Self-talk is that stream of unspoken thoughts, that conversation you have in your head. It can be either positive or negative, and it can have a significant impact on our mental and emotional well-being.
When it’s negative we start to blame ourselves when things go wrong, we doubt ourselves when faced with a challenge and we compare ourselves unfavourably with others. Negative self-talk can lead to feelings of low self-worth, depression, and anxiety.
Why does self-talk matter?
It’s important to be aware of the self-talk that we engage in on a daily basis and make a conscious effort to change negative thoughts into positive ones.
If you say I’ll never be able to lose weight, get a better job, pass that exam, give up smoking – then the chances are that you won’t.
And think about it – would you say these things to a friend? I don’t think you would have any friends left if that were the case!
But if you change your self- talk to be more encouraging and positive, you will be helping yourself to take the steps you need to take to achieve your goals.
So what can we do differently?
- Try to take a step back from your thoughts – answer them as if it were another person speaking to you – just say ‘thank you for your opinion’, and move on.
- Challenge the thought – again, as if it were from another person – ask yourself, is that really true?
- Focus on something else – distract your mind with a crossword or another task where you need to focus your mind
- Practice starting the day with positive self-talk – I am confident, I am capable, I am attractive, I can do this – write it on a piece of paper if that helps – and look at it during the day.
Think of yourself as your own best friend and don’t say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to someone else.
Positive self-talk can be powerful
Positive self-talk is a powerful tool that can help us achieve our goals, improve our mood, and lead a more fulfilling life. By being aware of our self-talk and making a conscious effort to change negative thoughts into positive ones, we can improve our mental and emotional well-being.
This focus on positive outcomes is how solution-focused hypnotherapy works. A Solution Focused Hypnotherapist doesn’t look back at the past to pick over painful memories or to try and reason why a person may be having difficulties. Instead, we concentrate on the positive aspects of the person’s life and personality in order to move forward, to find solutions that suit them and to facilitate long-lasting changes.
If you’re struggling with low self-esteem you might be interested to read my other blog post on “Combatting Low Self Esteem”.