Why do we talk negatively to ourselves?
It is a strange habit that nearly all of us have. Surely if anyone was to speak positively to us it should be ourselves.
Believing in yourself at all times is the key, but why is it so hard to do?
It is actually very common to have a problem with negative or pessimistic self talk without even realising it, and even letting those thoughts take irrational control of your brain, mood and behaviour.
And as a personal sufferer there is nothing worse then being in a bad mood or down when everyone else might be having a good time and not really understanding why I'm down.
But there is definitely things that can be done to reduce the negative talk and pull yourself back into a positive, happier place.
Becoming more aware of your thoughts is step number 1.
When you become more aware of your thoughts you can become more aware of any negativity seeping in. By consciously being aware of how often these thoughts appear you can take steps to do something about them.
By analysing and recording when they are happening you can start understand what has triggered them and why.
You may not understand why something (perhaps menial) has set you off , but it did and therefore become aware of it for next time.
Goodbye Negative Thoughts
So something (perhaps menial) has set you off, you have become aware of it and logged it as a trigger, but how do you get out of that mindset?
The answer is simple, in theory, replace it with a positive thought. Inform yourself of something that makes you feel good about yourself - "I am fun, I am happy, I am enjoying life'.
By doing this we are creating a mind shift. We are addressing something negative in our lives and in a very healthy way expelling them and putting a positive spin on our lives.
For this to work though you have to truly believe what you are telling yourself, it doesn't matter if others don't believe it, but you must believe it.
This also works in other situations, for example if you re playing poorly at golf, try to extinguish the poor thoughts and remind yourself of a great shot and how good you know you can be.
When you get specific about your positive thoughts, it will help you see the picture much more clearly.
You know the saying, 'misery loves company' well boy is that ever true. Pessimism and negativity breed pessimism and negativity, so if you are to start thinking better about yourself, those outside influences of negativity must be cut out or at least significantly diminished (if full removal is not possible).
Just think about a time when you have been around a happy go lucky person, they can infectiously make you more happy go lucky, which is fantastic and what life is about, but the opposite is also true.
The sad truth is those people are who are verbally and outwardly negative all the time are most likely internally negative, too. Cutting them out your life is not always simple or easy, but for a happier existence it (if possible) is necessary.
Now, Now, Now
Being in the present is key for reducing your chances of speaking negatively about yourself, this is because you are not thinking about any past mistakes and you are focusing on the now, enjoying the now.
Constantly thinking about past mistakes only writes a bad future, whereas remembering that the future has not been written yet (very Back To The Future) allows you to think about all the good things that can happen, that will happen and how thinking positively will only propel you to the good things in life.
Remember thinking constantly about past mistakes or past negative incidents is not going to change the past, the past is the past, learn from any mistakes and look forward.
The Neutral Zone
In some cases just telling yourself to be more positive can have the reverse effect - if this is the case for you then look to have 'neutral thoughts', thoughts that are neither positive nor negative.
Neutral thoughts can be a great tool for just relieving yourself of a negative state of mind, it essentially is the idea of using facts to make you less negative.
For example you have had a bad review at work, be honest with yourself and lay out some facts: 'yes I have been a little lazy recently' or maybe 'I don't think this job is for me, I want to do something I actually enjoy.'
These facts of truth will help pull you out of the pessimistic mindset and help you process what you need to.
Be Your Best Friend
Imagine you were speaking with your best friend and they spoke to you candidly about how they were feeling. They were feeling down, pessimistic, hated themselves and thought they were useless.
What would you say to them? You, of course would work as hard as you could to make them feel better, you would remind them of how great they are.
So why do we not do that to ourselves when we are feeling down? We should!
A superb exercise is to try to look at ourselves in the 3rd person when we are feeling down and what would we say to ourselves if we were our best friend.
You would find that you would be extremely kind to yourself and uplifting, reminding yourself of all the good things and things you like about yourself.
Remember the brain is a wondrous thing, but it is also extremely powerful, but it is YOUR brain and you can either let it control you or you can control it.
Stay upbeat and positive, life is a wonderful gift, and when the negative thoughts come try to mange them, remove them and move on.