Break free from negative self-talk with these 5 effective steps
Your inner monologue can be driven by negative thoughts and the feelings emanating from them can have a deep impact on your self-esteem. This can further spiral into mental health issues like depression and anxiety. And since you are in that mental state, you continue with your negative self-talk, triggering a spiral down motion. Break free from this habit with these five steps.
Know your triggers
The first step to dealing with negative self-talk is to bring awareness around what triggers it. Our thoughts influence our feelings, which then influence our behavior. This is what cognitive behavioral therapy is based upon too. So, it's important to identify the problematic thought patterns that make you sink into the downward spiral of negative self-talk. And then work to change them.
Replace negative self-talk with positive self-talk
Once you know all the reasons that trigger negative self-talk, you can then start replacing them with positive self-talk. Whenever you catch yourself indulging in negative self-talk, take a pause, reflect on what's causing you to think that way, and then try to replace it with positive thoughts. For example, replace "I didn't perform well" with "I'll perform better next time."
Put an end to black-and-white thinking
Black-and-white thinking holds us back from experiencing many of the richness of our lives and relationships. Steer clear of using absolute terms such as "always" and "never." For example, "I can never be a confident speaker," or "I always fumble when explaining something." Instead, engage in the "yes... but..." type of thinking. For example, "Yes, I fumble at times, but I am improving."
Take a break to be in the moment
There will be times when your negative thoughts will cloud your mind, making you feel overwhelmed. The best thing to do in that case is to take a break. This can help you by giving you some clarity of thought. The continuous barrage of negative thoughts might make you feel out of control, but put it aside to revisit later with better clarity.
Surround yourself with positive people
There's an old saying, "You are who you surround yourself with." Surround yourself with positive people who empower you, instead of those who drain your energy. Attitude and thinking are contagious. If you want to fly with the eagles, stop swimming with the ducks. If you yourself are a positive person then you are more likely to attract other positive people around you.