A Tool for Overcoming Negative Self-Talk
Updated: Apr 5, 2022
Affirmations are positive statements that can be repeated throughout the day to uplift/help focus, but also have a much deeper impact and neurological basis.
How we think, approach situations, respond to situations, interact with others, and interact with ourselves is the result of our experiences. Overtime, all of our experiences create a “lens” through which we see our world and also how we view ourselves. While some people’s experiences have led them to be confident and proficient in self-love language, most people tend to be hard on themselves about something (their looks, their relationships, their life situation, their choices) and express this internally and externally throughout the day. While this may seem harmless, it can contribute to low self-esteem, decreased confidence, negative self-image and negative thoughts.
Let’s use -for example- a seemingly harmless comment that many people mutter to themselves without thinking much about it, “I’m so stupid”. While most of us have said this after dropping something, forgetting something or messing something up, saying these words on a regular basis creates a pathway in our brain. Every time we make this statement, it strengthens and, over time, this little phrase can create pretty negative thoughts and beliefs about ourselves. Thankfully, this is something we have the ability to address.
Have you ever heard the term “neuroplasticity”? It is the amazing ability of our brains to create pathways that allow us to learn, make memories, evolve and adapt. Neuroplasticity allows us to do amazing things, like relearn how to walk or talk after an accident, learn a new language or develop a new skill. It is a reminder that our brains are never solidified or done adapting, instead they are always flowing and changing. As a result, we can also harness the power of neuroplasticity to address our negative self-talk and create more positive pathways. This is where affirmations come in!
The goal is to increase our awareness of the negative statements we say to ourselves and begin to change the words we use. One way to incorporate more positive self-talk into your day is using affirmations. When trying an affirmation, I like to choose one in the morning and repeat it throughout the day. It can be helpful to choose specific places/times that you will try it (i.e. walking to/from the car, brushing teeth morning/night, before each meal) until it becomes more routine. Eventually it can become something you call upon when you need to!
Some affirmations I have recently shared:
-I let go of what doesn’t serve me
-I call on my inner-strength
-I choose to be present
-I prioritize my peace
-I am deserving
-I choose to forgive
-I will allow my feelings to flow
-I know good will come to me
Let’s say you choose “I call on my inner-strength” for the day. In the morning, this could help you get out of bed or face a stressful work day, midday this may help you navigate anxiety or acknowledge that you have it within you to tackle a situation, and in the evening this could be a reminder to refill the strength you used during the day with self-care. If the affirmation you chose isn't working for you- try a new one! It is absolutely something that gets easier with practice and we know why- BECAUSE WE ARE LITERALLY CREATING MORE POSITIVE PATHWAYS IN OUR BRAIN!
I hope you find it empowering to know it is within our control to change this script.