Self-talk is the dialogue or 'inner chatter' that plays out in our mind.
We all talk to ourselves constantly throughout the day. The things we consistently say to ourselves have a significant impact on our attitude towards life and has a really great impact on our self-esteem and confidence. The conversations you have with yourself also help determine your emotions and actions. Whether it's positive self-talk or negative self-talk this is a behaviour that's ever-present in all our lives.
Positive self-talk is a powerful formula to support a positive attitude and the key to achieving goals and experiencing success. Being human means we all make mistakes failure is part of our existence and to expect perfection is unrealistic. Positive self-talk seeks to help us do better, go further and keep moving forward. It is often the process that allows you to discover joy and hope in any given situation.
However, much of our self-talk is negative and self-defeating. This negative self-talk is called the inner critic.
The inner critic sets up all sorts of storms in our heads about regrets, resentments and fears. It prevents us from dealing effectively with situations and only adds distress, self-doubt and damages your self-esteem.
Negative self-talk impacts on recovery from mental health difficulties like depression. We each have thousands of thoughts every day and all our actions are influenced by our thoughts. In a depressed state our thought process is likely to focus on the negative resulting in distorted black and white thinking and catastrophizing. We automatically anticipate the worst and our self-talk can become toxic.
In therapy I work to identify the source and pattern of the negative thoughts and work with the person to overwrite them and show a better way of thinking and being. Through my professional experience, I have a created a few simple strategies to help increase our positive self-talk.
Here are 4 ways to improve your inner dialogue
1. Become more aware of your self-talk
Self-talk is often a habitual behaviour and as with any habit it can be changed with awareness and persistence.
2. Challenge the Negative self-talk
Most times, your negative self-talk is not an accurate assessment of what is going on with you. As you become more aware of your inner dialogue ask yourself:
Is there evidence to support what I am saying?
Watch out for the words ‘never’ or ‘always’ as often these are signs of cognitive distortion in your self-talk.
Ask yourself are your words based on facts or assumptions.
3. Replace and Reframe
One of the ways to recognise promote and sustain optimism, hope and joy is to intentionally fill our thoughts with positive self-talk.
Every time you catch yourself having a negative thought try to replace it with a positive self-talk statement. For example, when you hear yourself saying I’m not good enough’, change it to ‘I am doing my best’.
4. Recite Daily Positive Affirmations
Positive affirmations are statements that encourage and help us to develop a new attitude to ourselves and our situations.
Choose a statement from those below or make one that means more to you and repeat throughout the day, every day. You might want to make or print out a card with your affirmation and carry it with you.
Use it when you notice you have that negative thought.
Some examples of positive affirmations are:
I am strong
I am determined.
I am a unique and special person.
I am confident and competent.
I am in control of my life.
I am calm and relaxed.
I have options and I make good decisions.
I am healthy and I have all that I need.
By following the above positive self-talk tips you will start to experience major improvements in your life. Repeating positive affirmations on a daily basis will result in your sub conscious mind being reprogrammed with new positive thoughts and inspiring beliefs. A positive attitude is the key to achieving goals and experiencing success. The more positive affirmations we make the more productive our inner spirit will become. It will eventually manifests and becomes a reality in our life.
Finally, it's time to take action and make your self-talk your friend.
Self-talk is a soundtrack that’s constantly playing in your head and its impact is dramatic because it frames our reactions to life. It also has a significant impact on our attitude towards life.
Self-talk is one of the most effective but least utilised tool available to master the psyche and foster joy and goodness. Appreciating its role in constructing our mental lives brings us one step closer to understand the very nature of self and humanity.
Remember we believe what we tell ourselves.
If you would like some support with negative self-talk or any other issue that is impacting your life, please call or email me for an appointment.
Cabin Counselling is just a phone call away. To book an appointment just call 087 6203371 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.