Eliminate Your Negative Self-Talk and Improve Your Mood
What is self-talk?
Self-talk is what you say to yourself regarding the events that unfold during your day. The conversations you have with yourself can be positive or negative.
Your self-talk is influenced by your beliefs and the thinking habits that you have created in your life.
These thoughts create your emotional responses (feelings) to what’s happening. How you feel about your self-talk leads to your behaviors. For instance, if you become frustrated with a task, you may tell yourself “I can’t stand it!” and lash out about it.
Why is self-talk important?
Negative thoughts can lead to feeling upset, and then acting out those feelings of anger, frustration, fear, or sadness.
You can even depress yourself, or drive yourself into anxiety, with your own negative self-talk.
Is there a bully in your head?
You may find that you have a heckler in your head, telling you that you’re not good enough, that you’re always failing, or other negative thoughts.
Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of the mind than on the outward circumstances.
— Benjamin Franklin
You might even have a specific voice of someone you recognize that badgers you when things don’t go well, making situations more emotional than they need to be.
These thoughts often amount to “limiting beliefs” about yourself that can be holding you back. This self-talk can be having you react to situations in ways you don’t prefer.
Limiting beliefs are quite common, and can affect not only how you react to daily events but also how you see your goals in life.
Here are some examples of limiting beliefs that you might tell yourself:
- I’m not smart enough.
- People don’t like me.
- I’m not as good as others.
- I’m a failure.
- There’s just no point in even trying.
- Nobody cares about me.
- I can’t do anything right.
Now imagine saying these sorts of things to a friend.
- “You’re not smart enough.”
- “People don’t like you.”
- “You’re not as good as others.”
- “You’re a failure.”
- “There’s just no point in you even trying.”
- “Nobody cares about you.”
- “You can’t do anything right.”
Would you say these things to your friend? Of course not!
So, why say these things to yourself?
Lower your self-harassment
Rather than harassing yourself with negative self-talk, let’s look at changing these thoughts to be more self-supportive.
The first step is to recognize your self-harassing thoughts and your limiting beliefs. It may even surprise you at how often you are doing this type of thinking.
The only person who can pull me down is myself, and I’m not going to let myself pull me down anymore.
— C. JoyBell C.
Maybe even keep count, or write down, how often you’re saying such negative things to yourself. It might surprise you at how often you’re allowing the bully in your head to push you around.
Increase your self-support
If you’re saying things to yourself that you wouldn’t say to your friend, ask yourself what you might say to that friend in a similar situation as yours.
You’d likely want to be supportive of your friend, wouldn’t you? So why not be more self-supportive?
Challenge the bully’s thoughts and change it to a supportive statement.
Your thoughts don’t require you to react
There’s a common saying that goes like this:
“Don’t believe everything you think.”
Just because you’ve had a thought doesn’t mean you have to believe it, or invite it in for a cup of coffee and a long chat. Self-harassing thoughts can simply be ignored.
You may note it and not react to it… or say to yourself, “Well, it’s just another one of those!” You may even laugh about it… it’s just a thought and doesn’t need to ruin your day, your plans, or your life. Or, you can tell that bully loser in your head just where to stick it.