Every one of us gets a negative thought or two that flows into our minds. Not everyone is “Positive Nancy” 24/7 I guarantee you. We all have our bad days, trust me. But I will say this, the difference between you and the person next to you is that they have mastered the approach of combating Negative Self Talk when it comes. These are four things I am learning to do to help me combat negative self- talk.
1. Recognize Your Negative Voice
The sooner you realize that you are your own biggest critic, the faster you will be at recognizing the negativity you are telling yourself. It was a big eye opener for me when I had to come to the realization that although I have had my share of bullies from school, I am actually my own biggest bully. I can talk so low to myself to the point where I am in tears and wanting the day to be over. This is the most important step in combatting negative self- talk because now you know who to focus on, YOU. Because at the end of the day, YOU have the power to control YOU.
2. Reality Testing.
Fact check your thoughts. Sit with it for a minute and ask yourself if the negativity you are saying over to yourself is factual or just your interpretation based on a current circumstance.
Okay I know this might sound like you’re doing too much, but I truly believe it is absolutely necessary. I was reading an article called ,“Challenging Negative Self Talk” by Ben Martin (PSY.D), in this article, he elaborates on the idea of Reality Testing. This method helps to really differentiate on whether what you are saying to yourself is true or if you are jumping to negative conclusions
3. Put Your Thoughts Into Perspective
In Ben’s article, he also mentioned another really good point. Putting your thoughts into perspective. A lot of times being anxious, at least for me, comes from the negative over-exaggerated stories I am telling myself. One of the most difficult things for us to do in an on-going rushed culture is to take a step back and put things into perspective. Take a minute to ask yourself,“ Will this matter in 5 years?”, “ Is this situation as bad as I am making it out to be?”, “ What are my best options?”
4. Replace With Positive Affirmation
Replace those negative comments with positive affirmations.“ I’m actually going to be okay” , “ I am capable and smart enough to pass the next exam, I just need to study harder”. There is so much power that is given back to you when you follow all the past three steps and then come to the positive affirmations. You will notice that as you practice these methods, you feel more in control of your thoughts and what you allow your mind and body to entertain.