destructive patterns."
—Siri Khalsa-Zemel, Focus Treatment Centers chief strategy officer
To learn more about Siri Khalsa-Zemel and the services offered at Focus Treatment Centers,
visit FocusTreatmentCenters.com, or call 800-675-2041.