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How to Skip Negative Self-Talk and Cut Stress

By Sandy Schroeder

Sometimes we give in too easily and we fall into a negative groove. When I am tired, loaded down with stuff to do and stressed out, a negative response usually happens first, no matter what the question. encourages us to stop negative self-talk to reduce stress and improve health. It's really seeing the glass as half-empty or half-full. Being pessimistic or optimistic may make a big difference in your life.  

Positive thinking does not mean that you close your life to reality and ignore bad things. It just means you look for the best instead of the worst. Take that endless stream of unspoken thoughts that run through your head and point them in a positive direction. When you do, look what can happen. 

  • You will be a lot less depressed 
  • You may be able to cope better with tough issues 
  • Your stress level may drop 
  • You may be healthier and stronger 
  • You may have less risk of cardiovascular disease 
  • You may live longer 

When you opt for the positive, you may automatically gravitate to a healthier lifestyle, exercise more, eat healthier, drink less and smoke less or not at all. 

Learn to Recognize Negative Self-Talk 

Placing blame - When something goes wrong you automatically assume it was your fault. If a contract is cancelled you decide you must have botched something. 

Automatic filtering - Some people filter out all of the positive compliments and focus on the one criticism that was made. Or they filter out all of the good signs that a project will work and magnify the reasons it won't. 

Expect catastrophes - When the day starts with a burnt breakfast or a negative call, you assume the whole day will be a disaster. 

Polarize everything - There's no gray area, just black and white in your book. You are either good or bad. There is no such thing as middle ground. So if you are not perfect you have failed. 

How to Go from Negative to Positive 

It won't happen overnight, but there are ways to think and act more positive that actually work. 

Pick areas to change - Identify areas of your life that usually seem negative. Start with one area and focus on it. It could be a tough commute, a lagging relationship, or something else that is not working. Find ways to improve it. 

See the humor in life - When the going gets tough, try to see the humor in your situation. If you can laugh about it or just pause to enjoy a joke, everything won't seem quite so bad. 

Monitor your reactions - Take a reading of your thinking and comments. If they all sound negative, make an effort to say a few positive things or pause to think of something that pleases you. 

Practice positive self-talk - Do not say anything to yourself that you would not say to anyone else. It's easy to put ourselves down in a way that we would never do with a friend or family member. Treat yourself like you treat others and recognize your assets and give yourself credit for the things you do. 

Wherever you stand with negative self-talk, don't give up until you have turned the corner and seen what a positive attitude can do. 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Charlotte, N.C.

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