Some of my best conversations are with myself.
Sure, “we” have our differences at times, but they always resolve themselves after more thought and discussion.
When I talk with myself, I am my own cheerleader, and sometimes (rarely) I am my own worst critic.
But for the most part, I practice positive self-talk.
Practicing self-talk does not mean you are losing your mind. We all talk to ourselves, if not verbally, in our own heads.
There are two types of thinking: positive and negative. These are our only two choices. And the beauty (and simplicity) of this is that we get to choose. No one else does our thinking for us; if they do, then we are nothing more than their puppets or slaves.
If you’re a glass-is-half-full kind of person, you know that positive thinking (self-talk) reduces stress and allows you to live a much happier, fulfilling, healthier life. But if you subscribe to the half-empty style of thinking, don’t despair; you can learn positive thinking skills.
We generate between 12,000 – 60,000 thoughts per day (depending on the depth of our thinking), according the National Science Foundation, and about 80% are negative. Whoa! That’s A LOT of thoughts. And if a high percentage of those thoughts is considered negative, how sad! That’s like having a full-time bully in your head.
But fear not. Here’s how to take control.
1. Practice awareness. Become aware of your type of thinking. Root yourself in the moment and examine the kinds of thoughts you are having. Once you have awareness, you have control.
2. Identify areas in your life that need a positive change. Examine those areas about which you tend to think negatively. Start with one small area and approach it with a more positive mindset.
3. Visualize yourself as a magnet or a radio station attracting a signal. We are what we think. The more energy you give to a thought, whether positive or negative, the more likely it will materialize in your life, just as you’ve imagined it. Become conscious of the kinds of things you are attracting into your life.
4. Do mental check-ins. Periodically during the day, evaluate the kinds of thoughts you are thinking. For each negative thought, replace it with a positive one. Strive to put a positive spin on each one. Be your own personal cheerleader.
5. Surround yourself with positive-minded people. Being in the company of positive and supportive people encourages us to become more optimistic. These are the people whom you can trust for advice and feedback. They alleviate our stress; whereas, negative people may increase our stress levels, making us doubt our ability to handle stress in healthy ways.
6. Lead a healthy lifestyle. A change in diet while adding exercise to your daily routine affects mood and greatly reduces stress. This helps to fuel your mind and body in healthy ways to reduce stress. When we feel healthier, we feel better about ourselves and our lives.
7. Seek humor in everything. Give yourself permission to laugh, even during difficult or challenging times. Humor helps us to maintain our sanity.
Practicing these tools will help you to find and maintain balance and peace of mind. The bully in our brain will back down each time you throw punches of positivity. You’ll be surprised at how much control you really have.
How are your inner conversations? What other tips can you share?