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I got accused of being ‘basic’ and simplistic this week. 

I was told everything I share is the type of thing you find on a cereal box! 

And I was just lucky I’d recovered, and I had no right to give advice to others.

I get it. If I’d seen some of the things I share now a few years ago, I probably would have rolled my eyes, discounted them and moved on to look for something I considered to be ‘meatier’. 

Love and understanding just didn’t seem to cut it. 

I lived in my head and couldn’t conceive of a way to solve my problems with eating, body image, anxiety, stress, and sleep that didn’t use analysis and techniques. 

I didn’t know how to stop thinking in an analytical way. Analytical thinking dominated my experience of life. 

And I didn’t realise that it was all the overthinking that had got me into trouble in the first place – the conditioned thinking that had indoctrinated me into hating my natural body and disrupted my natural, healthy relationship with food as a result. 

Without all the judgments I’d picked up from society, I wouldn’t have had problems with eating or body image – that’s where they came from. 

I know this now because I’ve dropped those judgments, and I no longer have difficulties with eating or body image anymore. 

I also didn’t realise that overthinking was a way to avoid feeling – I was afraid to feel my feelings without rushing to analysis. 

That just felt like I was entering a void where there was no hope.

I felt stuck with dysfunctional eating habits and painful judgments of my appearance. 

Where would I be without a theory to explain my suffering or a plan of action to solve my problems? Surely the correct theory would lead to a solution that worked? 

I put all my faith in my analytical thinking. I wasn’t aware that there was a whole other dimension to life, the dimension which is what makes life make sense; that provides the anchor we need to navigate challenges with grace and courage. 

Getting more in touch with my feelings and dropping out of my habitual thinking – what I advise these days – didn’t sound concrete enough. How would that help me stop binge eating or make me feel more attractive?? 

And so, I kept hunting for yet another modality, book, course to try... 

I didn’t realise that there is a world beyond analytical, conditioned thinking. 

It’s a spiritual world of feeling and intuition. 

I didn’t know there is a wisdom to our emotions, and that beyond the whirr of our ever-busy minds, there’s a stillness which is the source of everything we’re looking for. 

Fortunately, at some point, I got so fed up with my suffering that I became willing to take a step back from my habitual negative thoughts and get curious about whether it might be possible for me to see things from a different perspective. 

That instigated a radical transformation in my relationship, not only with food and my body, but with my thoughts, and therefore my whole experience of life. 

It’s felt absolutely magical. ✨And I’m now passionate about sharing what I’ve seen with other people who are still struggling in the way I used to. 

The truth is that I don’t know exactly how healing works – what goes on in our brains and bodies physiologically is extremely complicated – and there is still so much that scientists don’t know. 

But fortunately, you don’t need to know the details of everything that goes on inside your body and mind to experience mental health. 

It’s just like you don’t need to know exactly how a car works to drive it. You just need to know a few basic things. 

And, yes, they are ‘basic’! 

I have come across a lot of people who’ve studied psychology, psychiatry or who work in the mental health field who aren’t happy – all the knowledge they’ve acquired hasn’t helped them enjoy life. That’s something worth reflecting upon. 

This is not to say that knowledge isn’t valuable. It would be ludicrous to suggest that it wasn’t. It’s essential for doing countless important things and solving lots of problems. 

And I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed academic learning. My favourite element of a massage course I did was learning about anatomy and physiology. The easiest part of getting my driving licence drive was the theory test. I like theory – the bit you can revise and control! 

But theory only takes you so far, and you have to know when to stop – when to say ‘enough is enough’ – and not make your wellbeing dependent on gathering just one more bit of information. 

Learning is fun, but the kind of learning that helps with mental health has very little to do with analysis and the intellect. 

Don’t make the mistake of becoming an expert in your suffering. That won’t help you suffer less. 

Happiness is ‘basic’, and I think that’s a good thing because it means it’s accessible to everyone. You don’t need to be a university professor to be happy. 

So, if you’re struggling with body image and you’re interested in a simple approach to healing, get in touch, and let’s have a free, no-pressure chat to see if I can help you enjoy your life more. Or check out my free course, Making Peace With Your Appearance.

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