Ever had a conversation with yourself…inside your head? If your answer is “no”….ask the question again. Over the last two years of the pandemic, we’ve been in isolation, locked away from friends, family and community. Who else did you talk to…yourself? Self talk is your internal dialogue, otherwise known as your self talk. It’s influenced by your subconscious mind, and it reveals both your negative and positive thoughts, beliefs, questions, and ideas.
Self talk can be encouraging and supportive or it can be self-defeating. Positive thinking and optimism can be an effective stress management tool, calms fears and bolsters self-confidence. Not only does it help to rewire your brain for more positive thinking, but your body also physically benefits as well by:
greater life satisfaction
improved immune function
better cardiovascular health
better physical well-being
reduced risk for death
less stress and distress
better problem-solving skills
Before you can learn to practice more positive self-talk, you need to first identify negative thinking. This type of thinking and self-talk generally falls into four categories:
Personalizing. You blame yourself for everything.
Magnifying. You focus on the negative aspects of a situation, ignoring any and all of the positive.
Catastrophizing. You expect the worst, and you rarely let logic or reason persuade you otherwise.
Polarizing. You see the world in black and white, or good and bad. There’s nothing in between and no middle ground for processing and categorizing life events.
When you begin to recognize your types of negative thinking, you can work to turn them into positive thinking. It won’t happen overnight and it takes time and practice but the good news is that is can be done.
Here are examples of when and how you can flip the script and turn negative self-talk into positive self-talk. Again, it takes practice. Recognizing some of your own negative self-talk in these scenarios may help you develop skills to flip the thought when it occurs.
Negative: I’ll disappoint everyone if I change my mind.
Positive: I have the power to change my mind. Others will understand.
Negative: I failed and embarrassed myself.
Positive: I’m proud of myself for even trying. That took courage.
Negative: I’m overweight and out of shape. I might as well not bother.
Positive: I am capable and strong, and I want to get healthier for me.
Negative: I let everyone on my team down when I didn’t score.
Positive: Sports are a team event. We win and lose together.
Negative: I’ve never done this before and I’ll be bad at it.
Positive: This is a wonderful opportunity for me to learn from others and grow.
Negative: There’s just no way this will work.
Positive: I can and will give it my all to make it work.
How do I use this on a daily basis?
Positive self-talk takes practice if it doesn’t come natural to you. If you’re generally more pessimistic, you can learn to shift your inner dialogue to be more encouraging and uplifting. But, forming a new habit takes time and effort and with some persistence, you have the power to shift your thoughts.
These tips can help:
Identify negative self-talk traps. Certain scenarios may increase your self-doubt and lead to more negative self-talk. Work events, for example, might be particularly hard. Pinpointing when you experience the most negative self-talk can help you anticipate and prepare.
Check in with your feelings. Stop during events or bad days and evaluate your self-talk. Does it get worse as the day goes on? How can you turn it around?
Find the humor. Laughter can help relieve stress and tension. When you need a boost for positive self-talk, find ways to laugh, even if it’s at yourself!
Surround yourself with positive people. Whether or not you notice it, you can absorb the outlook and attitudes of people around you. This includes negative and positive, so choose positive people when you can.
Give yourself positive affirmations. Sometimes, seeing positive words, phrases or inspiring images can be enough to redirect your thoughts. Post small reminders in your office, in your home, and anywhere you spend a significant amount of time.
Positive self-talk can help you improve your outlook on life. It can also have lasting positive health benefits, including improved well-being and a better quality of life. However, self-talk is a habit made over a lifetime. Change is hard! What if you had a strategy, personalized to meet your needs and fit your lifestyle, from a trained healthcare expert who's been where you are and who will empower you to become all you want to be? NOW, that would be EASY. Click here to schedule your free consultation.