“It is common to talk to yourself – as you drive to work while working at your desk, on your way home, as you are having your bath or brushing your teeth. However, what you talk about and say to yourself has a significant role in shaping your thought process and, by extension, life. “
Right from childhood, it is often common to hear our kids pick up a potty mouth. This, of course, may reflect the environment in which they are growing or the impact of their exposure to the media – TV, movies, the internet, etc. This act tends to continue as the kids grow, especially if not nipped in the bud. Not only that, but it can also lead to negative self-talk.
It is common to talk to yourself – as you drive to work while working at your desk, on your way home, as you are having your bath or brushing your teeth. However, what you talk about and say to yourself has a significant role in shaping your thought process and, by extension, life. There is a wide difference between “I’ve never done this before, and I’ll be horrible at it” and “This is a great opportunity for me to learn from others and broaden my horizon.” While the former smacks of a defeated soul, the latter draws inspiration from positivity.
Being positive in your thought process does not imply that you have lost touch with your life’s unpleasant situation. Rather, it has to do with approaching the unpleasantness in your life with much positivity. Self-talk emanates from logic and reason, and misconceptions are formed due to misinformation or lack of information.
The following tips will help you in developing healthy positive self-talk.
1. Identify negative self-talk and thoughts
You cannot change unidentified self-talk. You may have to pay more attention to what you think and say to yourself. You might be surprised to discover that you have a whole lot of negative self-talk. Some of these could be “I will never be healthy like I was before,” “Attendance to the dinner was canceled because no one wants to associate with me,” “No one likes me,” etc.
Negative thoughts can also come in the following forms:
- Limited thinking: This is a situation where you develop self-limiting beliefs. In other words, you tend to believe that you can’t do something once you start telling yourself you can’t do it.
- Perfectionism: Perfectionism is a subtle indicator of negativity. The reality is that there is no perfect being. Once you start condemning yourself because you are not “perfect,” you are bound to undermine your efforts and develop stress.
It is important you know that you are your best and worse critic. Identify these thoughts and work your way towards transforming them into positivity.
2. Question your thoughts
Thoughts only appear true; they do not express reality. Experts recommend that you question the completeness and accuracy of every thought. Through the act, you will be able to discover those that need to be maintained and the ones requiring some retooling.
A more complete and accurate thought will be discovered using the “yes, but” approach. For instance, if a thought like “Are you sure you have achieved anything at the current level of this project?” creeps in, you can reply with something like this: “Yes, I haven’t completed this project yet, but I made reasonable progress, and I am not going to stop.”
3. Develop positive and true self-talk
Positive self-talk is developed by determining what you really want to be or want the situation to look like. Experts recommend starting every positive self-talk with “I am” or “I can” to help the individual focus on the present. For instance, expressions such as “I am healthy,” “I can beat the deadline,” “I am qualified for the job,” among others.
You can expand the statements to reflect the depth of the negative thoughts you are trying to transform into positive ones. You can have something like this: “I am healthy because I follow my diet and workout plan accordingly.”
Since this is a new habit you want to develop, it is expected that it will take some time and practice in the form of repetition. In other words, the frequency of your expression of the new thoughts adds up to the transformative process. Each time the negative thoughts pop up or creep in, combat them with the weapon of your new thought pattern, that is, positive self-talk. Through this, you are empowering your thought process to resist negative self-talk.
At a certain point, you might find yourself trapped in a state of aporia where your present state does not reflect your affirmation. Thus, you tend to force positive affirmations, making them inauthentic and ineffective. To this end, Goodman, a wellness expert, recommends a more dynamic phrase. For instance; rather than say “I love my body,” you may say, “I am working on loving my body.” This, according to him, helps to express your true state or feelings, while also working towards achieving your desired goal.
4. Modify your behavior
It is one thing to adjust your thinking pattern; it is another thing to change your behavior. True transformation is realized when you back positive affirmations with behavior modifications. It is impossible to expect a transformation when your behaviors and attitudes oppose your belief as regards positive self-talk or affirmations.
As an individual that seeks a real change, it is important to state, along with your affirmations, how you can live the affirmation. For instance, if your affirmation is about achieving success in your business, what steps and daily actions will help you achieve the goal? Is it by employing social media marketing or by diversifying your business idea?
5. Laugh! Laugh!! Laugh!!!
Being open to humor to have a good laugh is not only fun; it is also one of the ways to erase negative self-talk or thoughts. Laughter has many emotional and health benefits. It has been recommended as a boost for positive self-talk. It can help to ease stress and tension. Additionally, it draws people together such that healthy emotional changes are triggered in the body. Its benefits do not exclude bringing your physical body into balance.
If you seek ways to laugh, you may have to watch comedy movies or funny animal videos. There are also animations that can trigger laughter. When you laugh, you can stay focused and alert, which serve as important tools that inspire hope.
6. Surround yourself with positive people
Sometimes, you are a reflection of the people you surround yourself with. When you are in the midst of negative-minded people, you also tend to inherit such negativities. Apart from the fact that negative people may escalate your stress level, they can also make you think less of your ability to achieve a particular goal. Who are the people that lift you up? Who are those that bring you down? When you can identify them, then you can create boundaries. Definitely, you should be able to cut ties with people that don’t bring out the best in you.
Instead, be sure that you surround yourself with positive and supportive people. These are people who talk positively about you as well as encourage you to follow suit. Such people can always be your shoulder when you need people to lean on. Their company also impacts the type of language you use on yourself. Therefore, spend more time with them and less time with negative people.
Sources of negative thoughts can also be an activity or environment. If you discover any, consider making a change.
7. Focus on self-care
You should not be too focused on cleaning up your potty mouth such that you forget to take good care of yourself. Your physical, mental, and emotional health also determine how well you will be able to engage in positive self-talk. Avoid getting exhausted. Eat a healthy diet; engage in physical activities, such as exercise; and get enough rest.
Above all, set apart some time to have fun and relaxation. During this moment, you can engage in meditation or mindfulness as well as positive conversations with loved ones. Engage in activities that serve as your hobby. This could be cycling, cooking, reading, or skiing. All these help to clear off your mind and prepare it for the next meal of positivity.
Self-talk determines your thoughts and, consequently, your actions. You don’t have to adopt the use of vulgar language just because you’ve lost touch with the corporate environment that would have kept you in check or in line. However, it is not too late to begin to swap out words. In other words, you can change the way you talk to yourself so you can be able to view the world through the lens of positivity.
Also, when you see the world as a place with a lot of positivity, your life tends to improve. Through this, you develop the confidence you require to face those life difficulties, take calculated risks that can help you achieve success in your business, relationship, and life, as well as take the bold step of pursuing your dream job, even when all odds seem unfavorable.
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