How do you talk to yourself?Jun 12, 2019
Did you know that research shows that our inner speech clocks in at an average of 4,000 words per minute—10 times faster than verbal speech. And it’s often more condensed—we don’t have to use full sentences to talk to ourselves, because we know what we mean!
Wow! That is a whole lot of talking! And more often than not the quality of our "Self-Talk" or "Inner Speech" could be somewhat better!
You might be asking what do we mean by Self-Talk, exactly? So, Your Self-Talk is that endless chattering in your ear and can be either your greatest friend or your worst enemy. Some people seem to be more naturally optimistic than others - and their Self Talk seems to be a whole lot friendlier, while others can lean toward a pessimistic world-view, and the quality of Self Talk can be quite critical and negative.
I have good news though! When it comes to the way that you talk to yourself, you can take control over how you perceive yourself and how you choose to live your life. I know much easier said than done! And, If you have ever tried to fix how you talk to yourself, you know how hard it can be.
Over time, your persistent thoughts have created certain pathways in your mind that make it very hard to believe anything else. And, just like starting to eat healthily or get back into shape, you will have to get out of your comfort zone and deal with some pains and challenges that come with any kind of growth or change.
So today, I would like to share 4 tips with you that can help you to improve your Self Talk, even if it is pretty good already! Everyone can do with some extra kindness every so often...
4 Tips that can help you improve your Self-Talk
- Become aware of your Self-Talk
Keep track of when you put yourself down and when you are positive about yourself. Every time a thought about yourself comes to your mind, think, “Would I say this to my best friend?” If not, then you know what you need to change. This way you’ll know what your weaknesses and strengths are and exactly where you can improve. There is a lovely quote by Louise Hay that states: "Talk to yourself like you would talk to someone you love" - Sounds like pretty sound advice to us...
- Challenge the negative thoughts with questions
When you say, “I can’t” ask yourself, “Why can’t I?” Start saying “I can” more. With other negative thoughts, tell yourself out loud, “Cancel Cancel.” Saying this out loud will help replace the negative pathways in your brain with positive ones.
- Create a replacement affirmation
You can use this for anything in your life where you feel you need positive reinforcement. For example:
- If you say, “I am so stressed and never get anything done,” tell yourself instead: “I know with time and effort I can achieve what I need to.”
- If you tell yourself, “I am just a negative person, I will never change,” say instead: “I am capable of change.”
- Instead of saying, “So and so is much better at this than I am. I give up.” Say, “I am enough.”
- Be present
When you focus so much on the things that have to happen in the future, you cause yourself to needlessly worry. Control the worry by focusing on what you can do in the next minute or in the next hour. Don’t let past failures dictate your future success.
Find the method that works best for you, starting with the basics above. You can also do your own research to find more methods that might help you and support you on your journey. You’ll be surprised at what changes as your mind does.
Why not get support to help you to make changes to your Self Talk, by making an appointment with an accredited psychotherapist?