By Stephanie Abrams
As a broadcast meteorologist at The Weather Channel, whether you’re literally in a storm or going through one emotionally/physically, the show must go on. You could be getting pounded with rain, or water could be pouring from your eyes due to personal reasons, but in either scenario when that camera turns on you must be focused, articulate, knowledgeable, dependable, credible.
I might have to do this on a more public scale, but I know the feeling is relatable. There are times we smack on that smile for our friends/family, or wear a grin as our most deceptive mask to work, parties, etc… all while hiding sadness, loneliness, jealousy, anger, or perhaps physical discomfort. The reality is, we ALL struggle. It doesn’t matter how great anyone’s life looks on social media, we ALL have that voice in our head: that dreaded negative self-talk.
It wasn’t until this last year-and-a-half that I was able to understand and practice overriding my negative self-talk/perspective. If there’s one thing that can dramatically change your life, it’s understanding that you CAN change the narrative in your head! You HAVE control over that voice that tells you to say mean things, avoid conflict, eat too much, gossip, reject relationships, consume bad food, make excuses for not working out, back out of commitments… It’s not easy to calm or override that voice, but it IS possible.
I work on this every second of every day, and like anything that you practice, you get stronger and more successful the more effort you put into it. I’m pretty competitive, so lately I’ve been trying to look at it as a game. For instance, if my negative self-talk tells me to binge on food, I look at it as a challenge and say, yeah we’re not doing that.
Abrams: 1, Negative Self-Talk: 0.
Or perhaps if I’m late and there is traffic and my default narrative says, get frustrated and be short tempered with others. I now fight that, and remember I CAN change my perspective, and say this is a great time to practice patience and actually take that time to focus on my breath and get present. As I have learned from Eckhart Tolle, author of “The Power of Now,” you are always okay in the present. We only suffer when we are living in the past or fantasizing about the future — and all we truly have is the present moment.
I say all this because my nasty voice was very loud, convincing, aggressive, persistent, and unrelenting for decades. It was exhausting, physically and mentally. I thought, well it’s just how I was made, and tried every mainstream tactic to curb the pain. I have yet to find the courage to share my most personal struggles, but I hope in 2016 I’m able to quiet that negative voice that’s been telling me to be scared to speak out. I hope to be fearless and open up about the unconventional methods that have lightened my emotional weight and let my authenticity shine. I know that hopeless feeling, that nagging thought that it’s impossible to ever feel pure and lasting joy, confidence, and peace. I was there, and now I am not. Please don’t give up, don’t ever stop trying! There is something out there that WILL give you long lasting relief.
Once I cleaned my body of all medications and started reading, I learned things like the majority of your serotonin (your happy juice) and immune system is made in your gut! It’s no wonder my mind couldn’t function properly and my body wasn’t healthy. Your body can only mentally and physically heal if it’s given proper nutrients, found in “clean” food — in short, food that hasn’t been destroyed by heat, has 1 ingredient or a list you can fully read, and is free of chemicals. Think about it: Your car won’t run if you try filling it with the wrong fuel, so I’m not sure how we’ve been convinced our mind and bodies will work properly without the proper nutrients. People are sicker and sadder then ever, and I know that when I’m not eating fresh food, drinking enough water, getting proper sleep, meditating… my mind and body suffer tremendously. There’s no magic pill or secret. Our body is designed to heal small cuts and big pains, both physically and mentally, if it’s given the proper vitamins and minerals — that is what cells understand. Just as a plant needs soil, sun, and water to grow, our bodies need proper nutrition, which is not found in a lot of what we consume, though we’ve been told otherwise.
I now fully understand that no matter what things you have, who you are with, whatever job you have, lasting peace is ONLY found within, and you can more easily choose that perspective and control that negative self-talk IF you fill your body with proper fuel, water, sleep, and human interaction.
I am not standing on a soapbox saying my way works for everyone, we are all different. I am simply saying, I was there too, and the path I chose has dramatically changed my happiness/anxiety level, and might work for you. As we say in my group of friends: #DoYou! If it works for you and you are happy, then I am happy!
My hope for all of us in 2016 is to live authentically, fearlessly, healthy, and know that we are not victims of our minds or circumstances. We can change/override/dictate how we see each and every moment, minute to minute.
I hope in this coming year:
1. I will be brave and share my story by writing a book, and going on talking tours so I can help others release the pain they carry. I was given this ultimate gift by someone who was courageous and shared their story with me, and I want to pay it forward. I can’t think of a greater gift to give then being able to show others, who are searching, ways to release pain.
2. Get better at overcoming my negative self-talk, because right now in the series my negative self-talk has more wins then I do. The reality is it’s NEVER about the actual event, relationship, situation, action, it’s ALWAYS about the mind you bring to it.
3. Live authentically and fearlessly and have compassion for others and myself. I try to remember that when someone is acting ugly on the outside they are feeling MUCH worse on the inside. Everyone’s struggles manifest differently.
If you approach everything with love, you can’t go wrong! It’s possible to resolve conflicts calmly, as long as your intention is pure. It just takes practice and an open, non-judgmental mind.
You may recognize Stephanie Abrams as the co-host of “AMHQ” on The Weather Channel, but there’s so much more to know about her. Stephanie likes to be in the center of the action, and distinguished herself while reporting live during the historic 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons. She’s from the Sunshine State, loves the beach and outdoor activities. Stephanie is a member of the National Weather Association and the American Meteorology Society. She holds the AMS seal of approval and was president of the North Florida chapter of the AMS from 2002-2003.
Stephanie’s hometown is West Palm Beach, FL, and she has degrees from University of Florida (B.S. in Geography, Minor in Math) and Florida State (B.S. Meteorology). Stephanie grew up in South Florida and saw the horrific destruction caused by Hurricane Andrew firsthand. She couldn't believe that wind and rain could cause such damage, and was curious and impressed by all things weather. She enjoys educating, being in the middle of all types of weather, traveling, meeting new people, and experiencing all she can in life. She also love how the weather is constantly changing, and enjoys the challenge of forecasting.