Self Talk, What is It? Connection Between Thinking and Feeling. Changing Your Self Talk.
Connection between thinking and our feelings: Have you ever found yourself feeling really upset about something, you start talking to yourself, and can even make yourself feel worse than you already did? You worry about something for days, and then, you realized that you talked yourself into or out of feeling good about yourself. Or maybe you talked to someone about your situation and felt much better? Perhaps they said something that made you think differently, and then your feelings changed. You probably didn't even know that you just experienced a very important theory. You changed the way you think, and then felt differently. Things happen, everything doesn't always go our way, or the way we would like them to. We make mistakes and sometimes people do not meet our expectations, or maybe we do not meet theirs; either way it is a disappointment. Someone didn't measure up. Feelings get involved. Emotional reactions happen, and their you are, in the midst of it all. Do we get upset, and how upset we become? It all stems from our perception of the situation, the way we think about it instigates they way we feel. Sometimes we can make ourselves feel terrible, just by listening to negative talk. Whether it be negative self talk or negative input we get from a friend, simply by thinking negatively, we self-destruct, defeat ourselves.
What is Self-Talk?
It is our voice inside. Some say it is our other self, maybe the good or the bad part of us all. As we go about our day, not really thinking about it, we continuously summon our self talk when we think about almost anything, basically, all the time. In every situation, we use our self talk to help us interpretate and make our decisions. We have this internal voice inside that evaluates how we perceive any situation. Our self talk takes into consideration all of our present thoughts, along with our values, beliefs, and past learned experiences. We analyze the situation and the outcome is our concluded assumption. Most of our self talk should be positive and reasonable, but depending on our life history it could also be negative or even defeating to us.
Positive Self Talk:
Positive self talk would be….You can do it. You can handle it.
Positive self talk makes you feel good about yourself; it gives you a positive outlook that you can overcome any obstacle.
Negative Self Talk:
Negative self talk would be more like, I cannot do it, I just can't handle it.
Negative self-talk makes you feel bad about yourself. Some people even make themselves sick from internalizing their feelings. Yes, they can make themselves physically sick, not just emotionally upset. They experience emotion feelings such as hurt, frustration, helplessness, anger, depression, and anxiety. It can make you defeat yourself; this would be like an airplane trying to take off without any fuel. The plane would never move forward or take off. If you think you can't, then you CAN'T MOVE FORWARD.
The way you analyze situations has an enormous affect on the way you feel and act.
C is for Conscious.
Challenge Negative Self-Talk:
Ask yourself. Can I change or control the situation? If the answer is no, then you can’t, but you can control what you think about any given situation. Yes you can, even if you start out with negative self talk or feedback from others. Then if you change what you think, you automatically change the way you feel. Sounds easy, but it is not. The problem with self talk is that is usually comes from a reliable or authoritative figure in our present or past life. So we believe it to be set in concrete. Have you ever tried to move or change concrete have it has set and is formed. It is next to impossible, but it can be done. Nothing of real value is easy, but it is worth it. I am a living and breathing proponent to that fact. I am not only a subject matter expert on this, but a once weak, low self-esteem, and patient, who found my way and recreated myself with professional help, of course.
When or if you have ever experienced depression, you must challenge your negative self talk to come around to the positive aspects of thinking. You can check and change your self-talk and replace the negative thoughts with some more rational and reasonable thinking. With time and practice, you can learn to pin-point your own negative self-talk as you speak it in your head, then you consciously think about the situation in a more sensible and helpful way. I always use to go from earth to space and back again. I would panic and my reactions and feelings would blast off to outerspace, then I would rethink add more reasonable self talk and before I would know it, I just pulled myself back to earth. Then just for the moment, I would mentally tie my one foot to my house or something big, just so I would not blast off so fast again, and could just try and think rational and logically about my thoughts, actions, and how I was feeling. I know this sounds a little strange, but I have used mental visualization more than once to help myself to overcome both mental and physical obstacles.
Consciously think about your self talk. Judge your self talk or what others are telling you. Is it too negative?
Are you too emotional at the moment to think clearly without your feelings taking over? Let yourself have a cool down period, think about all your options. Where are you getting this self talk? Get input from people who want you to succeed.
A is for Action.
Take positive action. Actions that will help you succeed. Think about the situation. What made you feel bad? Detach from your emotions, just the facts. Did someone say something negative and your self talk then blew it out of proportion? Were they out of line? Sometimes it is very hard to hold our comment and we speak with our emotions before we think about it. Getting in the last words doesn't always mean they are the best words. Think about it, even if you are just having a conversation with yourself. It is hard, but you have to train yourself to think before you speak.
N is for Negative
Don't let your negative self talk get the best of you. Our analyzed assumption dictates our feelings and behaviors.
Thinking negatively makes you feel bad and it can also cause you to behave with your emotions and be uncooperative.
In addition, negative self-talk can effect your self-esteem and your health. I know this one from my own experience. When you feel bad you are too harsh on yourself. It compounds and your negative self talk increases. You are just making yourself feel even worse than you did before. Then we revert to blaming ourselves for everything we can think of all the way back to birth. We feel inferior and compare ourselves to other people we know, we focus only on the negative in ourselves and others. This is a ‘no win’ situation. Things can only get worse, until we pull ourselves up by out boot-straps and give ourselves a good talking to, and if you cannot do it, find someone who can pull you out of it. Get yourself some help, some positive, moving forward help.
What You Can Do:
C is for Conscious.
Challenging Negative Self-Talk
A is for Action.
Take positive action.
N is for Negative
Don't let your negative self talk get the best of you.
Finally: Form a positive plan and ask yourself these questions:
1. Is the way I am thinking helping or making me feel any better?
a. Try putting a positive spin on your thinking and re-think it.
2. Whose problem is it?
a. If I do not own or control the situation, it is not my problem.
3. What can I do to help solve my problem, even if I cannot control the situation?
a. I can only control how I think and feel about the situation.
4. Is there a learning experience I need to take away from this?
a. Store it for the next time you have this situation.