We all carry on a continuous internal dialogue with ourselves. This is known as “self-talk” and it impacts how we perceive situations. Sometimes, people use self-talk to say things to themselves they would never say out loud to someone they care about. This is called negative-self talk, and is common with people experiencing depression. But you have the power to change negative self-talk and replace it with a more positive, nurturing internal dialogue. This takes practice and persistence.
Tips for developing positive self talk
• When you find you are using negative self-talk, change your internal dialogue to something that is more hopeful. For example “everyone makes mistakes” or “I am doing the best that I can.”
• Say daily positive affirmations to yourself – Write down a few statements that resonate with you and post where you will see them often like, “I’m becoming better every day” or “I am allowed to say ‘no’ to others and ‘yes’ to myself.”
• Engage in at least one daily self-care activity (walking, listening to favorite music, etc.).
• Practice mindfulness, i.e. being completely in the present moment. (Take care to notice the sights and sounds of life and people around you).
• When you find yourself speaking or thinking negatively to yourself, ask yourself if you would say this to someone you love. If not, what might you say instead? Talk to yourself in a way you would speak to someone important to you.
• List your five favorite qualities about yourself, and remind yourself of these regularly.
• Journal your thoughts, feelings and emotions. End each journal entry on a positive note with a positive goal and next steps.
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