Don’t be your own worst critic
It’s me, your inner voice. You are kind, successful and an unstoppable force of nature. You are focused, your skin is glowing and you are getting healthier every day.
How does it feel to read these inspiring things about yourself? If compliments make you cringe, you may not be letting in enough kind words into your spirit and you may need to focus on eliminating negative self-talk.
Studies correlating self-talk and heart health found that eliminating pessimistic thoughts can boost your spirits and ignite the path to better health and increase life expectancy.
“Having a negative outlook on life can lead to decreased motivation, increased stress, and greater feelings of helplessness,” says Dr. Rhiannon Jauer, psychologist from Aurora Behavioral Health Center in Milwaukee, WI. “Prolonged negative self-talk can increase one’s risk of mental health problems, physical health issues, as well as sleeplessness.”
She encourages us to reconfigure our brains, to avoid rousing stress that can result in a damaging impact on our bodies.
Begin by picking a side: are you an optimist or a pessimist? Optimistic individuals find the good in all things and approach conflict with opportunity. Pessimistic individuals tend have a defeatist personality and expect the worst outcome in every situation. Take your time with landing on a decision. Your mindset may be the most significant factor that influences your overall well-being, she said.
Identifying negative thinking can be uncomfortable. These negative thoughts can be automatic, distorted, unhelpful and worst of all, believable. Dr. Jauer recommends using the hardships as motivation to learn and blossom into the best version of yourself. Allow those obstacles to free yourself from destructive doubt and practice the power of self-forgiveness. Welcome in the evolution of becoming an encouraged, enthusiastic person throughout our daily lives.
Common ways to limit negative self-talk
The road to positive thinking can be foggy. Some of the more common ways to limit your negative self-talk include:
- Notice when you’re being self-critical
- Limit the number of times you can be negative in a day
- Imagine you’re talking to a friend
- Put your problems into perspective and look at the bigger picture
- Say your negative thoughts aloud; you may give yourself a break
- Replace your negative thought with a positive one
As you embark upon your journey of positive thinking, remember that limiting your negative self-talk may take some getting used to and habit formation can be slow. Adjust your mindset, find your groove and it’s OK to dance, she said.
“Be patient with yourself as change takes time,” says Dr. Jauer. “Engage in daily practice and do not expect overnight results. It takes time to transform anything into a habit.”
Now is the perfect time to make an appointment with a behavioral health provider. It’s easy to find a doctor near you.
About the Author
Amber Thompson is a marketing graduate of the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. In her free time, Amber enjoys passion-filled projects including blogging and photography. Amber loves spending her free time reading journalistic columns, listening to motivational podcasts and discovering creative recipes to get her young son to eat his vegetables.