Having ups and downs in our days is a normal part of life. It’s a cycle, we cannot appreciate one without the other. However, if you find yourself lingering on your down days for too long, it can affect your mental health for the worse, and alter the function and chemistry of your brain.
Our thoughts, emotions and behaviour are all related to one another, and a change in one aspect affects the other ones. In turn, having negativity in any one of these can lead you down to a downward spiral that may be difficult to get out from.
On a positive note, you can make positive changes to either your thoughts, emotions and behaviour and its effects will compound and affect the other areas as well.
One way for you to get back on track is to be mindful of the self-talk that your inner voice is using. Having a negative self-talk over time is detrimental for your success as it blurs out the lens with which you view the world, the opportunities you have and life around you.
Ways to Develop Positive Self-talk
Have a Media Fast
Sometimes the information portrayed by the media conflicts with the values that you have, it can drown the voice or intuition in you. The media we are exposed to everyday is saturated by concepts regarding sex, unrealistic body expectations, seemingly instant success and problems that seem impossible to get out of.
You don’t have to be a hermit or isolate yourself in a far flung mountain, but be careful of where you get your information from. Make sure these are reputable sources that present objective information.
Filtering the good and bad information from the media helps your brain to filter out the helpful and unwanted thoughts inside your head too.
Listen and Reflect
A human has around 60,000 thoughts per day, crazy right? You don’t have to reflect on each of them. What you can do is attune yourself to how it makes you feel and let go of the thoughts that puts you off your feet.
Similar with the criticism we receive from others, take out the golden nugget in each negative thought and transform it into something positive. Your brain’s telling you that you’re lazy and indecisive? Explore it. Maybe there’s a certain truth behind it. Are you procrastinating something? Are you hitting your goals? If not, then maybe it’s time to get into action.
Change Your Self Conversations
As much as possible we try our best to avoid giving harsh criticism and judgment of others because we are afraid that it might hurt the other person’s feeling. Why then are we doing it to ourselves? Be more kind with the words you use to tell yourself. Instead of telling yourself you’re a failure, replace it with “I can get back up from it” or “I can always try again.”
Have a New Perspective
Having a new perspective is difficult if your brain is just regurgitating the same information over and over again. What you can do to re-structure your brain is to provide new opportunities for it to gather helpful information. Spend time with people who inspire you, read books, watch documentaries and helpful videos on the net, learn a new hobby, spend time with nature and have new adventures with your loved ones!
Surround Yourself with Visuals
When learning new items our brain can only learn 5-7 new items at a time. On a daily basis, it can be loaded with up to 34 GB of information daily. Make sure that you are filling your brain with the good stuff. Just the same, when we become busy with work or daily life responsibilities, we are prone to forget to have positive self-talk. Surround yourself with printed visuals of inspirational quotes, save photos that inspire you and set daily reminders throughout the day that remind how great you are.
Consistency and Practice
Building yourself up takes a long time, if not your whole life. Make sure that you are doing small changes and improvements everyday, in the end of all these small changes will accumulate and lead you to a longer and happier life. It all starts with a small step. Talk to yourself positively
There’s no quick fix to having positive self-talk, I for one is still struggling with the negative and judgmental thoughts going over my head. However, I am becoming more aware of them now and I can judge each thought whether if it’s helpful or not. The key is to be patient and work your way slowly and consistently. Watch as your life changes when you change the words you use inside your head.
Until you read from me again.