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Negative Self Talk

Negative Self Talk

Written by: stodzy | Date: October 28, 2016

As a society, we are plagued by constant critique. The startling fact is that our worst critics are often ourselves. Negative self talk is a problem that far too many women take part in on a daily basis, and the simple fact is that we usually don’t even realize it.

What is Negative Self Talk?

The human mind is constantly analyzing and interpreting the data and experiences we come across. All of the input we receive is processed, and the voice in our head perceives it, judges it, and it is either stored in short term memory or thrown away.  Psychologists call this inner voice ‘self-talk’ and it includes our conscious thoughts as well as our unconscious assumptions or beliefs.

So when our self talk is primarily negative, it has a negative effect on how we perceive and internalize ourselves and everything around us. Most of the time, this all happens automatically and is shaped by how we have trained ourselves to do it. So there is a difference between positive and negative self talk, and we can learn to change it over time.

How can it Influence our Self Images

For me, it’s the small stuff. I often find myself downplaying my abilities or how I look when I’m getting ready in the morning.

For example, for a large part of my life, I have had a hard time with math, I’m great at everything else academically, but math has always been tricky. So for a long time, and still to this day, I will find myself saying “I’m horrible at math” when in reality I should have been saying, “I’m getting better at math” or “I’m still improving my math skills”.

When we put ourselves into a corner with negative self talk, it’s often hard to get back out. We assume we are cemented into being a certain way simply because it’s what we tell ourselves.

However, this is completely untrue! Another example, body image. I have always had curly red hair, and since it wasn’t the typical standard of beauty for me, I would tell myself that I was ugly. Since then, I have come to learn that when my hair is unruly, to accept it, love it, and tell myself “my hair is mine, and it’s beautiful”.

These examples are only small ones, but again, it’s often the little things we tell ourselves that dig in the most.

nobody's perfect

Why is Negative Self Talk so Common in Women?

Let’s be honest, for years I wanted to look like, dress, act, and be rich like a celebrity. I hated the gifts I was naturally given, and I judged myself more than anyone else around me. I never thought I was good enough because I didn’t look like the women in magazines and on TV, I was red-headed, flat chested, and had horrible acne.

The sad part is that I never saw my own beauty, even when other people complimented me. Many women feel this way, and we constantly feel pressured by society to look and act and feel a certain type of way.

Hence the explosion of plastic surgery, body augmentation, exercise and diet trends, the list is endless what we will do to feel attractive today. In truth, the hardest person to please is ourselves.

How to Create Positive Self Talk

The trick to turning around that negative self talk is to practice making them positive.

To be honest, this is gonna take awhile to get used to. But here are some helpful tips to get you started

  • Start keeping track of when you say or think something negative about yourself.
  • When someone pays you a compliment, genuinely accept it! Don’t try to deny it or downplay it.
  • If you hear yourself being negative, think three nice things about yourself.
  • Create a practice of positive affirmations. Every morning, in the mirror, say five to ten good things to yourself, out loud.

It may seem silly, and it might be hard to take yourself seriously for a little while, but stick with it. The more you practice these tricks, the better off you will feel.

Why is Positivity Beneficial to Sobriety?

Let’s be honest, when we first get sober, we aren’t very happy with ourselves. We may be full of regret, shame, guilt, and anger at the people we have been in the past. It’s hard to start over when we still cling to old ideas of ourselves.

Negative self talk can be extremely harmful to sobriety because it keeps us cemented into who we used to be. The big book tells us that we practice spiritual progress, not perfection, and it’s helpful to remember that principle in all other aspects of our lives. Whether it comes to our jobs, our relationships, or just how we feel that day.

It’s believed that thought patterns begin to manifest themselves externally when practiced.

For example, if you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, instead of staying stuck in that cranky spot, practice looking for the positives of everything around you. This can be tricky because sometimes it seems like everyone and everything are out to get you. But if you try to start to see yourself and the world around you in a positive light, and as something YOU can change, I guarantee your life will shift.

Need More Tips to Help an Addict or Alcoholic You Love?

If you or a loved one need help to overcome addiction, treatment is a proven effective option. If you are a woman looking for treatment, Wayside House can help you. A woman’s treatment center, Wayside House offers a safe, supportive environment and our programs are developed specifically to address the unique needs of women. Call us today at 800-655-0817. Our trained specialists are standing by to help you or a loved one.