Whether we realize it or not, we have manyself-talks during the day.
Self-talk refers to the way we communicate with ourselves in ourmindsd, often in response to events, situations, or emotions. They may come in the shape of thoughts but inreality, they are conversations we have with ourselves which in turn affect our mood and our reactions.
Self-talks can be positive, neutral or negative and their outcome can range from destructive to beneficial.
Take a minute and think about a conversation you had with yourself today.
Was it critical? Or was it kind and helpful? How did you feel after this inner discussion?
To help you understand better howyour self-talk and what effect your inner conversations can affect your life, let’s break them down into categories:
Let’s start with the worst kind of “talk” we can have with ourselves. The negative self-talk.
The easiest way to recogniz negative self-talk is by checking out whether we would talk to someone else in this particular way. If the answer is no then we can surely assume that we are having a negative conversation with us.
Negative self-talk involves pessimistic and critical thoughts that undermine our self-esteem, confidence, and well-being. This kind of talk often leads to self-doubt and anxiety.
Here are some examples of negative self-talk:
Catastrophizing: “I made a mistake at work. This is a disaster; I’ll probably get fired.”
Personalization: “My friend seems upset. It must be because of something I did.”
Overgeneralization: “They didn’t like my idea. Nobody likes my ideas”
Labellingg: “I am ugly”.
Mind Reading: “I know they don’t like me. They’re probably talking about me behind my back.”
Perfectionism andAll-or-Nothing Thinking: “If I can’t do this perfectly, there’s no point in even trying.”
Self-Blame: “It’s my fault the project didn’t succeed. I’m just not good enough.”
Comparisons: “Look at them doing well and getting what they have set out to get. I’ll never be as successful as they are.”
Negative Predictions: “I won’t be able to handle this challenge. I’ll fail miserably.”
Emotional Amplification: “I feel anxious about the situation ahead. I’m going to completely freeze and embarrass myself.”
Positive selftalk on the other hand, involves using supportive and encouraging words to boost our confidence and motivation.
Positive self-talk involves acknowledging our strengths, having self-compassion, and being able to turn negative thoughts into more optimistic and constructive perspectives.
Here are some examples of positive self-talk:
When facing a challenge: “I have overcome challenges before, and I can handle this. I’ll take it one step at a time and find a solution.”
When dealing with a mistake: “Mistakes happen to everyone. I will learn from this experience and use it to improve in the future”.
When feeling vulnerable: “I have unique strengths and qualities that make me valuable. I believe in myself and my abilities.”
When feeling stressed: “I can manage my stress by focusing on what’s in my control”.
Setting Goals: “I have the determination and dedication to achieve my goals. I’ll take small steps each day to make progress.”
Body Positivity: “I appreciate my body for all that it does. I’m taking care of myself and making healthy choices.”
Dealing with Social Situations: “I amlikeablee and have something to offer in conversations. I’m interested in others and can make meaningful connections.”
Overcoming Fear: “It’s natural to feel fear, but I won’t let it hold me back. I’ll face my fears and grow stronger.”
Focusing on the Present: “I will focus on the present moment and make the most of it. I won’t let worries about the future take away from my enjoyment.”
Being aware of your self-talk and actively working to make it more positive and constructive can have a positive impact on your overall well-being and mental outlook.
If however you find it hard to have a positive inner conversation with yourself, you can at least start having a neutral self talk.
Neutral self-tal is more objective and factual, without being overly positive or negative. It involves observing and describing events, emotions, thoughts, and situations without adding judgments or evaluations. It’s a way of maintaining an objective and balanced perspective on your experiences.
Here are some examples of neutral self-talk:
Observing a Situation: “I’m feeling a bit nervous before the meeting. That’s a normal reaction when facing something new.”
Describing an Emotion: “I’m feeling a bit frustrated right now. It’s understandable given the circumstances.”
Stating Facts: “I need to finish this report by the end of the day. I’ll allocate my time wisely to meet the deadline.”
Accurately assessing Physical Sensations without overreacting: “I’m experiencing some tension in my shoulders. I might need to take a short break and stretch.”
Recognizing Thoughts :”I noticed the thought that I might not do well on the test. I’ll review my notes to prepare.”
Describing a Task: “I have a list of errands to run today. I’ll prioritize them and tackle them one by one.”
Taking a Neutral Perspective: “The situation didn’t turn out as planned. I’ll analyze what happened and make adjustments next time.”
Supporting a Decision: “I’ve decided to decline the invitation to the party. It’s important to balance my commitments.”
Recognizing Changes: “I’ve been feeling more energetic lately. Maybe the exercise routine I started is having a positive effect.”
Observing Surroundings: “The weather is gloomy. It may affect my mood. I better wear something cheerful”.
Being aware of your self-talk and actively working to make it more positive and constructive can have an amazing impact on your overall well-being and mental outlook. If you find this exercise too difficult to master by yourself, you may need the help of a therapis, counsellorr or coach to help youimprove youre communication with yourself.