Have you ever spent time listening to how we talk to ourselves? It’s true that we are constantly thinking about and interpreting the situations we find ourselves in every day and our thoughts are either positive or negative. Some say up to 65% of our self talk can be negative! If we could externalize our thoughts and have them come from outside person that would be the person we avoid in the lunchroom – so why do we accept it if it comes from ourselves?
Here are some ways to help you recognize your internal ‘trash talk’ and what you can do to give your self critic an attitude adjustment. Challenge Your Unhelpful Thinking.
Some of the unhelpful styles of thinking are:
- All-or-nothing thinking: Implies that if you see your performance short of perfect you see yourself as a failure. Be aware of self talk that is similar to the following: “If I’m not perfect I have failed” or “I lost the game therefore I’m a total loser”?
- Discounting the positive: Become more aware of the times when you have the tendency to disqualify or discount good things that have happened to you or that you have done by insisting “they don’t count” for one reason or another.
- Mental filter: this happens when we tend to pay attention only to certain types of facts (usually negative) and dwell on them. For example, noticing our failures but not our successes.
Don’t Give-in to Hopelessness:
Never give up or allow yourself to become the victim of hopelessness. You will always find a solution to manage the difficulties of life. The well-known French psychiatrist, Christophe Andre, who wrote extensively on positive psychology, says that whenever he feels like he had “enough of everything”, he always remember an Yiddish proverb which goes like this: “Never surrender to desperation, it never keeps its promises!”
Use Protective Self-talk/Mantras:
A mantra is a term which defines a protective mental phrase and it has its origin from the Sanscrit term manas which means ‘spirit’ and from tra which is ‘protection’. Thereby, a mantra is a type of self-talk meant to protect our spirit. For example, when you feel that the stress of life or work is overwhelming you, it might be good to remind yourself a phrase like the following: “Do your best but don’t forget to be happy and rest!”
For more information or details and other types of helpful thinking styles contact The Family Enhancement Centre today!