Negative self-talk impacts your life in more ways than you can ever imagine. Without realizing it, we become our worst enemies, stripping ourselves of self-confidence and peace of mind. Left unchecked, this lack of positivity in our lives can start affecting our health, leaving us worried and stressed and unable to relax.
Are you fixing it? It is easier than you think. It all starts with positive self-talk and following these six practical steps.
You start by catching yourself in the act. These three steps will put the brakes on negative self-talk before it can gain a foothold:
Write it Down
Keeping a journal is a great way to handle your thoughts. Try writing down your impressions of the day before bed. It allows you to let go of feelings that might fester if allowed to run unchecked when trying to sleep. Re-reading those entries later will give you a picture of where you are. It might be you’ve been more negative lately than you thought.
Just Say “No”
When you catch the negative statements in your head, your job is to stop them before they form. The moment you recognize your self-talk shifting to something less than uplifting, you need to immediately say ‘no’ to it. Say the word “Stop” out loud if you need to.
Psychologists have advised this therapy for years to stop negative thoughts. You place a rubber band around your wrist (one that doesn’t fit too snug). Snap the rubber band whenever you have a negative thought. Eventually, you’ll stop those thoughts automatically to avoid the ‘punishment.’
Next, try following these three steps to put positive self-talk into action:
Tone it Down
What word can you change in the negative thought to take the sting out? Instead of ‘stupid,’ perhaps you were ‘mistaken.’ Instead of ‘slow,’ maybe you’re ‘thoughtful.’ By paying attention to your words, you’ll automatically shift your self-talk to the more positive one.
Make a game of it. Whenever you hear yourself making a statement in your head, ask yourself if you can somehow reword things to make your words neutral or positive. See how many of these thoughts you can change.
Instead of listening to negative assumptions, turn them into questions. For example, “That’s impossible” can become “How can I make that possible?” Questions look for solutions while statements are already decisive.
You’ll discover that life looks different by tracking what you do and acting intentionally to change the situation. You’re feeling more relaxed and can even embrace optimism. You start liking yourself a little more. It’s here where you start discovering the potential you’ve been holding all along.
Until next time, stay safe, and keep the faith.