You know that voice in your head; it's called "self-talk." It affects how you feel, so you need to keep it positive. Your self-talk is an essential tool that, when used properly, can improve self-confidence and decrease negative emotions.
Our internal voice
There's a strong relationship between what you think and how you feel, both physically and emotionally. Our most potent thoughts occur when we talk to ourselves; our internal voice controls how we perceive things. We regularly speak to ourselves, sending messages like, keep quiet or speak up, and praise ourselves when we do well or scold when we make poor choices.
Interestingly, we typically don't realize the impact our self-talk has on our feelings and emotions because we're continuously thinking in the same manner that we breathe! Consequently, we must manage our negative self-talk, ensuring it doesn't take over our emotions.
When we can acknowledge the negative thoughts and concentrate on the positive ones, that's when we know we've conquered our most incapacitating emotions.
Understanding the need to regulate your self-talk
Our emotional flow is controlled primarily by our thoughts, which, if not appropriately managed, can easily hijack our emotions. When this occurs, our feelings become our full attention, exaggerating or extending our emotional experience. We must learn to regulate our self-talk to stay focused and in control of our emotions.
What causes negative self-talk?
We all experience negative self-talk occasionally, but it can be damaging if it becomes a habit. Negative thoughts are often the result of unresolved issues, and they will continue to hijack you emotionally, or you can use emotional intelligence positivity to control your thoughts.
Social isolation is one source of negative self-talk because when we are alone, our dialogue is with ourself and there is no one to distract our adverse thoughts. Lifestyle writer Eva Taylor Grant shares other habits that can cause negative self-talk, such as:
- Not taking care of our health, including physical, mental, emotional, sexual, spiritual
- Ignoring relationship problems
- Not reaching to others for support
- Spending time with negative people
- Not taking time to practise self-care
- Denying you experience negative self-talk
Negative self-talk is harmful
When our self-talk is negative, it affects our ability to self-manage effectively and can create defeated feelings. Negative self-talk can derail our motivation and productivity and affect how we view every situation.
We have the power to control the way we express our thoughts and feelings to remain productive and motivated throughout your day. It takes practice to change your behaviour so, when you catch yourself using negative self-talk, stop yourself and re-frame your words. Before you know it, you will be using less negative self-talk and more positive self-talk.
When your emotions overwhelm you, your thoughts can turn the heat up or down, affecting how you manage your feelings. Don't let negative self-talk bring you down; control your thoughts and keep them positive. Marshall Connects offers Emotional Intelligence Assessments and Coaching to enhance skill development in all areas, including self-management strategies like positive self-talk to improve overall productivity.
This article was originally published on June 15, 2019, and has been updated (February 2021).
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