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Self Care & the Importance of Positive Self Talk To Deal With Mental Health & Stress

Mental Health & Stress positive self talk self care

Self Care & the Importance of Positive Self Talk To Deal With Mental Health & Stress

Essential Life

Is your glass-half-empty or half-full? How you answer this age-old question about

positive thinking may reflect your outlook on life, your attitude toward yourself, and

whether you're optimistic or pessimistic — and it may even affect your health.


Indeed, some studies show that personality traits such as optimism and pessimism can

affect many areas of your health and well-being. The positive thinking that usually

comes with optimism is a key part of effective stress management. And effective stress

management is associated with many health benefits. If you tend to be pessimistic, don't

despair — you can learn positive thinking skills.



Understanding self-talk ♡

Many people are conscious of an inner voice that provides a running monologue

throughout the day and even into the night. Cheerful and supportive or negative and

self-defeating, this internal chatter is referred to as self-talk. This inner voice combines

conscious thoughts with unconscious beliefs and biases. It’s an effective way for the

brain to interpret and process daily experiences. This voice is useful when it is positive,

talking down fears and bolstering confidence.


Even though you might not know it, you’re already practicing self-talk.

Take a minute and think about what you’ve said to yourself today. Was it critical? Or

was it kind and helpful? How did you feel after you engaged in this inner discussion?

Your thoughts are the source of your emotions and mood. The conversations you have

with yourself can be destructive or beneficial. They influence how you feel about yourself

and how you respond to events in your life. 


Human nature is prone to negative self-talk and sweeping assertions like “I

can’t do anything right” or “I’m a complete failure” are common diatribes.


This negativity can be unrealistic and even harmful, paralyzing people into inaction and self absorption to the point of being unaware of the world around them. The good news: That negative inner critic can and should be challenged; becoming more aware of it is

just a first step.


Positive Self-Talk – What is it? ♡

You may have a negative message that replays in your head every time you make a

mistake. As a child you have been told, “You’ll never amount to anything” or “You can’t

do anything right.” When you make a mistake—and you will because we all do—you can

choose to overwrite that message with a positive one, such as “I choose to accept and

grow from my mistake” or “As I learn from my mistakes, I am becoming a better

person.” During this exercise, mistakes become opportunities to replace negative views

of who you are with positive options for personal enhancement.


Positive self-talk is not self-deception. It is not mentally looking at circumstances with

eyes that see only what you want to see. Rather, positive self-talk is about recognizing

the truth, in situations and in yourself. One of the fundamental truths is that you will 

make mistakes. To expect perfection in yourself or anyone else is unrealistic. To expect

no difficulties in life, whether through your own actions or sheer circumstances, is also



When negative events or mistakes happen, positive self-talk seeks to bring the positive

out of the negative to help you do better, go further, or just keep moving forward. The

practice of positive self-talk is often the process that allows you to discover the obscured

optimism, hope, and joy in any given situation.


Some Examples of Positive and Negative Self-talk:


These scenarios are examples of negative self-talk and what are the positive alternatives

for them.

 Negative: I’ll disappoint everyone if I change my mind.

 Positive: I have the power to change my mind. Others will understand.

 Negative: I failed and embarrassed myself.

 Positive: I’m proud of myself for even trying. That took courage.

 Negative: I’m overweight and out of shape. I might as well not bother.

 Positive: I am capable and strong, and I want to get healthier for me.

 Negative: I let everyone on my team down when I didn’t score.

 Positive: Sports are a team event. We win and lose together.

 Negative: I’ve never done this before and I’ll be bad at it.

 Positive: This is a wonderful opportunity for me to learn from others and grow.

 Negative: There’s just no way will this work.

 Positive: I can and will give it my all to make it work.


If you believe your self-talk is too negative, or if you want to emphasize positive self-talk,

you can learn to shift that inner dialogue. It can help you be a more positive person, and

it may improve your health.


 What are the Benefits of Positive Self-talk? ♡

As a human being, you are constantly talking to yourself, having an inner monologue

with yourself. It’s called self-talk. Self-talk is an internal dialogue that can affect your

confidence and self-esteem. One kind of this is positive self-talk, a personal (mental)

conversation with a positive mental attitude towards your life and yourself. This is said

to be the optimistic voice in your head – soliloquy that makes you look at the bright side

of things.


So why should you immerse in positive self-talk on a consistent basis? Here are several

benefits that you can expect from a constructive self-dialogue:


It helps boost your confidence: Do you feel shy in front of a huge audience?

Do you have little belief in your talents and skills? Positive self-talk can help you

get through this – thus making you feel more confident. Most of the time,

negative self-talk can hinder you from performing at your fullest. This gives you

second thoughts about your ability to carry out the task.


With positive self-talk, you can put your doubts on the wayside – so you can focus

on accomplishing your fears with flying colours. And if you think confidence

doesn’t really equate to success, think again. Those who are successful at what

they do truly believe in themselves and their abilities. In fact, confidence is so

important to success that many psychologists believe that it is one of the primary

prerequisites to personal and professional success.


It introduces optimistic thoughts — that save you from depression:

Depressed people often feel useless, worthless and hopeless. Not only does it take

a toll on the mind, but it also affects the body as well. Depressed people exhibit a

variety of physical symptoms, such as sleeplessness, eating problems and

lethargy, to name a few. If you suffer from depressive mood, positive self-talk can

help you turn the other way around. Optimistic thoughts such as “I can do this”

and “The world is a beautiful place” can pull you away from the path that leads to depression.


It eliminates stress: Stress can truly get the best of you, as it affects every bit

of your persona. So if you want to escape from the mental and physical burdens

of stress, then positive self-talk is something that can help you out. According to

the American Heart Association, positive self-talk can help control stress. As a

result, it makes you feel calmer and less anxious.


It shields your heart: Stress is one of the many aggravating factors that can

lead to cardiovascular diseases. Since positive self-talk can reduce stress, it

gradually lowers your risk of suffering from heart problems as well. In one

research, results show that those who have positive outlooks in life demonstrated

lower risks for mortality – at least in the next five years.


It can help you improve your performance in anything you do: Say that

you are very tired and drained, having run several kilometres for a marathon.

Just when you think of giving up, positive self-talk can give you the nudge you

need in order to go on and finish the race. An essential part of sports psychology,

positive self-talk can help athletes reduce their pre-race jitters and performance

anxieties, and help them get in the zone. In fact, studies show that continuous

positive self-talk can help an athlete enhance his overall performance.


 How to Reduce Stress with Positive Self-Talk? ♡

Patterns of negative or positive self-talk often start in childhood. Usually, the self-talk

habit is one that’s coloured our thinking for years and can affect us in many ways,

influencing the experience of stress in our lives. However, any time can be a good time

to change it! Here are some ways you can stop yourself from using negative self-talk and

use your mind to boost your productivity and self-esteem and relieve stress.


#1 - Notice Your Patterns:


The first step toward change is to become more aware of the problem. You probably

don’t realize how often you say negative things in your head, or how much it affects your

experience. The following strategies can help you become more conscious of your

internal dialogue and its content.


 Journal Writing: Whether you carry a journal around with you and jot down

negative comments when you think them, write a general summary of your

thoughts at the end of the day, or just start writing about your feelings on a

certain topic and later go back to analyse it for content, journaling can be an

effective tool for examining your inner process.


 Thought-Stopping: As you notice yourself saying something negative in your

mind, you can stop your thought mid-stream my saying to yourself “Stop”. Saying

this aloud will be more powerful, and having to say it aloud will make you more

aware of how many times you are stopping negative thoughts, and where.


Rubber-Band Snap: Another therapeutic trick is to walk around with a rubber

band around your wrist; as you notice negative self-talk, pull the band away from

your skin and let it snap back. It’ll hurt a little, and serve as a slightly negative

consequence that will both make you more aware of your thoughts and help to

stop them! (Or, if you don’t want to subject yourself to walking around with a

rubber band on your wrist, you’ll be even more careful to limit the negative



Replace Negative Statements ♡


A good way to stop a bad habit is to replace it with something better. Once you’re aware

of your internal dialogue, here are some ways to change it:

Use Milder Wording: Using a strong word can make an experience seem more



If someone asked you to describe your “pain,” you might feel it intensely. But if

you were asked to describe your “discomfort,” it might not seem so strong.

When you talk to yourself, turn strong negative words into more neutral ones.

That helps make your experience more neutral rather than so negative. Instead of

using words like “hate” and “angry,” use words like “don’t like” or “annoyed.”


Instead of using words like ‘hate’ and ‘angry’ (as in, “I hate traffic! It makes me so

angry!”), you can use words like ‘don’t like’ and ‘annoyed’ (“I don’t like traffic; it

makes me annoyed,” sounds much milder, doesn’t it?)


Change Negative to Neutral or Positive: As you find yourself mentally

complaining about something, rethink your assumptions. Are you assuming

something is a negative event when it isn’t, necessarily? (For example, having

your plans cancelled at the last minute can be seen as a negative, but what you do

with your newly-freed schedule can be what you make of it.) The next time you

find yourself stressing about something or deciding you’re not up to a challenge,

stop and rethink, and see if you can come up with a neutral or positive



 Change Self-Limiting Statements to Questions: Self-limiting statements

like “I can’t handle this!” or “This is impossible!” are particularly damaging

because they increase your stress in a given situation and they stop you from

searching for solutions. The next time you find yourself thinking something that

limits the possibilities of a given situation, turn it into a question. Doesn’t “How

can I handle this?” or “How is this possible?” sound more hopeful and open up

your imagination to new possibilities?


#3 Get Rid Of Outside Influences:


It's hard to get rid of the negative voices inside your head when you are surrounded by

people who are pessimistic. Once you start to hear those phrases all the time, it's hard to

not agree with them. Sometimes you don't even notice the negative until someone brings

it up and your positive outlook on things start to crumble down. While there are a lot of

ways for you to deal with negative people, it might be best for you to simply get rid of

them. People who are verbally negative all the time are most likely internally negative,

too. People like this can be toxic and you don't need that in your life when you are trying

to better yourself.


#4 Focus On The Present:


When you focus on the here and now, you will have a better chance of not being negative

about yourself because you are not thinking about past mistakes. By constantly thinking

about these, you are allowing yourself to beat yourself up. When we start to think about

our past mistakes, we try to always use this saying to make ourselves stop, "By thinking

of this now, is this going to change the past?" Of course, the answer is no. The mind can

become really irrational when you let it run totally wild. Sometimes we need to take a

step back and come back to Earth to understand exactly what we are thinking and why.

Let the past be in the past; embrace your mistakes and look forward to your future



#5 Use Possible Thinking:


When you are constantly hearing negative thoughts, it might be hard for you to believe

all the positive self-talk that you are trying to tell yourself. Instead, use possible

thinking. We feel a lot of pressure to turn it all around and make it positive. But research

has found that when you're down and out and force yourself to say positive things to

yourself, you end up feeling worse. Instead, be more realistic with yourself.

Try having more neutral thoughts about the situation and bringing more facts to the

table. If you know you have been negative at work lately, acknowledge it, be honest with

yourself about the changes you need to make, and do it. Turning that negative thought

into a neutral stance of understanding will make you aware of the changes you need to

make, which will make you feel better because you know that you are trying.


Treat Yourself Like You Would A Friend:


Sometimes we are our own worst enemies. It's really sad how destructive we can be to

ourselves when we would never dare say half those thoughts out loud or to our own

friends. Every time you start feeling like you are talking down to yourself, try to think

about if you would say those things to your friend. If the answer is no, then you need to

stop what you are thinking and change it to something more positive. 


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Remember you are truly awesome my friend ♡

Essential Life! xo


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