3 Tips for Ending Negative Self-Talk
By Genevieve Cunningham
The way in which we speak to ourselves plays a huge role in the way that we feel about ourselves. We sometimes forget that we have slight control over our mental health. While we certainly can't avoid all mental health issues, we can definitely avoid self-inflicted feelings of doubt and inadequacy. Many of us tend to speak to ourselves in a very negative manner, and we don't even know it. And for obvious reasons, this can lead to a decline in mental health. If you would like to boost your mental health and end negative self-talk, take a look at these tips that can help you get moving in the right direction.
In order to end negative self-talk, you have to hear it for yourself. When most of us speak to ourselves, it's an automatic happening. We don't listen to ourselves ... it's just who we are and what we do. Meditation can help you quiet the mind and listen to your own voice. Meditation simply requires that you sit quietly and still for just a few minutes a day. Start out slowly, listen to your inner voice, and build upon your meditation practice once you get comfortable. Recognizing your inner voice is the first step to ending any negative self-talk, and meditation can help you with this step.
Pretend You’re in a Crowd
Once you hear your inner voice, it's time to make some changes. For some people, pretending that they are speaking in front of a large crowd helps them change the way that they speak to themselves. If you're telling yourself that you're stupid, worthless, or some other horrible descriptive phrase, pretending that you're telling yourself that in front of a hundred people forces you to reconsider your words. When you hear yourself say something damaging, quickly imagine being on stage. Would you say the same things? If not, replace that adjective with something more positive and powerful. If you wouldn't say it in front of others, don't say it at all.
Have Replacement Phrases Ready
It can be incredibly helpful to have some backup phrases ready. That way, when you say something negative to yourself, you already have something positive to take its place. If you regularly tell yourself that you can't accomplish something, have an encouraging phrase ready. When you hear yourself think it, replace it with something such as “I can do this” or “my best effort is enough.” Having replacement phrases ready to go makes the process a little bit easier, which means ending negative self-talk is just a little bit closer to reality.
Believe it or not, you don't have to talk to yourself in a negative way. It's OK to be gentle with yourself. It's OK to empower yourself. It's OK to believe in yourself. And it's definitely OK to talk to yourself in this way. Use these tips to end any negative self-talk happening in your life, and you may find that your mental health improves and that the way you feel about yourself takes a drastic turn for the better.
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