Negative self-talk is interesting because it’s so easy to engage in…. or is that just me? I was doing a meditation this morning through the Calm app that had an introduction about negative self-talk. The truth is, whether we want to admit it or not, most of us do engage in it from time-to-time, just some people more than others. The ultimate goal would be to never engage in it at all, but that can be difficult. It almost seems like its human nature to be hard on ourselves. Something doesn’t go our way, well we must be dumb. Slight feeling of inadequacy, then no one likes me. Pain surging throughout our bodies, I guess I deserve it.
Disengaging from this sort of talk is extremely difficult. At least for me. Mindfulness practice is actually the most helpful thing I’ve found to combat this. Realizing when I’m doing it, so that I can sway my thoughts elsewhere is a positive skill I’ve learned. Because the truth is, I’m not dumb or deserving, and I’m fairly certain that at least some people like me.
Another way to combat your negative self-talk is to listen to stories of others. Whether it be reading blogs like this, or everyone’s current favourite – listening to podcasts, hearing that other people are having these same habits your are and finding out what they’ve done to try to stop can be positive. Psychoeducation has its benefits.
Image from: https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/therapy/what-is-psychoeducation-and-why-does-it-matter/
When in doubt, there is also psychotherapy too. I know it’s expensive. Literally everyone I recommend it to comes back with that. Even in Canada it isn’t covered by our “universal” (not so universal) healthcare or by most company plans either. My company boasts about how great healthcare coverage it has but only $500 worth of psychologist or psychoanalyst visits are covered by our plans (at $200/hour that’s 2.5 sessions) per year for full timers (sorry part-timers, no coverage), and most people need more than that to achieve positive mental health.
Image from: https://medium.com/@ThisOldRiver/what-is-freudian-transference-and-why-does-it-matter-b506e8966c8c
But let me digress. Even if you can’t afford therapy, using mindfulness apps, and positive reinforcement for positive thoughts (hey I haven’t had negative self-talk all week so I deserve a piece of cake, jk, maybe that’s not the best reward) can be helpful in, at least, decreasing it. At the end of the day, most of those thoughts are lies we buy into, and why should we when we’re so much more awesome than that?!