positive self-talk

Change your self-tak to improve your mental health and start feeling better.

I have always been really hard on myself and I always feel like I should be working harder or doing more.

I’ve been working really hard over the past year to have more positive self-talk and not spend so much time thinking negative thoughts about myself.

This has really helped me manage my depression and anxiety because I’m not so focused on everything I don’t like about myself all the time.

If you’re struggling with your mental health I hope these tips will help you too.

Identify Where You Struggle

Is there a particular area of your life that triggers critical self-talk?

It could be that you really beat yourself up if you make a mistake at work or you get really nasty if you mess up on your diet.

Write out a list of times you can remember having negative thoughts about yourself.

Start paying attention throughout the day of what your internal dialogue is.

It’s easy to use negative self-talk and not even notice it after a period of time.

Take note of any particular areas like relationships, body image, career and figure out which ones you struggle with so you can start to change your internal dialogue.

It can be difficult to tune into your thoughts if you’re not used to paying attention to what you think about.

Try journaling about how you feel about yourself and your life and see what comes up.

Challenge Your Thoughts

A great test to figure out if you’re being harsh to yourself or not is to ask yourself “would I say this to another person?”.

Start to train yourself to speak to yourself with as much compassion as you would a stranger.

A lot of negative self-talk is cruel and untrue. For example, if you mess up your diet and you think “I’m so gross and ugly” you should challenge that thought and ask yourself if you really think it’s true. Ask yourself:

Would I say this to a stranger?

Is this thought kind?

Will thinking this thought make me feel good?

Will continue to think this thought or hold this belief help me get where I want to be in life?

Changing Your Narrative

When I was depressed I got really into telling myself disempowering stories.

My whole world view was built on the false belief that I wasn’t good enough and didn’t deserve anything good to happen to me.

As I’m sure you can imagine, this made me feel like garbage and made my healing take a long time.

I had to reprogram my brain and ditch the messed up stories I had been telling myself for years.

It didn’t happen overnight but I’ve been able to create empowering stories to tell about my life and leave my crappy beliefs behind.

I hope this article helps you change your narrative and start feeling more empowered.

Here are some examples of the disempowering stories I used to tell myself:

I’m not smart enough to go to grad school
I’m not a good writer
Being single is hard and all men are jerks
Bad things always happen to me
Noone likes me and I can’t make new friends
I am too messed up to help anyone
I don’t deserve a nice boyfriend
I could never run my own business

These might sound ridiculous but I bet if you start paying attention to what you think and say you probably have some effed up limiting beliefs and disempowering stories too.

These stories made me feel lousy and kept me from taking the steps I needed to take to start living the life that I truly desired.

Here are some of the questions I use to evaluate the stories I tell:

Is this a fact?
Is this empowering?
Does it make me feel good?
Would the most badass version of myself tell this story?
Is there a more empowering story I could tell instead?

Here are the new stories I have chosen to replace the above list with.

I’m not smart enough to go to grad school
I learn new things quickly and easily
I am dedicated to my own education
I never give up and I always finish what I start

I’m not a good writer
My blog helps lots of women that need information about mental health
The world needs my blog and the information it provides
I get better with every post I write

Being single is hard and all men are jerks
Amazing men love to date me
Now is the perfect time for me to be single and focus on myself
I know the longterm relationship I desire is going to come in perfect timing

Bad things always happen to me
I have so many amazing blessings in my life
I am so thankful for how my life has gone so far
I am the luckiest girl in the whole world

Noone likes me and I can’t make new friends
I talk to new people every single day
Meeting new people is easy for me
I radiate love and kindness to everyone I meet and people love to be around me

I am too messed up to help anyone
My life experiences and struggles are useful to other people
I am the perfect person to help people with their mental health
Every day I get better and better and have more resources to help people

I don’t deserve a nice boyfriend
I deserve everything I desire in a relationship
I have so much to offer someone
I always deserve kindness and respect

I could never run my own business
Lots of women start and run their own businesses with less money and experience than me
I am capable of achieving anything I desire
The possibilities for my life are unlimited


Replace Your Thoughts

Once you start identifying and challenging your internal dialogue instead of just letting it run free you can start working on replacing your negative thoughts with positive ones.

If you have a hard time thinking of positive thoughts keep some affirmations on hand that you can say when you start to beat yourself up.

Try writing one of your most common negative thoughts and then below it list all the reasons that thought isn’t true and all the ways that thought is holding you back.

Practice adding in more positive thoughts about yourself as you go about your day.

It’s really easy to focus on the things we don’t like about ourselves and ignore all the good traits we have and work we do.

Start training your brain to compliment and praise yourself throughout the day to help you start looking for the good in everything instead of focusing on what you don’t like.

Check out these gratitude journal prompts to get you started.

Forgive Yourself

Breaking any habit is difficult. Don’t fall into the trap of getting down on yourself if you catch yourself having negative thoughts about yourself.

This is a vicious loop but it’s easy to fall into if you’re used to thinking negative thoughts when you make a mistake.

Commit to forgiving yourself for any mistakes that you make and move on.

Recognize that making yourself feel bad doesn’t serve any purpose.

Choose to forgive yourself for any mistakes you’ve made in the past and decide to believe that you deserve to be happy.

You don’t get bonus points for staying unhappy or getting really down on yourself for mistakes.

The best thing to do when you fuck up is to figure out what you can learn and then move on from it.

We’re all human and we all make mistakes (sometimes even giant stupid ones). Decide to be OK with screwing up sometimes and accept that you are trying your best.

Messing up doesn’t mean that you deserve to feel bad and you’re not going to learn more by dragging yourself down.

Make a Commitment

As far as we know this could be our one and only shot at life.

Do you really want to spend it feeling bad?

Make a commitment to yourself to start making your brain the kindest and loving place that you can.

Think about how much time you spend every day having an internal dialogue with yourself.

This time can be used to build yourself up and encourage yourself or it can be used to destroy your self-esteem and make you feel like garbage.

Making life harder than it needs to be doesn’t serve any purpose and you don’t deserve to feel bad. There’s nothing noble about being really nasty to yourself.

Changing your thought patterns is hard work and it involves a lot of discipline but it is possible.

Make a commitment to yourself to start improving your internal dialogue.

If you’re struggling or suffering start trying to focus on the positive things instead of the negative.

I know how hard it is and how impossible it can seem but it does get easier.

Negative thoughts can hold you back from healing and living your life the way that you want. Decide to tell that voice in your head to STFU and start to work towards thinking positive.

Developing positive self-talk can help you from spiraling deeper into depression and anxiety.

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