Positive self-talk. You know, how you talk to yourself. Whether it’s pointing at your reflection in the mirror saying, “you can do this,” or tugging your hair saying “Idiot! Idiot!”
Self-talk can be out loud, but it can also be thoughts that you don’t even know that you’re having.
It may seem silly but self-talk makes a difference. So, here are 5 tips for more positive self-talk.
Be Aware Of “Self-Thought”
You’ve probably heard of the different levels of consciousness – unconscious, subconscious, conscious. But maybe there should be levels in between those. For example, have you ever “caught yourself” in a thought and wondered where it came from or why you were thinking it? It’s not quite your subconscious but it’s also seemingly running beneath your conscious.
Some experts call this your “monkey mind” because it’s always in the background chipping away and, for many of us, throwing poo. That’s right, our monkey mind can be very negative and – in a vicious cycle – it can make us feel even worse about ourselves.
It is possible to tame your monkey mind but to do that, you’ve got to keep an eye on it. You can train yourself to keep a better eye on your monkey mind through mindfulness – the practice of learning to read your own thoughts. It’s harder than you think. To start, clear a couple of minutes to sit with your eyes closed and try not to think of anything.
Then, when you inevitably think of something, ask yourself what it was. Chances are, you’ll eventually notice a trend in where your mind goes when you aren’t using it. This is how you get to know your monkey mind. The more you do it, the easier it will be to intercept and examine your thoughts as they come.
Our kids can also suffer from monkey mind. I am currently using the Meditate Mate Monkey. It helps ease your child’s “monkey mind”, Check it out at meditatemate.com.au.
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Watch Your Language
Whether it’s your monkey mind or the way that you talk about yourself to yourself, or even to others, try to use more positive language or at least less negative language.
Instead of saying or thinking something like “I always make mistakes like this!” try an angle more like “I get so excited about things that sometimes I don’t plan enough.”
A good way to get into this habit is to pretend that someone else said about themselves what you just said about yourself. If someone else made a mistake and said “Oh, I’m such a loser!” how would you respond to them?
Keep it Real
It’s important to be realistic. The idea here isn’t to ignore the truth and paint everything a rosier colour. The idea is to try to be more supportive of yourself when you may be in error.
Never deny that you made a mistake or try to make excuses or blame others, just be sure that you are learning from your mistakes instead of just beating yourself up over them.
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Enlist a Friend
Sometimes, it’s hard for us to recognize our own negative self-talk. It can help to approach a close friend or coworker and tell them that you are working on your self-talk but could use some help. Ask the person or people to point out to you when you talk negatively about yourself so that you can correct it.
Be a Friend
Being a more positive person to others can help you to be a more positive person to yourself. When you notice other people practicing negative self-talk, point it out to them and offer a softer response. That will help you to do the same in our own life.
Learning to practice more positive self-talk can help you to support yourself and learn from your mistakes rather than simply punishing yourself or ignoring the problem. It’s a way to treat yourself better while learning to be better. It takes some time and practice but hopefully these hints help you to get there.