It seems like we all have a constant flow of chatter happening in our brains. Some positive, some downright negative. Research is clear, the power of how we speak to ourselves is monumental. Our thoughts turn into reality. It is the Law of Attraction at work: “like attracts like.” Studies have found that our self talk impacts the way we perform and behave.
Changing your “stinking thinking” (as my Dad used to say) and embracing positive self talk is a two-part process. First, you will need to become more aware of when you are being negative or down on yourself. Then start to notice themes and/or patterns that bring you into a more negative mind frame.
Step 1: Increase awareness of your negative thinking.
- Journal Writing – Begin jotting down when you are experiencing negative thoughts or write an overview of your thoughts and feelings for the day. This will help you to become more aware of how your thought life affects your overall experience.
- Thought Stopping – As you notice that you are thinking a negative thought, tell yourself to “stop.” This is most powerful when stated out loud.
- Rubber-band Snap – An easy way to increase awareness of how often you have negative thoughts is to where a rubber band around your wrist. Snap the band whenever you begin to think negatively.
Now that you have developed greater awareness, you can begin to replace those negative thoughts with something better: positive self talk!
Step 2: Begin to make some positive changes in your thought life.
- Milder Wording – This is simply changing the wording that you use from being harsh to something with a little less bite. When you use stronger language, your feelings can be more intense. For example: Instead of “I hate those people!” try something like “I dislike some of the people at work!”
- Reframing –Most of the time, what we are complaining about are assumptions that may or may not turn out to be negative. In this case, try to find the positive or neutral counterpart and say that to yourself instead. Challenge those negative assumptions!
- Change Limiting Statements – We are talking about your thought life so try not to put yourself in a box! Using thoughts that limit your potential, limits your potential! Begin to erase words like “I can’t” or “There is no way.” Begin to think of how you CAN or figure out a WAY that it is all possible!
- Pour Positivity in with Positive Affirmations – Lastly, remember that loving yourself is an ongoing project! Each morning, give yourself a pep-talk and really pour positivity into yourself. Then take a moment throughout the day remind yourself of your positive attributes!
The power of positive self talk and positive thinking is amazing! However, this may be a challenge for you. If you find that you can’t move out of your negative thought pattern or that life’s curves are just too much to deal with all at once, we would love to help you work through this process.