Before reading this, take a moment to reflect what you’ve said to yourself today. Was it positive or negative? Was it kind or hurtful? How did that exercise make you feel?
This week for Mental Health Awareness we are focusing on how to utilize Self-Talk. We all have that inner voice that monologues our life throughout the day. It allows you to check in with yourself to assess your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Research shows self-talk is a natural and healthy way to build self-confidence, boost motivation and calm your nerves if done properly. On the other hand, it is also normal to experience negative self-talk assertions like “I’m a failure” or “This will never work.”
Generally, negative self-talk falls into one of four categories: Personalizing (blaming yourself for everything), Magnifying (focusing only on negatives), Catastrophizing (always expecting the worse), and Polarizing (life is only good and bad, no in-between). If you feel as if you are constantly experiencing negative self-dialogue, remember to stay positive and be kind to yourself. Over time, you’ll learn what triggers these thoughts and how to correct or cope with the situation.
Research shows that using positive self-talk can improve your self-esteem, reduce depression, and make you feel in control of your life. Learning how to shift your self-dialogue from negative to positive can help you emphasize positive thoughts and can improve your overall mental health. Here are some tips to get you going:
- Acknowledge and recognize your negative thoughts and replace each one with 2 positives.
- Try to find some humor in a less-than-ideal situation
- Leave yourself small, motivating messages to keep yourself focused and happier.