My life sucks. I’m a failure. How could I be so stupid? I never seem to do anything right. I’m not going to be able to pull that off. There’s no way I can get all this done. No one ever appreciates what I do anyway.
And on the story goes…
If this is the story playing out in your head, it’s time to consider hitting the OFF switch on the negative self-talk!
If you are someone who clearly recognizes that you are a negative Nelly or Ned, and you are sick of hearing the negative talk that constantly rolls around in your head, then skip the Backstory and read How to Hit the OFF Switch.
If you want the Backstory on how these distorted stories set up camp in your brain, see if you identify with any of the most common distortions of thinking:
Filtering. No matter what happens, you only seem to dwell on the negative. Even if you got the promotion at work, it’s your fault you didn’t get it months earlier.
Personalizing. You always blame yourself. It’s your fault that things don’t always go as planned, or someone in the family is fighting, or people at work are unhappy.
Catastrophizing. You anticipate the worst. You spill coffee on yourself first thing in the morning so expect that the whole rest of the day will be a disaster.
Polarizing. Everything in your world is either good or bad. Black or white. You’re either perfect or a total failure.
How to Hit the OFF Switch:
- Identify the things you usually think negatively about
- Choose one of those things to work on
- Practice thinking positively instead of negatively in that one area
- Stop yourself during the day to monitor your thoughts
- Evaluate objectively what you’re thinking
- If you catch yourself in negative thinking, turn it in to a positive statement
- Using humor, laugh and smile at yourself and at life
- Manage your stress
- Learn to say “no” to things you neither want to do, nor need to do
- Take time to relax
- Write down all the things you are grateful for
- Take care of yourself with a healthy diet and exercise
- Get a good night’s sleep
- Surround yourself with positive people
- Avoid the negative people who get you down
…and most importantly…
If your self-talk is negative, turn it to positive
This takes mindfulness and practice, but the rewards are great. Who doesn’t want less stress and better physical and emotional health? Even a longer life span? I, for one, don’t want to go through life being the negative Nelly or Ned; nor do I want to hang out with them. Do you? Make it your goal to turn OFF the negative self-talk and change your life for the better!
Listen to the Podcast, “Stop Negative Self Talk” and “Key to Positivity” from The Joan Jerkovich Show!
Excerpts for this blog were taken from the article, “Positive thinking: Stop negative self-talk to reduce stress” by Mayo Clinic Staff.
Click HERE to anonymously send Joan your question!