You might have heard people say that people who talk to themselves are crazy, or at least identifies someone as absent-minded or eccentric. While some may see this as odd behaviour, self-talk is actually quite normal.
Self-talk is the inner or outer dialogue you might have with yourself. You might self-talk in your own head or you might self-talk out loud. Either way, you’re essentially talking to yourself; sometimes even carrying on entire conversations in this way.
While many people talk to themselves, they often engage in very negative and destructive self-talk. This is often brought about by fear, anxiety, uncertainty, and insecurity. This matters a great deal because our thoughts help us regulate our emotions and helps frame the narrative of events that happen to us.
Although it may sound crazy, self-talk can have positive outcomes for you.
- It can decrease stress
- It can help you be more productive
- It can help you achieve your goals
- It allows you to have greater satisfaction in your life
If you are not the type who is not positive by nature, you’ll have to study the voice in your head and note how you speak to yourself. When something happens, take note of whether you automatically blame yourself or say something disparaging.
For example, as you leave the house you realise you forgot your wallet and say to yourself, “I’m so forgetful! One day I’ll forget something really important and get into trouble.”
If your self-talk is automatically negative like in the example above, you’re likely doing this multiple times per day; perhaps even dozens of times per day. It creates and generates a bad image of yourself in your own head and can lead you to dwelling on problems, and ruminating.
Instead, when you catch yourself saying something negative, train yourself to say the alternative. Instead of saying you’re so forgetful, you can frame it in a more positive way. “I can create reminders for myself so I don’t forget my essentials before I leave the house.”
Not only is this a more positive tone, but it also allows you an actionable plan, putting you in control of the immediate events in your life. If you put in the effort to catch yourself and to counter your negative self-talk, it gets easier over time as your new habit develops. Even if you don’t manage to completely become an optimist, regular positive self-talk can still be beneficial.
Join us at College of Allied Educators to find out how you can learn more about yourself and others, and discover how you can help yourself overcome doubts, fears, disagreements, and challenges in order to build a happier, more meaningful life.
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