“Watch what you tell yourself, you’re likely to believe it.” ~ Russ Kyle
Positive self-talk at its core is all about speaking to yourself and treating yourself with kindness and compassion, just like you would treat and talk to someone you love.
Do we get overtly critical or angry at our little kids or pets or loved ones when they make a small mistake? Then why do we not show ourselves the same compassion and kindness when we make a small mistake?
The internal conversation that you have with yourself is therefore so so important and that is referred to as self-talk. It even includes talking to yourself aloud. Ideally in life, when you live on autopilot mode you are not even aware of your own self-talk. But, everyone engages in self-talk. This self talk can either be positive or negative.
Before you can learn to practice more self-talk, you must first identify negative thinking. This type of thinking and self-talk generally falls into four categories
Categories of Negative Self-Talk
• Personalising. You blame yourself for everything.
• Magnifying. You focus on the negative aspects of a situation, ignoring any and all of the positive.
• Catastrophising. You expect the worst, and you rarely let logic or reason persuade you otherwise.
• Polarising. 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. This task requires practice and time and doesn’t develop overnight. The good news is that is can be done.
Why is Positive Self Talk Important?
When you are critical with yourself and your internal dialogue is Negative, it will make you feel horrible about yourself and will have an adverse effect on your whole life.
But, when you speak to yourself with kindness and compassion aka practicing Positive self-talk, it will enhance your self-confidence and self-esteem. It has the power to drastically improve the quality of your life.
It is humanly impossible, to always ensure to talk kindly to yourself. Besides, positive self-talk does not guarantee that you will never have a bad day.
In life, especially during difficult times, it’s natural to focus on the negative. But this is the time when you must push yourself to think with optimism. This will enable you to have a more optimistic outlook on life and deal with challenges more effectively.
4 Benefits of Positive Self-Talk
There are numerous benefits to practicing positive self-talk daily. Here are some of the most significant positive self-talk benefits:
1}It makes dealing with stress easier
Stress unfortunately has become an accepted reality in our lives. Consciously or unconsciously, we all are exposed to so many stressors daily. The only difference is how we approach it. Positive self-talk is one of the simplest strategies to deal with stress. Simply changing the way you think about yourself and how you speak to yourself will improve your ability to cope with stress. Because when you are kinder to yourself, the world doesn’t feel like such a stressful space. Your mind will find ways to focus on the solution instead of the stress.
2}It helps to remove self-doubt
Are you frequently stuck in the mode of self-doubt and lack confidence in your own abilities? Well, self-doubt aka a kind of negative thinking, can prevent you from achieving your goals. There are times when it may even discourage you from attempting new things in the first place. Positive self-talk helps remove self-doubt from your psyche slowly and gently. The loving and positive words that you keep saying to yourself daily, empower you to take action towards your goals rather than overthinking the negative consequences.
3}It can bring you out of depression
In severely depressed souls, negative self talk is too strong and takes over their lives. Negative self-talk also triggers depressive thoughts, which in turn a negative impact on your mental and emotional well-being. Positive self-talk, on the other hand, can help you avoid this and see beyond your problems. It has the power to change how you feel and interpret the things around you.
4}Motivates you to keep going
Sometimes, when the negative chatter in your head is very loud, its utterly exhausting. So much so, that you wont want to get out bed. That is when Positive self-talk can motivate you to keep going. It’s amazing how easily your mood can shift just by shifting your inner dialogue to a more positive one.
Before you practice positive self-talk, you must first understand how negative self-talk develops; and how to handle it.
How to remain Positive during hard times?
“Positive self-talk is to emotional pain as pain pill is to physical pain.” ~ Edmond Mbiaka
As I mentioned before, it is perfectly natural to focus on the negative stuff in your life when things get hard. The mind’s default setting is to automatically make you think of the worst scenario possible. But the good news is that you can heal your mind of this default habit through positive self talk.
So, how can you heal your mind of this habit and be more positive under such circumstances?
The key to breaking any negative habit, is to first recognise that you have this habit in the first place. Once you are aware that your mind does this, you start to recognize negative thought patterns. These patterns can then be flipped and healed to become more positive. I know and understand that it’s not easy to do, but it’s also not impossible.
How to recognize a negative thought pattern?
Negative thought patterns include the following:
- when you blame yourself for every terrible event that occurs in your life.
- when your mind only perceives things in extremes eg. as right or wrong and black or white.
- when your mind makes unpleasant conditions appear far worse than they are.
- when you focus solely on the negative aspects and ignore the positives.
When you’ve acknowledged and recognized your negative self-talk, it’s time to replace it with positive self-talk.
Examples of flipping Negative Self-talk to Positive Self-talk:
Below are a few practical examples that will help you understand and transform negative self-talk into positive self-talk with practice.
- Negative self-talk: I’ve never done this before, I just can’t. Even if I try, I’m not going to be good at it.
Positive self-talk: This is an opportunity for me to try something new. I’ll learn only if I try.
- Negative self-talk: I can’t do anything in the right way. I am so useless.
Positive self-talk: I am proud of myself for giving it my best. It took courage for me to even try.
- Negative self-talk: No matter what I do, no one really likes me. I’m so unlovable.
Positive self-talk: I love myself for whatever I am and I have no control over what others think. I only have control over myself.
- Negative self-talk: It’s been so long. He/she has not responded to my call/text as yet. Is it my fault? Did I say/do something wrong? Why is he/she ignoring me?
Positive self-talk: Maybe something urgent came up, and he/she is unable to respond. Let me give it more time and not assume the worst.
One of the best approaches to deal with negative self-talk is to follow it up with some healing self-talk!
- Negative self-talk: I don’t have the best body. I hate myself.
Positive self-talk: I don’t have the best body, but that’s perfectly ok. I love myself just as I am, scars, bruises, imperfections and all.
Remember that practicing positive self-talk does not mean you are fooling yourself into believing something that is not true. Instead, positive self-talk is about accepting the truth and loving your reality.
You will gently fine tune your mind to focus more on what you are instead of what your are not. Because let’s face it, we are all imperfect. Nothing that looks perfect on the outside is actually the same on the inside. We are all works in progress. So, when you see your social media feed and find things that trigger you, know that the superficial perfection is not true there.
I personally find raw authenticity far more appealing these days. This culture we live on with online tik toks and youtube videos and social media in general has made life so superficial. I prefer living for myself and preserving my own happiness without the pressure of putting everything up on social media.
Positive Affirmations to get you started on your Healing journey:
You all know how much I believe in the power of positive affirmations. I’ve written about it and shared my love for them in many articles before. They are tiny nuggets of motivation that can instantly change your energy and increase your vibration.
- I have faith in my own abilities
- My life is lovely, and I am thankful for everything I have.
- I am grateful for all of the opportunities that have come my way in life.
- Moment by moment, day by day, I am improving in every aspect of my life.
- Fear and anxiety have no power over me.
- I am aware of my flaws and accept them wholeheartedly.
- I accept what I can’t change.
Print out the affirmations below and keep them handy in the car, on the fridge, on bathroom mirrors. So that you may remember them constantly.
I hope the points I shared in this article and the examples that followed have clarified for you on how to begin your journey of healing. If at any point you feel like you have questions and need further help in your healing journey, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
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