Self-talk is something we do naturally throughout the day. This can be positive and motivating but can also be negative and self-defeating. Negative self-talk can be very detrimental to emotional and mental wellbeing. It affects not only your body and mind but also your loved ones around you.
Fortunately, there are some proven ways to combat negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. And, in this post, we will practice the same.
Let’s begin with understanding what exactly negative self-talk is?
What Is Negative Self-Talk?
Negative self-talk is a negative inner critic in your head that keeps demotivating you. It can come in different statements like, “I am not good enough,” “I can never do anything right,” “Nobody loves me,” etc.
It often limits your ability to be confident in what you can do and to reach your real full potential. Negative emotions are often stressful and can hamper your success.
So, if you really want to grow, and be happier and successful in your life, now is the right time to replace negativity with positivity.
Let’s get started:
Negative Effects of Self-Talk
Negative self-talk can affect us in many damaging ways. This often leads to an increased risk of mental as well as physical health problems.
Self-criticism often decreases motivation and encourages helplessness. Critical inner dialogue often leads to depression. So, it really needs a permanent fix.
It lowers your ability to see opportunities and decreases your productivity. It makes you appear needy and insecure, and your feelings start reflecting in your behavior.
How to Overcome Negative Self-Talk
The process of eradicating negative thoughts begins with identifying them. Once you recognize them, you can easily weed them out.
Here are some proven ways to tame negativity in your life:
1. Identifying Your Negative Thinking
There are different forms of negative self-talk. To fix it from the root, you have to identify the form of your thoughts.
- Catastrophizing: This refers to expecting the worst. For instance, you drive a car and think of getting into a road accident that leaves you physically impaired. You feel emotions as if they were really happening to you.
- Polarizing: Polarizing means you see things, either good or bad, with no middle ground. In this form of negative self-talk, you avoid things you love due to the fear of messing up. One example is: You commit to going on a morning walk five days a week. If, for some reason, you only make it for four days, you start calling yourself lazy. Instead of praising yourself, you set unrealistic standards for yourself.
- Filtering: When you see bad in every situation, it’s called filtering. Everything looks worse to you, and it becomes difficult to enjoy yourself.
- Personalizing: When it comes to personalizing, you keep blaming yourself. For example, if a friend does not reply to your email, you start assuming that you did something wrong and s/he is angry with you.
So, whenever you feel upset, examine your thoughts to which of the above matches with your pattern.
2. Separate Yourself from the Critic
We all are born without inner critics. It’s a voice that internalizes according to your learning and outside influences, such as people’s criticisms and expectations. So, separate your critics from yourself.
Understand that it’s not you but a voice within you.
Give your critic a name, and it may be a silly name. Now, separate them from your own identity and free yourself from its influence.
Whenever a critic inside hits you, address them by saying, “Why are you talking to me like this,” “You are not me,” etc.
3. Replace Negative with Positive
It’s okay to find yourself thinking negatively. But, make sure you change all upcoming thoughts with positive ones.
You can learn to turn negative thinking into positive thinking. The process is simple, but it does take time and practice — you’re creating a new habit, after all. Here are some ways to think and behave more positively and optimistically:
Some ways to think and act more positively and optimistically are:
- Identify areas that need a change. To become positive, identify the areas of your life that you think negatively about. Start focusing on these areas in a positive manner.
- Evaluate yourself. Periodically stop and evaluate your thinking. Try to put a cheerful spin on all your negative thoughts.
- Stay humorous. Keep smiling and laughing during hardships. Seek humor in all happenings, and you will feel less stressed.
- A healthy lifestyle. Exercise for at least half an hour every day. This can positively change your mood while reducing stress. Also, follow a healthy diet and learn techniques to manage your stress.
- Be with positive people. Don’t miss opportunities to be with positive and supportive people because they can motivate you and boost your self-confidence. On the other hand, negative people often increase your stress level. So, choose wisely!
- Practice positive self-talk. Be polite, encouraging, and gentle to yourself. Be grateful for good things in your life. Respond with affirmations of what are good things about you.
4. Pinpoint the Triggers
Triggers of negative thoughts may come in many different forms. Big events in your life may also cause these. This can originate from PTSD, childhood trauma, and other trauma-based experiences.
You can reach out to a licensed therapist in your area to identify the triggers of negativity in your mind.
Sometimes, simple things can also trigger negative effects of self-talk. Maybe, the promotion of a colleague or losing a race.
Once you have figured out your triggers, start building positivity around those. Understand why you are experiencing the negative effects of self-talk, and you will gradually gain control over your thoughts.
5. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness makes your mind resistant to negativity and stress. So it helps bring out the best of yourself. With minimal stress, your mind stays in a sound state, allowing you to progress positively.
Mindfulness requires the acceptance and acknowledgment of your thoughts and feelings. You stay open and aware of your surroundings as well as your inner thoughts.
It allows your thoughts to happen without judgment. And when there is no judgment, there is no negativity or stress.
Hopefully, this post will help you get rid of negative thoughts and bring out the best positive version of yourself.
So, keep practicing and grow into a happy and successful being.
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