We all talk to ourselves more often then we think. The quality of internal chatter also known as self-talk to a large extent determines the quality of our life. And hence it makes sense for us to have a more positive self-talk. Let us look at the importance of self-talk and quick actionable tips to develop positive self-talk.
Introduction to self-talk
Oh my God, she looks so hot! He has six-pack abs!
Comments, such as these, make many of us insecure about our body and ourselves.
In an era of botox, fillers, smile correction, hair transplants, we constantly feel the urge to look not just good but the best. If you even have a little blemish on your face, people will tell you that it is not looking nice and that you should do something about it.
We are constantly bombarded with messages that tell us to be at our best 24/7, whether it is for an office meeting, a date, an event, you should even wake up looking ready for the red carpet!
The issue of body shaming has come into light recently. And body shaming refers to the practice of making critical, potentially humiliating, remarks about a person’s body and/or appearance.
However, the real culprit behind body shaming is our self-talk i.e. the thoughts we have about our body.
For instance, when we look into the mirror, have you noticed your self-talk?
What do you tell ourselves?
Nobody feels good about their bodies all the time. To feel “not good” about our body sometimes is fine, but it becomes harmful when it turns into a never-ending cycle of a critical self-talk.
Basis of negative self-talk
Have you wondered where these feelings of despair about self, come from?
It usually begins with saying and accepting negative things about your own body in conversations with other people. However, true negative self-talk begins when someone compliments you about your looks and you deny the compliment by not accepting it.
For instance, when someone tells you are looking good and you reply, “No, oh it’s not like that!”
Some people need constant approval from other people about their bodies and their looks but some people do not even accept that they may be truly looking good. And because they don’t think they look good; they don’t feel good either.
This eventually results in repetitive negative self-talk, the unspoken conversations that we have with ourselves. These conversations happen in the privacy of our mind.
Quick tips to develop positive self-talk
- Observe your self-talkStand in front of the mirror, look at yourself and observe the thoughts that occur to you.
What do you say to your body and how do you communicate with yourself?
Is it negative or positive?
If the answer is negative, you need to do something about it.
The journey towards positive self-talk starts with acceptance. There are certain things in your body which cannot be changed, for instance the shape of your nose.
Well, you can go for cosmetic surgery but the moment you correct that, you will start feeling dissatisfied with other body parts. It generally never really ends!
So, the first thing to do is to accept yourself – just the way you are and the way you look, the way you feel about yourself and your body. Try talking to your body the way you would talk with someone whom you love and care about. After all, your body deserves unconditional love and respect.
- Avoid Comparisons
Since we often compare ourselves with others, at some point or the other, you will find someone who is more beautiful or more attractive than you. But you can turn the game around and take charge of your thoughts about negative self-talk and think of something that matters more to you than the way you look.
- Non-appearance related compliments
It can be a positive quality you have and may have nothing to do with your appearance, or it can be thinking about all the amazing things your body parts help you to do. A little gratitude for all those things can help you go a long way in helping you reconnect more positively with your body.
Some non-appearance related compliments which can light up your life:
- I light up the room
- I have the best laugh
- I inspire others
- I am passionate about what I do
- I make the world a better place by being in it
- I am one of the bravest people that I know
- I am an incredible friend
- I have a really refreshing perspective
- I am truly making a difference
To change the pattern of negative self talk, show yourself some kindness.
Visit a Coach or a therapist
If the negative self-talk still persists, it maybe a very good idea to consult a therapist to learn advanced techniques for restructuring self-talk. One technique that you can use with yourself is the powerful if-then statements.
The advantage of visiting a therapist is that if the negative self-talk is driven by repetitive experiences or certain suppressed negative emotions than the therapist would be able to help you address the same. You can also connect with one of our therapists by calling +91-8080-2084-73.
Therapists Niche: Helping clients move from negative to positive self-talk
- Using the ABC model from REBT or the S-O-R model from behavioural psychology or mindfulness activities is a good starting point to help clients learn how to observe their negative self-talk. Once the client is aware of the self-talk, in-then statements can be used to help clients have a more positive self-talk.
- At times the negative self-talk that client has is driven by some unconscious positive intention. It may be a good idea to check if there is a positive intention and address that with the help of the NLP N-Strep Reframing process.
- Negative self-talk an indicator of a negative belief that the client may have. Identifying the belief and helping the client change the same may be important to prevent the client from going back to the old self-talk.
Corrective therapy or Meta Model can be used to identify the belief and NLP belief change process or a modified cord-cutting process can be used to help clients change their beliefs.
- In case the self-talk is a result of suppressed emotions and repetitive experiences: Inner child, Regression therapy or timeline can be used to help the client release the emotions and work with repetitive experiences.
I would really recommend that you must check out the Cognitive Hypnotic Psychotherapy™ Program that is based on a seamless integration of different approaches to psychotherapy (cognitive, behavioural, psycho-dynamics and humanistic) with techniques from Hypnotherapy, NLP, Metaphors and Mindfulness.