Weekly Wellness: Stop the negative self-talk!

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COLUMBIA- Do you have that one friend who is constantly self-critical? You constantly hear phrases such as “I can’t do anything right!” and “I am so stupid!” It is incredibly easy to allow that negatives self-talk to enter our daily communication. In doing so, we increase our stress and anxiety and reduce our self-esteem.

Shifting our language takes practice. In place of negative commentary, we need to find an alternative that doesn’t promote suffering. We need alternatives that are kind, honest, helpful and unbiased.

  • “I’m an idiot.” We are allowed to make mistakes. And mistakes allow us to learn. Instead of referring to our amazing self as an “idiot” maybe we declare that we aren’t understanding right now but we will learn.
  • “I should be _____ right now.” It’s so easy to compare our lives to the lives of others. The “should’s” and the “could’s” can take over. Instead of focusing on the negative, let’s spin it. Rephrase would be “I could be ___ but I’m choosing ____ instead.”
  • “It’s all my fault.” When we look at a situation and we don’t recognize that rationally we are not responsible for the actions of others, it can create turmoil. The truth is that others are responsible for their own choices and we are responsible for our own.
  • “I never should have…” Regret is incredibly powerful. It occurs when we look back at things we did or failed to do. We beat ourselves up for our action or inaction. It sucks! Instead of focusing on the negative, let’s try to consider the benefits from the situation. What did we learn? What did we experience?
  • “They must think I’m _______.” When we assume that we know what other people are thinking or feeling about us, we can easily assume they are negative. We berate ourselves based on our assumptions of someone else. Not good! If we can switch our language to focus on the facts rather than assumptions, we feel better. 
  • “Why can’t I be like them?” We really don’t benefit from comparing ourselves to others. If we compare ourselves to others, we can create our own suffering. Instead, we need to view our lives as cooperation (not a competition).

 (Source: https://www.self.com/story/negative-self-talk-phrases-to-cut-out-of-your-vocabulary)