4. Engaging In Negative Self-Talk
Would you like it if one of your friends repeatedly told you that “you’re not good enough,” or “you don’t have what it takes to succeed in life,” or “you lack confidence?” Would you consider him or her a real friend? If you said no, then why would you think or talk to yourself the same way? A little self-criticism once in a while can be the reality check that drives you to become a better person. However, when you continuously engage in negative self-talk, it can erode your self-esteem.
Unhappy people tend to criticize themselves on a daily basis not knowing how this habit is detrimental to their overall health and well-being. Self-defeating talk not only crushes your self-confidence and esteem but also diminishes your performance and ultimately sabotages your happiness and success.
If you aren’t sure whether your self-talk is positive or negative, here are some examples to help you identify negative self-talk:
- You automatically anticipate the worst in everything. For instance, when you get to work late because of heavy traffic, you automatically believe the rest of your day will be disastrous.
- You blame yourself automatically when something terrible happens. For instance, an evening out with your friends is canceled and you automatically assume that they don’t want to be around you.
- You always see things as only bad or good; there’s no middle ground. If you or everything you do is not perfect, then you’re a total failure.
- You always filter out all the positive aspects of any situation and magnify on the negative aspects.
Admittedly, this is not the best way to live if you want to be happy in this life. But, the good news is that you can turn your negative thinking into positive thoughts if you’re willing to put the necessary time and effort. Positive thinking has several health benefits including:
- Low levels of stress
- Increased life span
- Better physical and emotional well-being
- Better coping skills during times of stress and hardships
- Reduced risk of dying from cardiovascular diseases
If you’re ready to start thinking positively and enjoy these benefits and much more, these tips can help you silence your inner critic:
Identify Areas That Need Change
The first step to positive thinking is identifying those areas in your life that you constantly think negatively about. This can be your relationship, work, daily commute or self-image. Start small by focusing on a single area in a more positive way.
Surround Yourself With Positive, Supportive People
The people you spend most of your time with can influence you either negatively or positively. This is why it’s important that you only allow positive, supportive people in your life; people who love and accept you for who you are and are dependable at all times.
Live A Healthy Lifestyle
Take good care of yourself by exercising at least 3 times a week to positively affect your mood (among other benefits), eating healthy meals in moderation to fuel your body and mind, and often laughing to reduce stress.
Practice Positive Self-Talk
Instead of constantly being critical of yourself, try to be gentler and more encouraging instead. As a general rule, never say anything to yourself that you can’t tell anyone else. And if you find yourself thinking negatively, evaluate the thought rationally and apply a positive twist to it. For instance, instead of telling yourself, “I have never done it before,” say “It’s a chance for me to learn something new.” With practice and patience, your self-talk with eventually contain less self-criticism and more self-acceptance.
Overall, thinking poorly of yourself is extremely limiting and will get you nowhere. Decide today to let go of your pessimism and constant negative self-talk, and replace them with more thoughts of unconditional love, gratitude, freedom, self-appreciation, and joy. It’s the foundation of a better and brighter reality.
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