How to stop negative self-talk
Everyone has good as well as could-be-better days. No matter what you’re going through, however, negative self-talk won’t help. In fact, it can have some serious consequences. Meanwhile, being nicer to yourself has some powerful health benefits. So stop being hard on yourself and learn to overcome negative self-talk with these tips from counsellors and life coaches.
See yourself more accurately
Parts of your brain are hardwired to scan for problems, meaning they’ll latch onto your weaknesses and magnify them, says Amy Johnson, PhD, psychologist, life coach and author of The Little Book of Big Change. “The thing that your mind is fixating on and seeing as this imperfection and horrible flaw, that’s pretty biased,” she says. Once you recognise that your mind isn’t telling the truth, you can let criticisms and negative self-talk become background noise instead of a disruptive roar.
Focus on your good traits
“It’s hard to forget pain, but it’s easy to forget what makes us happy,” says life coach Irina Popa-Erwin. To remind yourself of your best qualities, she recommends looking in the mirror and finding three things you like about yourself every day for three months. “At the beginning you might not believe it – you’re just saying it because you gave yourself that assignment,” she says. “At the end of three months, you’ll actually embrace them because of the repetition that you keep telling yourself.”