Talking to yourself positively & compassionately
Hi beautiful people
Have you ever heard the saying, what you think you also become?
That’s great news if all you’re having is positive thoughts, but what about if your thoughts are not so?
Spring is a time often associated with a fresh start, a time of growth and renewal and this month we’re going to be using it to upgrade our thought patterns.
The way we think about ourselves—also known as our “self-talk”—can have a positive or negative impact on how we feel and reinforce the beliefs we have about who we are and what we’re capable of.
Researchers in positive psychology from University College London, found that people have more than 6,000 thoughts per day and for every negative thought we have about ourselves, we need at least eight positive ones to counter it. Our thoughts have more power than we realize! They can truly affect our self-esteem and overall well-being. It is SO important to be aware of the thoughts we’re having about ourselves throughout the day.
That’s why this month’s Lifetonic is to recognise negative thoughts and change the script to more positive self-talk and self-compassion so as you become your OWN best cheerleader!
Did you know that when we practice cultivating a compassionate voice in our heads, we react to our thoughts with kindness.
We recognise that we are only ever doing our best and that progress, not perfection, is the goal.
And we do our best to use positive self-talk over harsh and unnecessary criticism.
By starting with small steps toward more self-compassion, we will see a shift in our thought patterns, which can have a positive and lasting impact on our overall wellbeing.
Become Aware of Your Self-Talk
Whenever you find yourself in a situation where you feel frustrated or overwhelmed, take a moment to breathe and become aware of what you’re thinking in that moment.
Decide if the thoughts you’re having about yourself are fair and justified.
As a frame of reference, try asking yourself, “is what I am thinking necessary? Is it true? Is it absolutely true?”
Try to recognise how often you talk to yourself in a negative way and how this might be affecting your confidence, your decisions, your habits and the love you show yourself.
Not all of our thoughts reflect the truth, but they do reflect what we are feeling in that moment.
Get curious about your thoughts without judgement. When that voice in your head isn’t as kind as it could be, ask yourself:
What triggered this thought?
Does my environment or surroundings play a role in my having this thought?
Where did I learn to speak to myself this way?
Why am I so hard on myself in this moment?
What evidence is there to support my thought?
How would I respond to these thoughts if a friend or loved one were talking to themself this way?
As you become aware of your thoughts this month, take some time to journal. Sometimes writing out how you’re feeling can be incredibly helpful to move forward with a healthy mindset and improve your self-talk.
Change the Script
Remember that you have the option to choose the thoughts you want to focus on. Try to replace any negative self-talk with thoughts that support the vision of how you want to feel or what you want to achieve.
Think about how you would speak to a friend or consider these two questions: what would love SEE in this moment? What would love SAY in this moment?
Dr. Kristen Neff, author of Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself and several other books on self-compassion, suggests extending the same compassion to ourselves that we show to others.
Think about what you might say to someone who is having a bad day or is frustrated by not being able to achieve something or make progress in an area of their life. Talk to yourself like you would to that person. Rather than thinking “I missed another workout! I am never consistent with exercise,” try flipping this thought to something positive like “I make time to care for myself and move my body regularly. It’s okay if I miss a workout here and there.”
“If you are continually judging and criticising yourself while trying to be kind to others, you are drawing artificial boundaries and distinctions that only lead to feelings of separation and isolation.” – Dr. Kristen Neff
When negative self-talk creeps in, accept how you’re feeling and make a decision to respond to that thought in a way that feels supportive. Even if you can’t think of a positive thought in that moment, try to replace the negative thought with a more neutral one like “I’m doing the best I can.”
Define Your Worth
Taking some time to explore how you define your worth can be a very constructive exercise. How do you determine your success or value in different areas of your life? Are you stuck in a comparison trap, measuring yourself up to unrealistic standards or people?
Personally, when I feel negative self-talk coming on, I try to remind myself that I am worthy and valuable regardless of the success I do or don’t achieve, what I look like or in spite of the ‘things’ I do or don’t have in my life.
“Our successes and failures come and go—they neither define us nor do they determine our worthiness.” – Dr. Kristen Neff
Start by asking your loved ones what they love about you. Can you start to mirror this love back to yourself?
Accept That Not Every Day Will Be Perfect
In The Lifetonic Club, we recognise that not every day will be perfect, and that’s okay. When obstacles come up, remember that you have a community here in The Lifetonic Club that accepts you as you are and supports you.
Positive self-talk and self-compassion take time to cultivate. By paying attention to how you talk to yourself and being open to creating a more encouraging narrative, you have the power to change your mindset and move forward with confidence.
I’m excited for us to work on our positive self-talk and self-compassion together this month. If you have more ideas for ways to change the script, please share them with us in our Facebook Community group!