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How To Reduce Negative Self-Talk To Lead A Much More Satisfying Life

How To Reduce Negative Self-Talk To Lead A Much More Satisfying Life

“Be mindful of your self-talk. It is a conversation with the universe. You are a being, full of infinite possibilities! Focus your mind with positivity and you will have dictated the direction of your journey, your soul and your being, cascading in infinite abundance.” – Angie Karan

What is self-talk?

You know your inner voice? Those silent conversations you have with yourself? This is what is known as self-talk. Self-talk will be a combination of positive, negative and neutral thoughts.

Examples of positive self-talk include:

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  • “I can do this.”
  • “I am smart.”
  • “This is a challenge, but I will complete it.”

Examples of negative self-talk include:

  • “I’m stupid.”
  • “I can’t do this.”
  • “I’m a failure.”
  • “I’m worthless.”

Research has shown that the optimum ratio for no stress in your life is two positive thoughts for every negative thought. It then is vitally important to be cognizant of your internal dialogue as it influences not only your feelings, and your behaviors, but also your well-being as a whole.

A wandering mind is a dangerous mind

Considering you have over 50,000 thoughts per day – the majority of which are automatic and below our conscious level, it becomes even more important to ‘observe’ this self-talk. Your mind is a wandering machine. It wanders without you even knowing it:

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“Forty-seven percent of the time, the average mind is wandering. It wanders about a third of the time while a person is reading, talking with other people, or taking care of children. It wanders 10 percent of the time, even, during sex.” – James Hamblin, The Atlantic

And a wandering mind can be dangerous. If you fail to stop and analyze the validity of your self-talk, particularly negative self-talk, you compromise your well-being. Through repeated negative self-talk you begin to believe you are useless, worthless and a failure. This dents your confidence and induces stress.

How to improve your self-talk

Improving your self-talk will not happen overnight, as negative self-talk has become a habit from being often repeated over years. But it is possible. It starts with listening to your thoughts.

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  • Listen to what you are saying

Many of your thoughts are subconscious. It is not an easy task to listen to this subconscious thoughts. Over time – with practice, it is more than possible to access these innermost dialogues. You can do this by taking note of what you are saying. Start journaling. Write them down. Getting your thoughts on to paper frees your mind; allowing you to put things in the past and move forward.

  • Monitor what you are saying

Ask yourself whether your self-talk is positive or negative. Negative self-talk is inaccurate, unreasonable and unhelpful. If not monitored, it can become a bad habit.

Ask yourself the following questions:

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  1. How does it make me feel?
  2. Is there evidence for my thoughts?
  3. Are they reasonable?
  4. What purpose do they serve?
  • You need to take action

Through identifying them, you can challenge them, thus allowing you to approach things differently.

Ask yourself more questions:

  1. How can I look at this in a positive way?
  2. How can I change what I am thinking?
  • Consider sharing your self-talk with others

Not only does this allow you to vent and free your mind, it can also help you attain a fresh perspective. Looking at something from an outsider’s point of view sheds a new light on your problems.

The internal dialogue will not stop

The internal dialogue within you will never stop. 50,000 thoughts a day is testament to this. But, if you fail to pay attention to these dialogues, you may find that negative self-talk becomes your way of life. Through listening to your inner voice, monitoring your self-talk and taking steps to change your way of thinking, you will be well on your way to a more satisfied life.

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Nick Darlington

Nick is a Multipotentialite, an entrepreneur, a blogger and a traveler.

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Last Updated on December 10, 2019

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

Here’s the truth: your effectiveness at life is not what it could be. You’re missing out.

Each day passes by and you have nothing to prove that it even happened. Did you achieve something? Go on a date? Have an emotional breakthrough? Who knows?

But what you do know is that you don’t want to make the same mistakes that you’ve made in the past.

Our lives are full of hidden gems of knowledge and insight, and the most recent events in our lives contain the most useful gems of all. Do you know why? It’s simple, those hidden lessons are the most up to date, meaning they have the largest impact on what we’re doing right now.

But the question is, how do you get those lessons? There’s a simple way to do it, and it doesn’t involve time machines:

Journal writing.

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Improved mental clarity, the ability to see our lives in the big picture, as well as serving as a piece of evidence cataloguing every success we’ve ever had; we are provided all of the above and more by doing some journal writing.

Journal writing is a useful and flexible tool to help shed light on achieving your goals.

Here’s 5 smart reasons why you should do journal writing:

1. Journals Help You Have a Better Connection with Your Values, Emotions, and Goals

By journaling about what you believe in, why you believe it, how you feel, and what your goals are, you understand your relationships with these things better. This is because you must sort through the mental clutter and provide details on why you do what you do and feel what you feel.

Consider this:

Perhaps you’ve spent the last year or so working at a job you don’t like. It would be easy to just suck it up and keep working with your head down, going on as if it’s supposed to be normal to not like your job. Nobody else is complaining, so why should you, right?

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But a little journal writing will set things straight for you. You don’t like your job. You feel like it’s robbing you of happiness and satisfaction, and you don’t see yourself better there in the future.

The other workers? Maybe they don’t know, maybe they don’t care. But you do, you know and care enough to do something about it. And you’re capable of fixing this problem because your journal writing allows you to finally be honest with yourself about it.

2. Journals Improve Mental Clarity and Help Improve Your Focus

If there’s one thing journal writing is good for, it’s clearing the mental clutter.

How does it work? Simply, whenever you have a problem and write about it in a journal, you transfer the problem from your head to the paper. This empties the mind, allowing allocation of precious resources to problem-solving rather than problem-storing.

Let’s say you’ve been juggling several tasks at work. You’ve got data entry, testing, e-mails, problems with the boss, and so on—enough to overwhelm you—but as you start journal writing, things become clearer and easier to understand: Data entry can actually wait till Thursday; Bill kindly offered earlier to do my testing; For e-mails, I can check them now; the boss is just upset because Becky called in sick, etc.

You become better able to focus and reason your tasks out, and this is an indispensable and useful skill to have.

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3. Journals Improve Insight and Understanding

As a positive consequence of improving your mental clarity, you become more open to insights you may have missed before. As you write your notes out, you’re essentially having a dialogue with yourself. This draws out insights that you would have missed otherwise; it’s almost as if two people are working together to better understand each other. This kind of insight is only available to the person who has taken the time to connect with and understand themselves in the form of writing.

Once you’ve gotten a few entries written down, new insights can be gleaned from reading over them. What themes do you see in your life? Do you keep switching goals halfway through? Are you constantly dating the same type of people who aren’t good for you? Have you slowly but surely pushed people out of your life for fear of being hurt?

All of these questions can be answered by simply self-reflecting, but you can only discover the answers if you’ve captured them in writing. These questions are going to be tough to answer without a journal of your actions and experiences.

4. Journals Track Your Overall Development

Life happens, and it can happen fast. Sometimes we don’t take the time to stop and look around at what’s happening to us at each moment. We don’t get to see the step-by-step progress that we’re making in our own lives. So what happens? One day it’s the future, and you have no idea how you’ve gotten there.

Journal writing allows you to see how you’ve changed over time, so you can see where you did things right, and you can see where you took a misstep and fell.

The great thing about journals is that you’ll know what that misstep was, and you can make sure it doesn’t happen again—all because you made sure to log it, allowing yourself to learn from your mistakes.

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5. Journals Facilitate Personal Growth

The best thing about journal writing is that no matter what you end up writing about, it’s hard to not grow from it. You can’t just look at a past entry in which you acted shamefully and say “that was dumb, anyway!” No, we say “I will never make a dumb choice like that again!”

It’s impossible not to grow when it comes to journal writing. That’s what makes journal writing such a powerful tool, whether it’s about achieving goals, becoming a better person, or just general personal-development. No matter what you use it for, you’ll eventually see yourself growing as a person.

Kickstart Journaling

How can journaling best be of use to you? To vent your emotions? To help achieve your goals? To help clear your mind? What do you think makes journaling such a useful life skill?

Know the answer? Then it’s about time you reap the benefits of journal writing and start putting pen to paper.

Here’s what you can do to start journaling:

Featured photo credit: Jealous Weekends via unsplash.com

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