Talking to Yourself. The Most Productive Conversation You Can Have
Take a moment and think about what you have told yourself today. Was it loving and positive? Judgmental or negative? How did you feel after this inner conversation? We all have an inner dialogue with ourselves whether we are aware of it or not. Self-talk can be beneficial or destructive, depending on how we use it. Mastering positive self-talk can lead to more confidence, motivation, self-love and happiness.
What is Self-Talk?
Self-Talk is just what it sounds like, inner thoughts or talk directed at oneself. This inner voice combines conscious and unconscious thoughts and provides a way for you to interpret and process the world around you.
Talking to yourself can be helpful and encouraging, bolstering confidence or calming stressors. It can also be self-defeating and have serious negative impacts. In this article, we explore the negative and positive ways we talk to ourselves and how to bolster more self-love in our daily lives.
The Impacts of Negative Self-Talk
Unfortunately, our patterns of self-talk are often negative, focusing on preconceived ideas like “I am not good enough” or “how could I be so stupid.” According to Psychology Today, our brains have a negativity bias, meaning they are hardwired to remember and focus on negativity rather than positive. There are four types of negative self-talk:
- Personalizing – you blame yourself when things go wrong.
- Polarizing – you see things only as good or bad, black or white. There is no in between.
- Magnifying – you only focus on the negative in every scenario and dismiss anything good or positive.
- Catastrophizing – you always expect the worst case scenario.
The issue with a negative inner dialogue is that we believe it as truth even though it usually isn't based in reality. Being able to categorize and identify your negative thoughts into one of these categories could help you start to switch your negative talk into positive talk.
The Benefits of Positive Self-Talk
Positive Self-Talk doesn't mean ignoring the bad things that happen in your life. Instead, it means facing unpleasantness with self-compassion, understanding and positivity. Positive self-talk is an integral part of establishing self-love. There are countless benefits to engaging in positive self-talk, Healthline shares several including:
If you aren’t there yet, there is always time to work on switching your negative self-talk into a more positive outlook!
How to Improve Your Self-Talk
If positive Self-Talk isn’t your basic instinct, it might take some practice. A few tips on how to shift your self-talk below:
The first step into changing your inner dialogue is to pay attention. Notice when and where you engage in negative self-talk. Some situations or people might trigger these thoughts. Identifying areas of your life that you think negatively about is the first step to change! Start small by focusing on one of these areas to approach in a more positive way.
Try it: If you notice that whenever there is a high pressure situation at work negative self-talk takes over, be extra gentle with yourself during those times. Be prepared for the negative inner chatter to take hold and instead of engaging in “I can’t handle this”, try, “I can get through this.”
Surround Yourself with Positivity
Whether you realize it or not, the people you surround yourself with have an impact on your emotions and outlook. Surround yourself with people who treat themselves with self love and encourage you to do the same.
Try it: If you’re proud of a friend for accomplishing something - let them know! If you’re proud of yourself, TELL YOURSELF! Remember, self-love is contagious.
Sometimes, we get lost in negative spirals. One way to pull ourselves out of that spiral, is watching videos of unlikely animal friendships! Ok, maybe not for everybody, but in all seriousness, humor can help lighten stress and ease tension. Try and find some humor every day. Plus, who can't help but smile when they see an adorable puppy or kitten?
Check In (all the time!)
Wherever you are or whatever you are doing, stop and check in with yourself. Are you talking to yourself with love and generosity? Did your thoughts become negative? Is there a way to turn it around? Your self check-ins should also include how awesome you are!
Try it: You just finished with a tough week at work and are finally checking in with yourself. Maybe you need to unwind and soak in the tub with Calming Chamomile Soaking Salts, or maybe you need to take a long walk outside. Whatever your self care practice is, make sure to listen to your own needs and respond accordingly.
We can’t always control our initial thoughts, but we can control what comes after them. Practice reframing negative thought into more a positive outlook. Always have a secret stash of positive mantras in your back pocket that you can pull out if needed.
Try it: Next time an opportunity arises that you might be scared about, instead of saying, “I've never done that - I won’t be able to,” try, “I’ve never done that - what a great opportunity to learn something new.”
The Path to Self-Love
Is your glass half empty or half full? The answer often has less to do with what is going on in one's life, and more to do with one's outlook on it. Positive self-talk can have huge impacts on wellbeing and lead you closer to a life filled with self-love.
Sometimes, self-talk can be hard. If you don’t feel comfortable with self-talk just yet, actions can be just as powerful. Some ways to show yourself love and care include getting enough sleep, nourishing your body, exercising, and taking time for yourself to relax and unplug. Self-love at Vena looks like a long bath with calming chamomile soaking salts then soothing the skin with manuka honey moisturizer. Love yourself in whatever way feels best!
And remember, you are wonderful, you are strong, you are enough, you are amazing!
Have questions or want to share how you practice self-love? We want to hear from you! Leave a question or comment below, or reach out to us directly at email@example.com.