Negative thoughts and words have more of an impact on us than positive words. Think about this in your own life. Which do you tend to hold on to for longer: a compliment someone once gave you or something negative that someone else said to you or about you? For me, it is most often the more negative experience that sticks with me.
After learning this, I decided to take a few minutes and think about the things I am saying to myself everyday. Are they more positive or negative? Are they uplifting or down-putting? Doing so helped me to realize that even my own self-criticizing thoughts can have a huge impact on the way I feel about myself.
So, keeping these questions in mind, how do you feel you are doing? Do you speak mostly positively to yourself, or do you find most of your thoughts and words to be somewhat self-criticizing? If you’re not sure, try paying extra attention over the next few days to see how you match up.
Figuring out how we are talking to ourselves is probably the most important aspect when it comes to personal positivity (because we spend more time with ourselves than we do with anyone else), but it’s not the only area we need to focus on for cutting out negative self-talk.
Another area we can miss is how we talk about ourselves when we are with others. The way we treat and talk about ourselves is what we are giving others permission to do as well. The more you say, “I’m so bad at this thing,” the more you and others will start to believe it.
We often spend way more time putting ourselves down with others than we even realize. Have you ever made yourself the butt of a joke to ensure that others don’t do it first? This can become so much of a habit that we don’t even realize we’re doing it after a while. Although it may seem harmless, our minds are really powerful and take in a lot more than we think!
In fact, one large-scale study found that self-blame and negative self-talk were linked to an increased risk of mental health problems over time. So, while it may seem innocent and all in good fun, it is important that we take time to think about how it is really affecting us when we make that negative comment or tell that demeaning joke.
In summary, positive words and thoughts are so important for us as we strive to learn and grow each day. I hope you will take some time to think about how you are talking to yourself over this next week, and then try to counter those thoughts/words with some positive ones and see how you feel!
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