How to Stop Negative Self-Talk from Ruining Your Life: 5 Techniques That Work

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Negative self-talk doesn’t accomplish a thing. Your goal is to cultivate more positive words and statements to improve your life.

Negative self-talk is something I deal with every day of my life. Considering the fact that I have an anxiety disorder, it’s a difficult task to turn my thoughts around for good.

It’s become normal for me to create scenarios and assume the worst of most situations. It causes problems with family and in my relationships. I hate the hold that negative self-talk has on me. So, I take this journey with you.

Techniques to help us kill negative self-talk

As I said, I struggle with negative self-talk. So, the tips and techniques I share with you, I am trying as we speak. I have found some positive results in these techniques, and these are the techniques that I will share. In a way, I think the fact that I can relate will help you see how well the techniques worked for me. So, here are the success stories from my struggles.

1. Love yourself

I think one of the best weapons I ever had against negative self-talk was the love for myself. I do love me. I am not being conceited or self-absorbed. I am simply recognizing that I am just as good as anyone else.

Many times our negative self-talk comes from insecurities, as much as we don’t want to admit this, and these insecurities grow and grow the longer we think about our flaws. So, here’s the deal:

Let’s see our flaws as characteristics that separate us from the crowd. Our flaws aren’t really flaws at all, they are beautiful and unique parts of our appearance. The things we hate about ourselves can become the thing that sets us apart.

Imagine someone seeing you for the first time and being captivated by your prominent nose or your deep-set eyes. Maybe they love your fragile chin or thick thighs. You might be surprised by how beautiful those things, which you assume to be flawed, really are.

2. Be realistic

Even though there are many people telling you to think positive, sometimes forcing positivity can make it worse. Try this instead: Take your negative thoughts and try to think of them in a more realistic manner instead of all bad. For example, maybe you’ve been beating yourself up about not having as much money as your friends.

Instead of complaining about the job you have and instead of forcing positivity and spending more money than you should, try to be objective. Think thoughts like, “I don’t have as much money as my friends, but I have other abilities and options.” 

Realize what you don’t have, but take pride in what you do. Never hate your circumstances, never stretch yourself too thin to be like others, but instead, do what you can.

3. Recognizing the problem

Let us not forget the most important aspect of destroying negative self-talk – seeing the truth about yourself. You will never learn a thing and you will never improve as long as you deny what you’re doing.

Just like negative actions that you ignore, negative self-talk, unchecked, can be just as damaging. So, take time and discover the magnitude of your negative thoughts. Yes, these thoughts may be huge, but as long as you face the truth, you can get better.

Here’s a thought, yes a positive one! Try keeping a record of the things you think and say. Pay attention to the number of negative thoughts that pass through your mind. You will recognize negative self-talk when you start to become defeated. As you write down these thoughts, formulate a plan to practice altering them.

Remember, it’s great to be positive as much as you can, but take care to be objective as well. Keep it real.

4. Meditation

Yes, meditation has worked for me. Although I sometimes find it difficult to find a place of solitude, when I do, it seems quite effective. I remember the most successful meditation session about three years ago. I remember being in such turmoil and I could hardly eat. In desperation, I turned to meditation. (By the way, don’t wait until you’re desperate. Meditation is always good.)

What meditation does is clear your mind. It clears out the clutter as if your thoughts are going through spring cleaning. As this cleaning occurs, you begin to experience an almost supernatural peace. When reaching this place, the things that were tormenting you seem small and sometimes insignificant.

Meditation allows you to focus on things that truly matter and clean the slate of your thoughts. From here, you can formulate better thoughts.

5. Ask yourself questions

This technique also works, but be careful not to let the questions lead you in the wrong direction. Asking yourself questions can help you put things into perspective.

For instance, you can analyze thoughts to find validity in what worries you. If you are feeling down about your appearance or about something you said, you can ask yourself if these things really matter in your personal world. If not, then you should let them go.

If something seems wrong, but you have no proof, then ask yourself if there are other reasons for the things that are happening to you. If you are being positive, how would you see a worrisome situation? You can also try to find the good in any bad situation as well. Feel free to ask yourself questions but try to avoid digging deeper into the negative aspects of an assumed problem.

Are you ready to grow?

Remember when you were a child and you experienced “growing pains”? This is a testament to how growth can sometimes be painful. Yes, it is, but I am here with you. I crawl through the sludge of my bleak thoughts with the rest of you who struggle. Most of the time, when I write, I am working through the same issues and finding solace that I am not alone. I understand the hold that negative self-talk has on a person, but I also understand that this is not what the universe wants for us.

Yes, growth is sometimes painful. And yet, it’s so worth it.

I have used these techniques above and I know they help. Do I still have bad days? Yes, I do. But, do I give up? I haven’t  given up yet! So, let’s keep trying. There are so many people out there who need us to guide them toward the light as well. Maybe this is exactly what we were made for. Our purpose is to grow and our purpose is to learn.

…then we share the wisdom that time has given us.

References:

  1. https://www.bustle.com
  2. https://psychcentral.com
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About the Author:

Sherrie is a freelance writer and artist with over 10 years of experience. She spends most of her time giving life to the renegade thoughts. As the words erupt and form new life, she knows that she is yet again free from the nagging persistence of her muse. She is a mother of three and a lifetime fan of the thought-provoking and questionable aspects of the universe.

7 Comments

  1. Gary Hynous November 29, 2018 at 11:05 pm - Reply

    Hi, i have been reading Learning Mind for a long time and greatly enjoy the articles that are presented. Based on your writing, I never considered that you might have issues with negative thoughts but then again we all have this problem to some degree. I am very aware of my internal dialogue and how it affects me. I have had a nerve disorder for many, many years which results in chronic pain in my neck and some difficulty walking. My self talk often involves my frustration with my physical condition. This is made even worse by the fact that before this happened i was practicing Aikido 5 days a week and could move gracefully. It is very important that we always remain mindful of our internal dialogue and do our best to manage it. Meditation is a great help and something I have done for over 40 years. Thanks for sharing your thoughts regarding this important topic..

    • Sherrie November 30, 2018 at 9:46 pm - Reply

      Gary,

      Thank you for reading, for of all. I love everyone’s feedback always. The thing with me is that I know what I should be thinking about myself, but there’s always a war of thoughts in my head. Due to my disorders, I have to endure jumbled thoughts, scenarios and emotional ups and downs on a daily basis. When I write, however, I am able to formulate better statements and share what I know to be true. This is one reason why we must never assume that when someone seems happy, that they are. People with some of the darkest struggles can make you think that nothing is wrong with them. It’s from years of practice of learning to be okay when things are not.

      I am so glad that meditation has worked so well for you. It does seem to calm the voices that speak against us, doesn’t it?

  2. charles November 30, 2018 at 1:17 pm - Reply

    i’m not sure whether you believe that “negative self-talk is ever valuable or never valuable? does “3.” cause you to explore why you do something? does exploring why provide an opportunity to realize and understand why we are motivated to think and act as we do and heal from that level? and, is that part of your healing and growth process, i.e., does it gives us a way to non-judgmentally appreciate why we accept the limitations that we do and is that valuable? imho, Longfellow thought, “If we could read the secret histories of our enemies, we would find sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostilities.” sums up the result of how we’d feel about ourselves. e.g., what can you learn about how you feel about yourself from the use of “kill” in the section heading? and, what can we learn about ourselves and our self-talk if we use the word kill? could the word transform replace kill? how would we feel about transforming our self-talk which to me relates to ways 1. and 2. within our selves?

    • Sherrie November 30, 2018 at 9:55 pm - Reply

      Charles,
      I really appreciate your comment, and you know what? I agree on something you said. I do believe it was a mistake to use the word “Kill”. As I went back to the article and mulled over the word, I realized how harsh it was. To “kill” is to immediately end something, and this just cannot always be done. I do think transform is a much better word for our accomplishments because “transforms” means to change but to retain the good things as well. Sometimes we must be critical with ourselves, just not to the point of condemnation. Yes, we have to accept our limitations because that is where we understand that we must change directions. To head in the wrong direction continually is a waste of time. Critical self-talk is needed here. So, yes, I do find value in self-talk which addresses negative aspects, but I do not think that redundant negative talk is profitable.

      If we can look at the truth, be critical about ourselves and adjust accordingly, there is no reason why we should beat a dead horse.

  3. Pimp Ho Pastor December 6, 2018 at 9:35 pm - Reply

    Don’t worry about writing back to this comment for most people will not reply to a self proclaimed Pimp Ho Pastor. First of all negative thoughts are a reality as in a acknowledgement of right and wrong. I really feel that the author is not acknowledging this and will continue to have a mental disorder. I tell you loud and clear that thinking negative is a good thing because of the acknowledgement of the reality of wrong, evil, and sin Thinking otherwise is being simply naive. There is a big difference in a person thinking negatively and thinking foolishly as in unwise. To think negatively is just a acknowledgement of seeing the wrong way. You should always embrace thinking negatively because it is reality. It will protect you to think negative. Thinking negatively has protected our government and the rest of humanity. The problem is to think unwisely. The author suffers from thinking unwisely and many others who think like that is wrong. It is not the same to think unwise and negative. God created negative sin for mankind to do the opposite and pursue righteousness wisely. Fools despise negative sin Proverbs 1:7. It is wise to embrace negative sin. The author is unwise for not embracing negative talk sin. Negative sin talk is a reality and the author needs to understand and embrace this fact. The problem is thinking unwise or illogical. There is no escaping the truth of negative thinking. But you can escape unwise thinking. A child is scared of monsters (bad people) because the child cannot protect themselves from the monsters. This is expected because the child is unwise to accept this as a reality. However a grown-up will accept this and take measures to protect themselves by being wise. In conclusion it is being unwise that has created mental stress in the author. If it was truly negative thinking you have a deeper problem of accepting reality. Life is unfair and this is what negative thinking is. But unfair is good because we can’t change this fact of reality. Accept the fact that there is a good (positive) and bad (negative) in our world. I hope my post helps the author and its readers. Reversepimpology.blogspot.com
    [email protected]

    • Sherrie December 7, 2018 at 7:03 pm - Reply

      You’re humorous and entertaining, actually.

      • Pimp Ho Pastor December 9, 2018 at 4:20 pm - Reply

        Thank you, whatever that means. Maybe you want me to be in suspense on that. I cannot read your mind so thanks for the reply but I don’t know what you mean honestly by that.. Keep it positive and have a nice day.

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