Everybody has had moments when circumstances, life, situations, and many other issues have pushed them to the corner. Most of these times, the immediate reaction always happens to be self-shaming or negative self-talk – this is when one beats themselves up for not being good enough, messing up, and unworthiness.
While most people ignore these thoughts, it is important to notice the value and effects of these thoughts on our daily life.
Everything we do starts with a thought, from the big things like achievements to small things like waving to a stranger. Our decisions, plans, intentions, sleep patterns, lifestyle, relationships, and social attitude all depend on our inner conversations.
Effects of Negative Self-Talk
When one reproaches themselves over a period of time, it starts to show and manifests in some of these ways.
Reduced concentration and performance levels
Your concentration span is reduced and interrupted by the destructive negative thoughts which in turn leads to low productivity and performance levels.
The negative thoughts that constantly run in your mind lead to different kinds of mood swings topped by feelings of unworthiness and depression.
Constant negative self-talk leads to fear and worry that one will mess up because of past mistakes and this can lead to loss of opportunities.
Things We Can Take to Stop Negative Self-Talk
1. Acknowledge your actions.
Take account of your actions and plans and even when things go wrong, acknowledge it and look forward to making plans to revert the incidence and achieve your initial goals, or change course for the better, instead of beating yourself up.
You can set a planner, or schedule, with your goals and their deadlines, so you can keep account of everything that is bringing you closer to them so that if one or several things go wrong, you will not waste time brow-beating yourself, because you will be busy trying to finish the rest of the work within the deadlines.
2. Mirror exercise
Mirror exercise is the act of staring at yourself in the mirror and looking at yourself from the angle of someone who has triumphed and you affirm things you think your successful version would tell you at the moment. Take it all in, be positive, and believe that when you have made it, you will be right about all the things you affirmed.
Take a moment to do nothing or refuse to react to situations that overwhelm you. Take a deep breath, walk, exercise or nap, and wait to react and think when you are calmer and can be more loving and nurturing to yourself. This is the hardest part. Relaxing in the middle of heat or chaos will help you with anger outbursts both towards yourself and others, and will also help you save bad situations while taking the time to think of a solution. You can practice breathing exercises and calming music too.
4. Change your outlook on life
You have to keep reminding yourself that every situation can be approached from different angles. This kind of open-mindedness will always help you out of sticky situations without too much self-reproach or blame. You can imagine someone you love a lot or a child, what you would say to them if they were in the same situation and say that to yourself. You will find yourself speaking more positively as you do to your friends and loved ones.
5. Find a let-out
Do something you love, to outwardly portray the chaos in your mind and to help you process things and get you out of the negative self-talk. You can journal, write a story, do some art, poetry, or anything you love. This also includes finding solutions through your passion. Read about self-help and care, look for art that gives you good feelings, do something that gives you confidence, something you are good at, that will remind you that while some things may go wrong, you’re good at others.
6. Know your worth
You have to keep in mind that your worth is not determined by day-to-day circumstances. When you have repeated this mantra enough to believe it, you will respect yourself more to not use hurting words against yourself. You can start using milder wording to state something negative as if you’re speaking to an important, elder, or much-respected person. For example, you will say, “I will try again tomorrow” instead of “am a failure.”
7. Make a routine
Make a routine that reminds you of how much you love yourself in moments when you are supposed to lose your mind. You can decide to say ten beautiful things to yourself, or get a reminder like a rubber band to snap yourself every time you start thinking negatively.
8. Get help
If you’re already past the safe stage and the thoughts have already gone to levels where it interferes with your life, it’s essential to seek medical help. You can see a psychiatrist or therapist until it is safe for you to use the above-listed points.
9. Monitor and reprogram your self-talk patterns
You start monitoring your patterns and what happens before, during, and after the self-talks you have. You will be able to notice the instant the negativity starts creeping in and will already know the reasons, and how it goes on, and how you feel after.
With this in mind, you learn to reprogram your mind and avoid or replace the negative thoughts every time you are in a situation that brings them up. Over some time, you will already be knowing your most used negative thoughts and can even find replacements for them with positive words and feelings.
It won’t be easy for you to start on this journey of how to stop the negative self-talk. You might feel like giving up but eventually, you will get there. If you apply these actions, you will feel more positivity, and as a plus, get better sleep, reduce depression and anxiety, and feel more grounded, confident, worthy and loved.
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