This is a great time, as you prepare for summer to do some spring cleaning of your mind. Why? I’m so glad that you asked. We are living in a world of seemingly unending bad, sad and tragic news, an uncertain global economy, the uncertainty of global warming, and so many other issues at work within our relationships.
Often negative self-talk creeps in, and we are unaware of it. So it is a good idea to regularly take an inventory of your thoughts, feelings, and emotions—but in case you haven’t done it recently, I suggest you add it to your spring cleaning “To Do” list. It’s not hard. What is required is paying attention and interrupting the negative self-talk.
Sometimes it is easier said than done, because it is a habit. But you should know, that your negative self-talk, as well as your subconscious mind, plays a key role in your emotional and physical well-being. While you may do all of the right things physically, if you are entrapped internally with negative self-talk, thoughts feelings and emotions, the healthiest thing you can do for yourself is to begin to change this harmful pattern.
We now know that negative self-talk is harmful to your emotional/psychological and physical health
A study conducted in 1969 found more...
Why is it So Damaging?
How to Reverse Negative Self-Talk
Step (1): Notice Negative Thinking
Notice when you are thinking negative, stress inducing thoughts.
Step (2): Interrupt The Negative Thought/Thoughts
Stop the thought or image by seeing a big, red stop sign in your mind's eye and shouting stop, silently. Consciously check you are breathing slowly with your diaphragm. Breathe slowly in through your nose and as you exhale through your mouth imagine the word - "relax." You can use an elastic band on your wrist and snap it against your skin, as you say STOP. Ensure the band is not too tight. Dr David Posen recommends you snap the band on the back of your wrist. The hairy side, not the sensitive under side and do not pull the band too hard. A small gentle snap is all that is needed.
Step (3): Replace the Negative Thought/Thoughts
Replace the stressful thought/image, by imagining a positive, relaxing thought, such as a tropical beach, in as much detail as you can.
Step (4): Return to What You Were Doing
Step (5) Other techniques include:
- Deep Breathing
Here are links to work sheets that will help you to interrupt and change your negative self talk: