The advantages of positive self-talk include: you feeling in control, calm and confident. Why is it, so many of us struggle to be kind to ourselves?
We all constantly talk to ourselves, sometimes even out loud (or is this just me?). More importantly, what you are actually saying to yourself?
Our brains can be incredibly busy, with constant chatter going on. It is not unusual for my Lightning Process clients to admit that they are very hard on themselves and even down right mean. My question to you is, how much of the time are you kind and supportive to yourself?
If it is not at least 80% of the time, it is time to change the sound track.
Every time you call yourself names or are mean to yourself, it reinforces the unhelpful beliefs you hold about yourself. Negative self-talk will impact on how you feel about yourself, how you act and even affect your health. You will feel rubbish and it will put a downer on things.
Would you speak to anyone else in the way you talk to yourself? Would you allow anyone else to speak to you in that way? If the answer is no to these questions, it is time to start doing something about it.
“Be careful how you are talking to yourself because you are listening.” Lisa M. Hayes
Start to become aware of what you are saying to yourself and the tone of voice you are using. Make a list of the main, negative thoughts you have. Spend a little time getting them out of your head and onto the paper.
See them for what they are, just thoughts. They make you feel bad but they are purely just thoughts. You can decide to hold onto them or let them go.
Hold a mini ceremony to highlight the end of allowing those thoughts to dominate your life. Decide what is the best thing for you symbolically, a few ideas are to burn them, shred them, rip them up, or bury them in the garden. Whatever works for you.
Now every time one of those thoughts enters your head, see it for what it is, just a thought, and let it go. Imagine it joins the paper ones you have destroyed, imagine it floating away, imagine it bursting into flames, you can be creative with this but the key is to letting them go.
Create a list of how you want to feel about yourself. Keep it in a way that is prominent and that you can refer to regularly.
I have a list of positive affirmations I keep in my journal and also a selection of colourful post-it-notes on my office wall. You may prefer to create a vision board or reminders on your phone.
Also, make a list of the things that you can accept and appreciate about yourself. Remember all the times you have received compliments, what were they for? Add these to the list.
Read these to yourself regularly and make sure when you do it, you use an optimistic and supportive voice. Remember how much passion goes into the hateful statements, you want to give the great ones the same (or ideally, better) emphasis.
Gratitude and appreciation
Spend some time daily reflecting on the things you are grateful for and appreciate in life. This will help you to start to identify the good things and focus on them. Make sure you include your achievements and the things you are proud of.
I do this in a daily journal and encourage clients to do their own version. It is a really useful tool to look back on at those times you need a little extra encouragement.
Positive self-talk is good for you and it feels good. You will feel confident, get things done and feel more in control.
The more you practice, the easier it will get, so why not start now?
If you struggle with negative talk, contact us to see how we can help you.