We all have that inner voice inside of us that likes to rain on our parade. It’s the voice that says, “Be quiet, they’ll think you sound stupid” or “Things never turn out right for you, so you shouldn’t even try.” It has a consistent theme of making us think we aren’t enough, like a bully who won’t leave us alone.
The good news is that this voice isn’t the boss of us. We have the power to shift the negative stories we tell ourselves into positive ones, but it does take some effort considering we tend to cling to negative information. Having an optimistic mindset requires us to make an intentional choice. However, the more we practice this way of thinking, the more we’ll naturally think positively. Here are a few tips on how to restructure negative self-talk:
- Challenging Your Thoughts:In order for us to have more control over the thoughts we have about ourselves, it’s crucial to be aware of them. When you notice a self-defeating thought, ask yourself, is this thought true? Do I have evidence to confirm the thought? Is there information that I could be missing?Chances are, you may be harsher toward yourself than you ought to be!
- Repeating Affirmations: Affirmations are encouraging phrases that can help you to shift your mindset into a more uplifting one that serves you. For example, when you’re having intrusive thoughts, you can try “I am not my thoughts” or “My thoughts are not facts.” For cultivating confidence, you can try “I am capable” or “I am valuable.” For self-love, you can try “I trust myself”, “My needs are important”, or “I am loved.” If affirmations don’t feel authentic to you at first, simply be curious about them. Ask yourself, what if I could think this way?
- Practicing Gratitude: Many studies have shown that a simple yet highly effective way to transform negative self-talk is through a daily gratitude practice. Gratitude can literally alter your brain, boosting your happiness and overall well-being. A few ways this can be done is by consistently writing down things you’re grateful for, expressing your gratitude to others, or simply pausing to appreciate something you’re grateful for in the moment of experiencing it. Any way you can connect to the feeling of gratitude will have a positive effect!
If your negative self-talk is constant and intense, we encourage you to consider other treatment options. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us and we’ll guide you through finding a solution that works best for you.
“If you feel something calling you to dance or write or paint or sing, please refuse to worry about whether you’re good enough. Just do it.” – Glennon Doyle