Life, real life is a series of successes and failures. Sometimes we feel as if we are on top of the mountain. And sometimes, we feel low in the valley. How we talk to ourselves when we are low in the valley, determines how quickly we bounce back. No matter the size of your personal circle of family, friends, and co-workers, YOU should be the biggest cheerleader in your life. Always talk to yourself with kindness, compassion, and forgiveness.
What is Negative Self-Talk?
Negative self-talk is a common battle many of us must face from time to time. Negative self-talk is feeling disappointed that we were not perfect in a certain situation. Negative self-talk is thinking in absolutes and extremes. It is believing in terms around “you always” or “you never.” Failure is perceived to be a way of life, instead of a temporary, normal set back that happens to all of us from time to time. Negative self-talk can spiral into depression, anxiety, and chronic insomnia if not properly addressed.
How to Beat Negative Self-Talk?
Do not try to stop your thoughts. It is impossible. Acknowledge you have difficult feelings. Try to diagnose why. Replace them with a better alternative.
Are you a planner? If a project failed, figure out how to revise your steps to get better results next time. If a relationship failed, accept your part, and only your part. You have no control over the thoughts and actions of others. What can you learn to do differently with the next companion? If you set a personal goal and fell short, sometimes, just sometimes, it was not meant to be. What is the second-best goal you can obtain?
Are you more spiritual? Words have power. Replace your negative self-talk with affirmations, mantras, poetry of love. You can find free resources online and collect positive affirmations and quotes that you can say each day. Depending on your faith, every religion has spiritual mantras to connect you to a higher Power. Release yourself from trying to control everything in your life.
Do you like to get physical? Practice mindfulness, deep breathing, and exercise. You can practice mindfulness through meditation. You might start with just 5 minutes a day. Appreciate being alive when others have already crossed over. You do not have to be an athlete to appreciate exercise. You can go for a walk outside. Dance to a YouTube video for 5 minutes. You can do some stretching before going to bed. Keep to simple. Allow small accomplishments to replace your negative self-talk.
NEXT STEPS: Realize that you are not alone. The fact that you are reading this article, means others have the same struggle as you.