Almost all of us are in constant communication with our ‘self’ though we realise or not. It’s like a commentary that’s running in the background of the mind continuously. According to research, on an average, each person gets around 60,000-70,000 thoughts per day, and 70-80% of them are negative in nature! As our behaviours are inspired by our thoughts, changing the way we think will direct the behaviour also accordingly.
Positive self-talk does a lot of difference to our thought patterns and practising this habit, changes the outlook of the personality altogether positively.
Following are some of the methods and suggestions to establish, and improve the positive self-talk, which alters your negative mental chatter:
Focus your awareness on Mind:
Most of our thoughts go unnoticed, the key to change negative thoughts into positive is by being aware of this mental chatter. The moment we are conscious of the negative thought that’s emerged, replace it with a positive, realistic and sensible thought.
Generate positive thoughts:
Set your goals/desired outcome and accordingly generate positive affirmations about them which you repeat mentally and replace for negative thoughts contradicting them. Scientifically, a behaviour that’s practised for 21 days gets habitual, in the same way, positive affirmations consciously practised for a long time sets your optimistic attitude towards life. Towards the end of the article, in Appendix session, you can find examples of replacing negative talks with the positive ones.
Seek for Positive Resources:
Identify external resources that generate negative feelings in you; it could be people or surroundings. Refrain yourself from engaging more with them as it drains your energy. Associate more with people who empower your feelings and surroundings that generate positive vibrations which help in your transformation.
Be determined and persistent to Be Positive:
Switching thoughts is not that easy unless you give time for yourself to understand your background communications of the mind. Examine how each thought makes you feel, determine to be optimistic by eliminating negative thoughts and generate positive ones. Evaluate your thoughts and feelings from second or third person’s perspective as “what is bothering you?”, “why are you feeling low?”, this psychological distancing helps you think objectively without a tint of other emotions like guilt/shame attached to it.
To summarise, ‘What you sow is what you reap’: How you think will influence your actions. Changing your thought patterns to positive happens gradually, not overnight. Do not expect immediate changes in yourself, give yourself some time, allow the positive vibes to resonate in you. Commitment to the entire process is quintessential. If you still struggle to get over the haunting negative self-talks, it’s advisable to seek professional guidance.
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- Kross E, et.al., (2014). Self-Talk as a Regulatory Mechanism: How You Do It Matters. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. American Psychological Association. University of California, Berkeley. Retrieved from http://selfcontrol.psych.lsa.umich.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/KrossJ_Pers_Soc_Psychol2014Self-talk_as_a_regulatory_mechanism_How_you_do_it_matters.pdf
- Raghunathan Raj (2013). How Negative is Your “Mental Chatter”? Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sapient-nature/201310/how-negative-is-your-mental-chatter
- Jennifer (2014). Change your thoughts, change your world. Jennifer Read Hawthorne. Retrieved from: http://www.jenniferhawthorne.com/articles/change_your_thoughts.html
- Don’t Believe Everything You Think. Cleveland clinic wellness. US. Retrieved From: http://www.clevelandclinicwellness.com/programs/NewSFN/pages/default.aspx?Lesson=3&Topic=2&UserId=00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000705