Negative self-talk is the negative, unhelpful thing that we say to ourselves. It’s often called self-talk because it occurs in our minds and not out loud. Unfortunately, negative self-talk can be very powerful and can hurt our lives.
What is negative self-talk?
Negative self-talk is a way of thinking that is harmful to yourself. However, it can be a way of dealing with stress, anxiety or other emotions. The problem with negative self-talk is that it makes you feel like your thoughts are true, even when they aren’t. And because your mind has been trained to believe what it hears through negative self-talk, these thoughts become a reality for you!
Negative Self-Talk Examples:
- “I am fat.”
- “I am stupid.”
- “I am ugly.”
Sometimes, this type of thinking may involve trying to control how other people see us and how we view ourselves (e.g., “I should do better at my job/school/etc. because everyone else thinks I’m good enough”).
Where does negative self-talk come from?
Negative self-talk is a natural part of being human. Your brain is wired to think negatively, and it’s also wired to protect you from harm. As such, when we experience something that makes us feel bad about ourselves or our abilities—like failing an exam or getting rejected by someone we like. Our brains first try to understand what just happened to protect us from further hurt (or at least stop the pain).
When this repeatedly happens over time and across different situations, it becomes habitual. The same thought patterns become automatic; they no longer require conscious effort! For example: “I’m never going get better at playing the piano unless I practice every day.” Or: “This job isn’t right for me because no one likes me here.”
But it’s not just negative thoughts that can become habitual. So can positive ones. For example: “I’m going to ace this exam because I’ve been studying hard.” Or: “I know they’ll like me here because I’m fun to work with!”
The problem with habitual thoughts is that they need to serve us better. But unfortunately, they’re often based on assumptions or other people’s opinions, not facts. And because they’re automatic, we don’t even realize when we’re thinking about them! So if you think something like: “I’m never going to get better at playing the piano unless I practice every day,” try to stop for a moment and ask yourself: What would happen if I didn’t practice every day? Would my playing still be awful?
How to stop negative self-talk?
Once you’ve identified the negative self-talk, please write it down. You can also use this exercise to find its root cause and substitute a positive alternative. It may sound simple, but if you’re struggling with negative self-talk, you must find ways to replace it with something else!
Another way of stopping negative self-talk is by keeping yourself busy so that your mind isn’t dwelling on past events or worrying about things that haven’t happened yet – but could occur in the future (i.e., what if my friend doesn’t like me?).
Try some relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation. If you want to learn more about these techniques, many websites offer great resources for beginners and experienced meditators.
Negative self-talk is powerful and hurtful, but remember that what you say to yourself isn’t always true.
Negative self-talk is powerful and hurtful, but it’s important to remember that what you say to yourself isn’t always true. For example, if you’re trying to lose weight and your negative voice says: “I’ll never be able to lose weight,” this is not true. You may have tried before and failed, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen now.
The negative self-talk will keep us stuck in old patterns of behavior and thinking. If we aren’t careful with our negative thoughts, they can become a part of our lives, so much so that they become automatic—they are no longer even noticed by us as part of who we are! The challenge here is making sure these beliefs aren’t holding us back from achieving what matters most–being happy with ourselves for all we’ve accomplished until this point (and beyond).
However, negative self-talk is a habit; you can break it like any habit. The first step in breaking the negative self-talk cycle is to become aware of it. This may seem challenging initially, but with practice, you’ll notice how often these thoughts arise throughout your day.
When you notice negative self-talk, try to stop it in its tracks. This may be challenging at first, but practice makes it easier and easier. Once you’ve stopped the negative thoughts from continuing, replace them with positive ones! The more these new thoughts are repeated, the more they will become ingrained in your mind as true—which means you’ll start to believe and act on them.
The best way to break the negative self-talk cycle is to become aware of it. This may seem difficult initially, but with practice, you’ll notice how often these thoughts arise throughout your day. Next, when you notice negative self-talk, try to stop it. Again, this may be challenging initially, but you’ll find it easier and easier with practice. Once you’ve stopped the negative thoughts from continuing, replace them with positive ones! The more these new thoughts are repeated, the more they will become ingrained in your mind as true—which means you’ll start to believe and act on them.
In conclusion, negative self-talk is a common problem affecting anyone. It may be easy to identify a negative thought by how it makes you feel or influences your behaviour but knowing why you think the way you do is just as important as understanding how to change it. By changing your inner dialogue and challenging your beliefs about yourself, you can break free from negative patterns and make more conscious decisions about who you want to be.