How to practice positive self-talk
Do you constantly have internal dialogues in your head?
Do you feel like you are thinking about something and receiving inputs from your mind?
Crazy?! Yes, it is.
It is one of the craziest things ever but it does occur. Self-talk can be positive or negative, it is highly dependent on your conscious and unconscious beliefs, ideologies and philosophies.
Sigmund Freud was the first person to propose a theory which states that “humans have both a conscious and an unconscious mind”.
He further explained that most characters we exhibit are unknowingly influenced by our unconscious mind.
It is quite common for individuals to engage in an internal dialogue with themselves, most times we do it unconsciously.
We could begin an internal dialogue when we are confused about a particular event. When we need to talk to someone but no one is available.
When we feel sad or upset by an action of a loved one when we feel guilty or responsible for a mistake that occurred.
As humans, we have a lot of emotions coursing through us.
And most times we don’t process our emotions we allow them to stay hidden. We try to compress them however this is completely unhealthy to one’s mental health.
When something bad occurs or when we someone hurts us, it is important that we address the situation.
Holding on to pain, sadness, guilt, and shame is the major cause of negative self-talk.
Types of self-talk
There are two types of self-talk, namely Positive and negative self-talk.
It is of great importance that an individual should identify the kind of self-talk that is prevalent in their internal dialogue.
This will help the individual know if they need to continue or change the pattern of self-talk, they consistently indulge in.
An optimistic person will be a more positive self-talker. They would encourage themselves to stand strong and never give up despite the challenges or situations they may face.
Positive self-talks acts as an anchor and a strong support system for the individual who believes in them.
Most people feel like positive self-talks are ineffective and overly hyped but how true is that?
If negative self-talk is the perfect type of self-talk, then you should confidently answer these questions:
- Have you noticed any improvement since you started practicing negative self-talk?
- Is negative self-talk different from hating yourself?
- Does negative self-talk ever provide a solution to the challenge you are faced with?
- Which is worse? Giving yourself hope for a better future or attaching snide remarks or comments to any progress you make.
Just like positive self-talk, this is another type of internal dialogue that we engage in regularly.
It is the most common internal dialogue among pessimistic people.
Negative self-talk is filled with self-criticism, self-humiliation, lack of acceptance, self-care, or love for one’s self.
It composed of complaints, arguments, snide remarks, and self- hate.
Most people that engage in negative self-talk suffer from serious mental illness including depression and anxiety.
Negative self-talk flourishes due to an increase in pent-up emotions that are toxic to one’s health. There are so many factors that are responsible for this including;
- Abuse and neglect.
- Wrong parental training.
If a child is always punished even when they are right (I.e no one paid any heed to their explanations about the situation that occurs).
This could lead to an adult that can never accept responsibility for a mistake they made. Or an adult that feels guilty for every mistake that occurs.
Negative self-talk has a lot of negative effects on mental health. It cripples dreams, hopes for a better future, trusts in a partner, and could even lead to death as a result of depression.
The four major ways to identify negative self-talk
A negative self-talk pattern can be a very crafty dialogue. Most people do not see negative talk as something that is bad and needs reformation.
They believe that they are just being realistic, they say the truth as it is but is that really the truth?
With these four different ways, we can understand what internal dialogue and negative self-talk really are.
We should also be able to distinguish between being real and being negative.
When you magnify something, that means you make it appear bigger than it actually is.
In relation to negative self-talk, something is said to be magnified when only an individual constantly sees the bad part in a situation.
They never see the good event that did occur, their total concern is in spotting all the negative things that took place.
For example, if the individual fails a particular course in school for the very first time.
They completely forget about all the A’s they have had in this course and dwell on the current failure.
This group of people individualizes everything that has happens as their fault. This form of self-talk is highly critical (I.e., the individual subjects his/herself to a high level of criticism and snide remarks).
An individual that personalizes issues doesn’t care if the mistake was a teamwork error. They instantly blame themselves for the negative occurrence.
Personally, I feel like this is the most dangerous form of negative self-talk because it has the ability to cripple one’s future.
This is not to say that the other forms of negative self-talk is healthy, they are all potentially harmful.
A catastrophic person is always expecting the worst to happen. They believe that all the future has to offer them is a situation worse than the one they are presently living in.
It’s either yes or no, black or white, colored or not colored there is nothing like middle ground to this set of people.
Examples of positive and negative self-talk
Look through these 5 examples, use them as a guide to understanding the type of self-talk you engage in.
1.Event: Your grade dropped in a particular course
Negative: I knew I didn’t deserve that high grade I was even wondering how I got it.
Positive: There is always room for improvement. A relapse does not mean I’m a failure.
There must be something I didn’t do right maybe I should ask for help.
- Event: Your sales decline drastically for the week
Negative: Business has never been for me. Maybe I should just quit and stop deceiving myself.
Positive: There have been a lot of productive and profitable days. I just need a new strategy maybe I should connect with my clients and also see what my competitors are doing.
- Event: You received a query at your workplace
Negative: I always knew that my boss hated me. I have been anticipating this I wonder what will happen next.
Positive: I receive correction as a means to improve my abilities. As a member of this company, it is my duty to do everything within my power to ensure its continuous growth.
- Event: Your business failed for the third time
Negative: I hate my life, can’t I be like Mr. A or Mrs. B. I’m a pathetic excuse of a human being.
Positive: Practice makes perfect right? really thought this was it for me. Guess I will just have to try something else. I know success springs from consistency.
- Event: Reading an article on positive self-talk
Negative: Here come the motivational speakers again. They are just so fake.
Positive: I know I’m on the right track. I guess I usually engage in lots of negative self-talk recently. I really need to work on it.
Have you discovered what kind of internal dialogue you engage in? If it negatives that’s fine, you don’t have to feel bad about it.
Now that you know what’s wrong, you can seek out different solutions to the problem.
4 benefits of positive self-talk
There are a lot of people who feel like positive self-talk is just overhyped and completely irrelevant.
However, evidential research proves otherwise as positive self-talk has proved to be helpful to a lot of people.
Have you ever tried out a new workout routine that is totally tasking than what you usually do? Maybe you felt like giving up but you didn’t because of the encouraging internal dialogue that engaged in your head.
Me 1: I should stop, I don’t think I can finish
Me 2: Hey! Remember to give your best to everything you do.
Me 1: That’s right I try to always do my best, let’s keep going I can do this.
Me 2: That’s the spirit!
This dialogue was uplifting and encouraging rather than forceful.
It motivates and strengthens the individual’s zeal to completely accomplish the task.
Positive self-talk can serve as a mental life coach that boosts your resilience and helps you achieve the different goals you set.
If you notice that your conversations are mostly negatively inclined, I will advise that you try to work on it before planning your future.
Planning your future with a negative or pessimistic mindset will yield no positive results. Rather it will cause the individual to worry a lot and this will, in turn, lead to stress.
However, when you engage in positive self-talk even when your present circumstances are not favorable. It gives you hope for the future. It helps you believe that despite the present situation you are faced with, hope lies ahead.
Positive self-talk helps you to approach a stressful point of view with a more relaxed and worry-free mindset.
Boost’s self-esteem and increases confidence
Negative self-talk is the form of self-criticism that has led to the crippling of the self-confidence of so many people in the world.
The act of criticizing yourself every single day does not yield any benefit.
How you treat yourself also determines the way others treat you. If you constantly belittle yourself do not get surprised or sad when others do the same to you. As they are only replicating your actions.
An individual who engages in positive self-talk will be more able to strive hard. And persist in order to achieve their goals rather than a person who constantly belittles themselves regularly.
Helps one build better relationships
Negative self-talk has ruined so many relationships between friends, partners, or lovers.
The feeling of not being good enough for someone or not being worthy of love has led to the ruins of so many relationships.
Positive self-talk helps one to be more accepting of their flaws. It ignites self-love and self-care hence improving the individual’s relationship with others.
Reduces the risk of mental illness
Constantly expecting the worst-case scenario can lead to nothing other than worry, anxiety, and depression.
The rate of mental illness has skyrocketed. People are so scared of the future hence they result to making sure that they mourn the future before it comes.
Introducing positive self-talk to your days. It can be very helpful. It helps you build the confidence you need in order to envision a happy future rather than a gloomy one.
4 ways to cultivate a positive self-care routine
If you wish to add positive self-talk to your routine. Ensure that you make the decision yourself, it should be a personal choice and not something that is imposed on you.
1.Process your emotions
Pent-up emotions are completely unhealthy. If you want to cultivate a positive self-talk routine you must learn to process your feelings.
Try to find out what ignited the particular feeling. Was it you’re doing? Did someone cause it? Was it someone’s action?
Ensure that you ask deep questions until you find the solution to the issue.
Identify negative self-talk traps
Life challenges can be a trigger to negative self-talk. Try to identify the activities that make you seek negative self-talk as the solution and ensure that you avoid them
Your companions should be optimistic
Stay around optimistic people. Try to find out the difference between positivity and toxic positivity so you don’t make the mistake of choosing toxic positive people.
4. Look for the humor in your mistakes
There are some fun events that occur when you made a particular mistake. Ensure that you look through the mistake, locate the funny incidents, and have a good laugh.
Positive self-talk is not a myth. It is a practice that has helped a lot of people in society today.
The negative effects of negative self-talk are really undermined but this should not be the case.
Negative self-talk offers only hurt anger and sadness.
Is this really what you want your life to be like? Learn to love yourself enough to give up a negative lifestyle like negative self-talk.