With the New Year upon us, I have decided to repost this article to help those of you struggling with negative self-talk.
We all experience negative thoughts from time to time, but how can you stop them taking over? Here are some strategies:
- If you start experiencing negative thoughts, ask yourself ‘where is this coming from’? Can you back track your thoughts until you find what triggered the initial negative thought? Ask yourself, 'why did this thought upset me' and decide what action you can take to resolve it.
- Acknowledge that it’s okay to feel down sometimes. Everyone has bad days. Then do something to lift your mood. Read your favourite passage from a book, go for a walk in the sunshine or dance to your favourite song.
- Create a collection of affirmations that inspire you and say them to yourself often, including when you’re in a great mood. My favourite is: “I am honest, caring and a true reflection of happiness. So many people love me and I am creating a wonderful life”.
- Record your thoughts and feelings in a journal. How do you feel today? Why do you think you feel that way? Then choose the best moment of the day and write that down. Why was it so great? Think of ways you can create more of these moments in each day.
- Practice gratitude. What are some of the amazing things in your life that make you smile? Great friends, sunshine, magical moments, walks on the beach … focus on these instead of thinking about what might be missing in your life.
If you can’t seem to escape negative thoughts, talk, talk, talk to your trusted friends. Talk it all out. Vent until you feel better. Offloading will help you to let it go and it will also allow you to put things into perspective.
Sometimes feelings have an important message for us - anger can be a boundary warning, guilt can show us when we feel remorseful and hence reinforce our integrity. As you begin to acknowledge negative feelings try to listen to their message, and then allow them to be - giving yourself permission to feel and express these thoughts and emotions means they will soon begin to dissipate and you will come back to centre once more.