MoHow Posted By Joel Simms Our thoughts directly effect our emotions. When we repeatedly give ourselves positive feedback, we often feel more confident about our abilities. On the other hand, repetitive negative thought patterns are related to anxiety and depression.
Fortunately, we can improve our state of mind by changing our thought patterns. These thought patterns are often referred to as ‘Self-Talk‘, and addressing our negative self-talk can help improve our self-confidence in situations that are anxiety-provoking, such as when we are in a difficult or unfamiliar situation.
Here are four ways to begin to change negative self-talk to positive self-talk…
• Say positive, realistic things to yourself. Positive self-talk involves saying things to yourself that are positive while also being realistic: It is important to believe the things we are saying to ourselves. In times of stress or depression, the tendency for our thoughts to be negatively skewed is high, so recognizing that we may not be having realistic thoughts about ourselves during this time is important.
• Focus on the facts. Think about accomplishments you have had recently, situations that went well, or times that you felt good about yourself. These can include significant accomplishments like passing a difficult course or simple acts of kindness like holding a door open for someone. Each experience counts.
• Recall the good stuff. It’s easy to downplay positive experiences, especially when there are problems that need to be dealt with or things you’re worried about in the future. Remember to think about the good things in your life along with the challenges and to give yourself credit for each success, big or small.
• Show yourself compassion. Ask yourself this question: “Would I say this to a close friend?” If not, why is it okay to say it to yourself? Learning to be kind and compassionate with yourself builds feelings of self-worth and influences the way you think about yourself. Praise yourself for all the good qualities you have and practice accepting kind words from others.
• Enjoy the journey. Be wary of words like “should,” “ought,” “must,” and “have to.” Learn to be flexible and compassionate with yourself during your journey, instead of focusing solely on the destination. This will allow you to appreciate the process and your own path of development.
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