We’re very good at being critical with ourselves. So good, in fact, that many of us don’t feel like we are capable of changing behaviors toward a healthier life, or that we even deserve a healthier life! But with practice, we can change the course of our entire lives. According to Shonna Waters, PhD, we can learn to manage stress, increase immunity, improve our mental and physical well-being, increase self-esteem, and even live a longer life if we engage in positive self-talk.
HOW TO COMBAT NEGATIVE SELF-TALK
The website betterup.com lists 5 ways we can combat negative self-talk:
- Monitor your thought patterns:
- This means we need to identify the negative self-talk and consciously call it out and tell ourselves to choose to believe something positive instead.
- Talk to yourself like you would talk to your best friend:
- This is my favorite. Think about how much better we would feel if we were actually polite with ourselves! Focus on self-love and self-acceptance instead of self-judgment.
- Keep an eye on your stress levels:
- When we find ourselves thinking about something stressful, shift the focus to how resilient we are and capable of handling whatever comes our way.
- Look on the bright side:
- This can be tough, but there is a negative and positive aspect to everything. When we find ourselves focusing on the negative, consciously shift to what is positive. For example: “Eating healthy is too hard!” Change this negative dialogue to, “It’s more challenging to eat healthy, but it’s the best fuel for my body and I am worth it!”)
- Challenge your thoughts:
- If we’re caught up in destructive self-talk, stop and ask what evidence there is to back up these negative thoughts. If they are illogical, change our point of view.
WHAT IS SELF-TALK
Self-talk is our internal dialogue; the thoughts that run through our heads throughout the course of the day. These thoughts determine our self-worth and if they are negative, we will have a very negative view of ourselves. Conversely, if they’re positive, our outlook on ourselves will be positive. It may seem daunting, but with a few tweaks to our daily internal dialogue, we will see a massive shift in how we see ourselves and overcome the obstacles to living our healthiest lives.