What is self talk and why is it important?
Updated: Jul 29, 2021
I can run that extra distance because I have trained hard for it.
I’ve never done this before and I’ll be bad at it.
I can and will give it my all to make it work.
Do these words sound familiar? Or are they similar to some of the internal dialogues that you hear coming from your mind?
Most, if not all of us, will have some level of self-talk everyday. But what exactly is it?
Basically, Self Talk is a part of you that you experience everyday, and it usually reveals your beliefs, thoughts, and ideas.
Self talk can be positive or negative, and more often than not, positive self-talk can be an effective tool for stress management as well.
Difference between Negative and Positive Self talk
Positive self-talk can make you feel good about yourself. It offers a positive outlook on the things that are happening to you and around you, and it may shape future actions and behaviours based on your thoughts.
Some of the benefits of positive self-talk includes:
Greater life satisfaction
Better physical well-being
Improved immune function
While it isn't clear on why individuals who utilise positive self-talk behaviours benefit from it, but some research suggests that these people may have the mental skills that allow them to solve problems, think creatively, and be more efficient in handling these obstacles as they come. All these culminate into experiencing lesser stress and anxiety.
Negative self-talk however, implies the opposite. While a little negative self-talk is important at times by grounding ourselves, more often than not, it limits your own ability to believe in yourself and recognise your own abilities. Some of the consequences of negative self-talk includes:
Limited Thinking: The more often you tell yourself that you cannot do something, the stronger you believe that to be true.
Perfectionism: People often associate perfectionism to success, but perfectionists are often unhappy, as there is always a sense of the 'not good enough' feeling. This feeling mainly exist in the negative self-talk mind space, where individuals will berate themselves and downplay their own achievements.
Feelings of depression: With the constant talk-down approach that comes with negative self-talk, some research has shown that negative self-talk can lead to feelings of depression.
What are some ways to improve using self talk?
There are some instances on when we can employ this in a positive light and below are three, distinct examples:
Self talk for anxiety
Self talk for depression
Self talk for confidence
So how can we start identifying negative self-talk and changing them to positive self-talk? Here are some examples that you might find familiar:
Negative: I'm overweight and there is nothing I can do.
Positive: I should take this step by step, I can do it if the steps are broken up.
Negative: This is new to me, I don't think I can succeed.
Positive: This is new to me, it is a new opportunity for me to learn.
Negative: There is no way this will work.
Positive: I will give my best to make it work.
Notice the switch in the language used. Often, if we are used to negative self-talk, we would not be able to identify these instances of negative self-talk that occurs. One good way will be to keep a journal, detailing down instances where negative self-talk occurs, so that you are able to draw parallels of situations where you are more likely to use negative self-talk.
Making a change is difficult and takes time, especially when you are dealing with your thoughts. Manage your expectations when it comes to forming a habit, and you will be successful in changing some of your negative self-talk to positive self-talk.
What if I still cannot change, or I require additional help?
Sometimes, we just need that extra assistance; that does not mean that you are not successful at all! If you do feel like you need to speak to someone for additional help, this is where The Wellness Origin can come in!
Right now, we're offering a complimentary consultation that'll chart your life for better. All you need to do to claim it is to contact us below!