We all talk to ourselves, and that kind of talk doesn't have to be audible to be a reality. In fact, you talk to yourself constantly throughout your day. It's how you analyze things, make decisions, and navigate your environment.
You cross the street, and a thought pops up, saying, "That car over there is going too fast."
That continuous flow of thoughts in your head that are generally unspoken is what's called self-talk.
Positive and Negative Self-Talk
Self-talk can be generally positive or negative. Most people experience both, falling somewhere in between.
To be more inclined to a specific form of self-talk means that your inner voice is completely centered on that point of view.
If your self-talk is negative, your inner voice or thought process is excessively negative. Basically, you keep telling yourself negative things, which encourages you to focus on the bad.
The problem with negative self-talk is it harms your quality of life. It can stop you from going after anything, destroy your relationships, and even affect your mental health.
While it isn't exactly known how negative self-talk affects your mental health, the pressure and distress it causes can lead to chronic stress and anxiety.
How Can Positive Self-Talk Help?
Positive self-talk is the exact opposite of negative self-talk. It's your ability to train your inner voice to focus on positive things. It's when you tell yourself something like, "I might have failed, but II believe there's another way. I just have to find it."
However, positive self-talk is not about deceiving yourself or ignoring the facts. It's about choosing a productive attitude instead of a defeatist one.
If you practice positive self-talk, you will realize that it has the power to turn your life around, make things brighter, and make challenges manageable. That attitude is perfect for combating stress.
How to Use Positive Self-Talk to Fight Stress
It is possible to keep stress at bay through positive self-talk. If you're wondering how to implement that, here are a few tips:
1. Understand Your Negative Thoughts
You can't possibly hope to defeat an enemy you don't know. In this case, negative self-talk is the enemy, so learn about it and how it happens to you.
Recognize the pattern of negative thoughts and the things you do knowingly or unknowingly to feed them.
Maybe you tend to make excuses for yourself to defend the negativity. You can start by acknowledging the role you play in fueling the negative thoughts.
2. Challenge the Negativity
When the negative thoughts set in, elevating your stress levels, take a minute to challenge the reality of that negative monologue. Look at the situation at hand and think objectively about it.
Put your thoughts into perspective and ask yourself whether the outcome is genuinely as negative as it appears.
You will most likely find that the negativity blows many situations out of proportion.
3. Treat Yourself Kindly
No normal person will continuously criticize and demean another because it's plain wrong. That behavior is despicable when directed at others, but you're human, and what you say to yourself can affect you.
Learn to treat yourself with respect and kindness the way you would another person. Doing that makes it easier to respond to negativity with words of encouragement and confidence.
4. Work on Your Happiness
Positive self-talk is one of the things that make your life happier. You haven't physically changed anything, but you've changed your mindset, allowing only positive energy into your life.
If you're struggling to make yourself more positive, try to engage in activities that make you happy, as that triggers your positive side.
Surround yourself with jovial people who would rather consider the glass half-full.
5. Boost the Positivity
Switching to positivity can be hard work for hardcore pessimists who have allowed negative self-talk to control their lives.
You may want to put yourself in a situation that encourages tranquility and happiness to get used to how a calm mind feels.
Some get their peaceful kicks from hobbies and natural scenes. Others prefer their boosts in a literal sense, like a puff of weed for a peaceful Indica buzz. If you're considering that route, marijuana doctors can guide you further.
Your inner voice is a powerful tool. Allowing it to spin out of control could do so much damage because it is present at every turn, impacting your decisions.
You can also use your inner voice as a force for good by focusing on the positive side of things.