In this article, I hope to demonstrate how positive self-talk can be a force in your daily emotions, thoughts and feelings. Much has been written about positive self-talk. This article will be an overview of what it is and how it can be useful in your life.
Without even realizing it, you talk to yourself in positive or negative ways every day. Your self-talk determines how you feel and how the world looks to you. Self-talk is the words we say to ourselves. They are the internal dialogue we are carrying on within ourselves without others being able to hear. It is messages we have practiced all our lives. It goes on in the background and influences how we see ourselves and the world around us. Even if we are unaware of it, we engage in self-talk all the time.
Positive self-talk is encouraging and positive. Negative self-talk is pessimistic, cynical and damaging. Neutral self-talk is informative or instructive. It is a known fact that how you talk to yourself in your mind affects your behavior, your attitudes and your self-image.
Self-talk could be considered your inner voice. Thoughts quickly become feelings. Words are powerful. They can be helpful and hurtful. Words have the power to inspire and encourage, and also to tear down and destroy. They are strong no matter who says them, including words said to ourselves.
Do you talk to yourself positively or are your self-conversations producing negative thoughts? Just ponder for a moment and ask yourself if your self-conversations are negative or positive. I have found that often people are not aware of how their thoughts quickly transfer to feelings.
Life is inherently filled with obstacles that are outside our control: The circumstances we are born into, events that are unforeseen, emergencies we are unprepared for. But there are things we have control over, and among them are our thoughts and how we care for ourselves.
There are enough obstacles. We do not need to make things more difficult and inflict more pain on our life. Negative thoughts and feelings do damage, both visible and invisible.
One reason people engage in negative self-talk and feel badly about themselves are because they are overwhelmed. If you start thinking negative thoughts, and you are feeling overwhelmed and upset…pause and breathe. This will slow your heart rate and give you clarity.
When you know you’re starting to spiral into negative thoughts, it is necessary to acknowledge them. Ignoring them will not stop them. You have to confront them, find out the cause of the thoughts, and put them to rest. If you are experiencing self-doubt, tell yourself that everyone fails sometimes. Consider the roots of the thoughts, address them and work toward silencing them.
When you first begin to deal with negative thoughts, don’t expect perfection. If you are starting over after a major failure, or you are suffering from self-doubt, try telling yourself “It’s OK to fail.” No one is perfect. Failure is a part of life. Embrace it and move forward. Mistakes are OK.
Surround yourself with things that give you energy and motivation whether it be exercise, a playlist or getting together with someone who makes you laugh. When you are feeling down, raise yourself up. You know what helps improve your mindset.
Create a routine. Then your day takes less thought, and less time and energy. The best way to get past negative thoughts is to work through them. This is easier if you have planned your day. Even if you are suffering from self-doubt or fear, having a routine helps you go forward in spite of fears. They will want to creep in as they always have. Prepare and replace them with a positive narrative!
Tune in to your thoughts. Positive self-talk encourages you and helps you feel capable of achievement. It can also stop destructive behaviors and start healthy ones.
If you are skeptical about self-talk, try monitoring your own self-talk throughout the day. If you begin to notice negative and damaging self-talk, try to notice what words you say to yourself and how often they are repeated. This can become a cycle and impact your continuing thoughts, emotions, and feelings.
This is not an easy task, especially if you have been easily distracted into negativity. Changing your thought patterns to positive things is certainly possible and will take much practice. Remember my favorite quote. It is, “Kill the ANTS (“automatic negative thoughts”) that steal your happiness.