You know that voice in your head, it's called "self-talk," and it plays a significant role in how you feel about yourself. It's an essential tool that, when used properly, can boost 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 talk to ourselves regularly, sending messages like, keep quiet or speak up, as well, we 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, it is imperative we manage our self-talk, ensuring negativity doesn't take over our 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, which can exaggerate or extend our emotional experience. We must learn to regulate our self-talk to stay focused and in control of our emotions.
The value in keeping it positive
When our self-talk is positive, it helps us flourish, keeping us motivated and productive. When it is negative, it affects our ability to self-manage effectively and can create feelings of defeat. Negative self-talk can derail us and plunge us into a descending emotional spiral. If we practise using positive self-talk throughout our day, we can view any situation in a positive light and get the most out of it.
Again, you have the power to control the way you express your thoughts and feelings to remain productive and motivated throughout your day. It will take practise 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.
Three ways to overcome negative self-talk
- When engaging in self-talk, change the words "always" or "never" to 'this time' or 'sometimes.'
- It's essential to direct your thoughts to consider situations as unique and separate from other conditions. Be careful not to transfer one mistake to all cases, or you will make your problems more significant than they are.
- Use factual statements like, "I made an error or mistake," instead of judgmental statements like "I'm an idiot." We want to use comments that are accurate and objective and will help us concentrate on what we can change.