Positive Thinking: “it is a very difficult task for me,” “it is a challenging task for me.” Now, these two might sound similar sentences, but they may be portraying two different mindsets. The first sentence is an impression of slightly or mildly pessimistic thoughts. On the other hand, the second one is a bit more promising or optimistic. How?
Well, when you categorize something as “challenging,” it means you know it is not easy, but you are motivated to overcome those challenges. The classic “glass half empty or half full?” example was a golden tactic to analyze the optimism and pessimism in an individual.
Yes, your surroundings play an important role in developing an optimistic or pessimistic approach, but self-talk is also another major contributor. Negative self-talk brings more pessimism and vice versa. You may not believe it, but negative self-talk is one of the most common stress and anxiety triggers. On the contrary, positive self-talk is a stress reliever.
In this article, we will focus on positive self-talk, its benefits, and how to get rid of negative self-talk.
What Is Positive Self Talk?
Self-talk, in simplest words, is a process of self-dialogue. Your subconscious influences the self-talk, and it actually reveals your thoughts, ideas, questions, beliefs, etc.
Positive self-talk is a trait of optimistic people. Positive thinking and positive talk are directly proportional as self-talk induces positive thinking. For instance, if you couldn’t succeed in any event or anything you were trying for, two types of thought may come to your mind.
- I failed, and it was embarrassing for me. Or
- I tried my best, and I am proud of it.
Now, the outcome hasn’t changed, but the way you talked to yourself in the second sentence is positive self-talk. When you keep repeating this, it sets the basis of positive thinking, and you start trying to find positivity in every unfavorable situation. You may not believe it, but according to a study conducted in 2010, positive thinkers/optimists live a better quality life.
Alright, if you are lucky enough to be a positive thinker, that’s great. However, if you are more inclined towards negativity or pessimism, what should you do to overcome it? Well, here is what you need to know.
Forms Of Negative Self Talk (Identifying Negative Thinking)
Another problem we often face is that we don’t know if we are nourishing negative self-talk. If you are having the same issues, here are some common forms of negative self-talk.
Personalizing is something pretty horrible, to say the least. It is a condition in which you blame yourself for any unfavorable/bad thing happening around you. For instance, you made a plan with your friends, but they canceled it later. Now, there can be multiple reasons for that, but you will assume it is because of you; you may think that they didn’t want to be around you.
It is a situation where you ignore the positive things/aspects and focus on negative ones. For example, you completed your pre-defined tasks before their deadline, which is a thing to cheer about. But, instead of cherishing your mini successes, you started worrying about unattended/incomplete tasks.
Polarizing is a condition in which you just think about the extremes. That is, you either see things bad or good; there is no in-between. In this situation, people either consider themselves either perfect or a complete failure.
Catastrophizing means when you start anticipating future events with negativity. For instance, if you have a bad experience in the morning, you will start feeling that your day is already ruined, and you will experience bad things later in the day.
So, now we know what we are dealing with. The next question is, how can you get rid of negative self-talk? Let’s find out!
How To Stop Negative Self Talk
Turning negativity into positivity is not that simple; it takes time and effort. Getting rid of negative self-talk is only possible if you continuously indulge yourself in positive self-talk. Here are some positive self-talk exercises that can be very helpful.
1- Evaluate Yourself
Take small breaks during the day and think about how have you been responding to things? If you are dealing with those things with a negative mindset, try to divert your mindset to positivity.
2- Determine Areas That Need Change
The road to positive thinking becomes smooth if you know things or areas where negativity hits you. Ask yourself, is it the people around you who bring negativity? Is it your workplace? Or is it any relationship that nourishes negativity in your mind?
3- Accept/Lookout For Humor
Laughter is the best medicine, and it surely is a mood lifter. Try to find the funny side of unwanted things. Also, you can watch funny videos periodically to boost your mood. There is no doubt that happiness/smile brings positivity.
4- Rubber Band Snap
Well, this is a proper positive self-talk exercise, and it is more of a therapeutic trick. Wear a rubber band around your wrist and whenever you feel negative thoughts are making their way in, pull the rubber band and let it hit your skin hard. Yes, it will hurt a little, but it will also divert your attention and help you stop negative thoughts. When you do this repeatedly, it becomes a habit.
5- Surround Yourself With Positive People
A man is known by the company he keeps. You may not notice it, but you absorb the energy around you. If you surround yourself with positive people, you will absorb more positive energy, and it will affect your inner state of mind.
6- Follow A Healthy Lifestyle
A healthy body paves the way for a healthy mind. Try to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Eat a healthy diet and add a physical workout to your daily routine. A 30-minute exercise session will do nicely, or you can divide it into three 10-minute sessions. Exercise lifts your mood and acts as a stress reliever.
Positive Self-Talk Examples
|Negative Self Talk||Positive Self Talk|
|I have never done this before.||This is a great opportunity to learn something new.|
|There aren’t enough resources to do this.||I will utilize the available resources to maximum effect.|
|I could have done better to do it right.||I did my best, and I can learn from my mistake.|
|This is simply impossible.||There is nothing wrong with trying and giving it your best.|
Benefits Of Positive Self Talk
Well, positive self-talk can change your life dramatically. You may not believe it, but positive self-talk has several health benefits such as;
- Reduces stress levels
- Reduces depression
- Increases lifespan
- Better physical and psychological wellbeing.
- Strengthens immune system
- Greater life satisfaction
- Produces resistance against the common cold.
- Reduces the chances of cardiovascular diseases.
- It helps you cope with challenging situations.
You might be thinking, how is it even possible? How is positive self-talk associated with these benefits? Well, here are two major reasons.
- Positive self-talk brings positivity to your life and reduces depression or stress levels. Lesser stress leads to a healthy life and reduces the chance of heart diseases.
- Positive people try to follow a healthy lifestyle. They focus on a healthy diet, exercise, and avoid bad habits such as excessive smoking or alcohol consumption.
Negativity is one of the biggest causes of stress or anxiety. It can literally ruin the quality of life you live. The good thing is, you can change things by turning negativity into positivity. All you have to do is keep your thoughts positive, avoid “negative” people around you, and focus on positive things in life. Yes, you don’t have to turn your face from reality, but you can face it with a positive mindset & positive thinking.
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