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The Voice Inside Your Head Is Playing with You

The Voice Inside Your Head Is Playing with You

When LeBron James talked about his decision to leave Cleveland for the Miami Heat back in 2010, he was met with a barrage of negativity. People burned his jersey. Longtime fans turned on him.

    Leborn was able to create distance from the situation simply by changing how he talked about the situation,[1]

    I wanted to do what was best for LeBron James, and what LeBron James was going to do to make him happy.

      He was facing a negative situation and the negative reactions of fans, but he was able to use positive words to explain his decision. If he would have responded to the negativity directly by saying, “yes I’m sad that people burned my jersey, it makes me feel unappreciated and vulnerable”, the situation and the negativity would have grown worse.

      The critical voice inside our head

      Most don’t realize it, but as we go about our daily lives, we are subconsciously interpreting every situation that arises–both big and small. We have an internal voice inside our mind that shapes our perception about what we are experiencing.

      Some of our internal conversations can be negative, unrealistic, self-defeating and self-deprecating. We say things like, ‘I’m going to fail for sure’, or ‘I didn’t do well. I’m hopeless. I’m useless.’

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      Negative self-talk can come from:

      • A bad mood that stirs up negative thoughts.
      • The habit of being overly critical which may stem from your childhood.
      • Pessimism and always expecting the worst.
      • Negative past experiences and the persistent belief that history repeats itself.
      • Fear, anxiety, worries, depression and the different kinds of psychological problems that feed and perpetuate negative thinking.

      The consequences of negative self-talk builds over time. Each time you engage in negative self-talk, you shoot yourself an arrow. Each arrow by itself is fairly insignificant. But over time, it can break you. Repeatedly berating yourself and believing the worse slowly sabotages you.

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            Thinking of yourself as clumsy, a loser, ugly , stupid, insignificant or worthless is an indicator that your self-talk is negative and you may be slowly orchestrating your own demise. Internal negativity makes you see yourself as irreparably flawed, inadequate or incompetent and as a result your self confidence is diminished.

            Seeing yourself as hopeless, blaming yourself whenever something goes wrong or dwelling on worst-case scenarios are all examples of exaggerated, negative thought patterns. And this kind of distorted thinking can cause you to spiral downward until you’re so far down you are unable to see or imagine anything positive.

            Negative self-talk reinforces any irrational ideas you already have. Each time you mentally rehearse negative phrases, you strengthen those irrational beliefs and perceptions. And with time, your negativity gathers the strength to cripple–and in some cases– even kill you.

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            Ridding yourself of negative self-talk

              Replacing a negative mindset with a positive one requires slow and methodical effort. Here are a few steps that can help you recognize, stop and replace negative thoughts with positive ones:

              1. Identify the times negative self-talk arises.
              2. Identify what triggered those thoughts.
              3. Counter your negative thoughts with positive–factual ones.
              4. Create yourself a script that you can use to counter negative thoughts as soon as they arise.

              When thoughts such as “I am worthless” arise, counter them with more realistic thoughts such as “my kids need me” or “my colleague values my work.” Each time you counter negative statements with positive facts, your negative thoughts lose power.

              Try to view each situation objectively, like an outsider looking in and then try to determine what is best for that person (you) in that situation, similar to what Lebron James did.

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              Repeating this cycle over and over trains your mind to seek out and focus on the positive. And slowly positive thoughts will become your default. You have power over how you precieve life and how you interact with it. The first step in being fulfilled and achieving your goals begins by training that small voice in your head to speak positivity.

              Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

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              Anna Chui

              Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the Content Strategist of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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              Last Updated on October 6, 2020

              9 Reasons Why a Social Media Detox Is Good for You

              9 Reasons Why a Social Media Detox Is Good for You

              Social media user numbers continue to grow. In fact, the average person spends at least 1 hour and 40 minutes per day looking at their favorite social media sites and apps.[1] This is an astounding amount of time that could be spent in other ways, but it is also indicative of the current social and business culture.

              However, this doesn’t mean that spending this much time on social media is good for you. Although your work may require you to remain social online during business hours, it can be very helpful to detox over the weekend or during a vacation.

              How is social media ruining your life? Watch this video and you’ll find out:

               

              Here are 9 benefits of taking a break from social media:

              1. Break the Social Comparison Cycle

              Scientists have discovered that most people who use social media end up comparing themselves to the lives of everyone they know. The problem with this is that it can have a serious impact on your self-esteem.

              For example, if everyone you know is getting married and having babies but you’re still single, you may end up feeling isolated and lonely. This can even lead to serious depression for some people.[2] Break away from this unhealthy cycle by taking a break from social media so that you can reconnect with all of the awesome things in your life.

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              2. Protect Your Privacy

              Social media is a convenient way to keep in touch and share photos, but it also requires you to give up a lot of your privacy.

              For example, ReputationDefender recently reported that the latest privacy policy update for WhatsApp allows the messaging app to share data with Facebook.[3]

              Therefore, if you don’t want Facebook to have access to your telephone number, make sure that you don’t have both apps installed on your phone. Even better, you can take a social media detox that includes deleting your apps and accounts to provide yourself with the best possible privacy protection.

              3. You’ll Stop Feeling So Competitive

              Even if you aren’t aware of it, social media brings out your competitive side. This is because the main basis of social media networks such as Facebook is to attract attention to your posts. Each reaction and comment is a measure of how popular a particular post is, which can make you strive to outdo others and even yourself.

              This type of competitiveness is not healthy, and it can cause anxiety and depression. Take a mental health break by stepping away from social media for a while!

              4. Improve Your Overall Mood

              Studies have discovered that the more time you spend on a social media site, the more likely you are to develop depression.[4] Additionally, the amount of time you spend on these sites is directly related to whether or not you feel stressed out or happy.

              In other words, if you’ve been feeling highly anxious, stressed out, or depressed, this is a good time to take a social media detox. It may feel weird at first, but your overall mood should begin to improve as you stay away from Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites.

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              5. Conquer Your Fear of Missing Out

              Computer World has pointed out that social media is engineered to be as addictive as crack cocaine.[5] This isn’t just hyperbole; when you first stop using social media, you can expect to feel withdrawal symptoms. Scientists say that this is due to the naturally ingrained fear of missing out. After all, you could miss something entertaining or important if you step away from your laptop or smartphone.

              The notification number makes it even harder to stay away. But those who become addicted to social media can end up destroying their personal and professional relationships.

              You can minimize this effect after your detox by scheduling a once a day visit to your favorite social media sites. After that visit is over, do not look at social media for the rest of the day.

              Learn more about the Fear of Missing Out: What Is FOMO (And How to Get Over It)

              6. Reconnect With the Real World

              Do you connect well with others online but find yourself never connecting in person? This can be ideal for introverts, but we all still need some in-person human contact.

              Sadly, people who spend a lot of time on social media sites report feeling lonely and isolated in real life. They are also more likely to suffer from a weakened immune system.

              The good news is that even if you’re an introvert and uncomfortable with a lot of in-person interaction, you can boost your mood by simply going out in public. Take yourself to your favorite park or restaurant if you prefer to be alone. You could even go to a movie or concert.

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              If you want to make new friends, consider using a service such as MeetUp to find like-minded individuals.

              7. Begin Living in the Moment

              Do you post everything you do to Facebook while each activity or life event is actually happening? There have even been instances of people updating their Facebook and Twitter accounts from the altar immediately after getting married.[6]

              This is a viable way to document your life, but it can also become a burden that takes you out of the moment. If you’re living everything through the lens of social media instead of directly interacting with it, your experiences will be of lower quality and become less memorable.

              Start trying these 34 Ways To Live in the Moment And Grow in the Moment.

              8. Stop Obsessing Over the Past

              Do you spend a lot of time looking at old tweets or Facebook stalking your ex? This can keep you stuck in a negative headspace, and it makes it much more difficult to recover from a breakup.

              Leaving social media behind for a while can give you the space you need to stop obsessing and actually move on with your life. Make sure that when you do return to social media that you take the extra step of blocking exes or anyone else who it pains you to see online. You can also tweak your Facebook memories to remove certain items so that you stop being reminded of them.

              When you start to let go of your past, these 10 things will happen.

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              9. Gain a Lot of Free Time

              Do you feel like you never have enough time to exercise, read or clean your house? Putting social media on pause will help you regain almost 2 hours daily, during which you can devote your energy to improving your life.

              Walking for 30 minutes per day offers huge physical and mental health benefits, which makes it a much better usage of your time than scrolling through your Facebook news feed.[7] You will also feel less stressed out if you take some time to get your house in order.

              Final Thoughts

              For many of us, social media is already a big part of our lives. But despite the benefits we gain from it, there are also downsides to using it, especially if we spend too much time.

              If you have a difficult time unplugging completely, consider visiting one of the many websites that offer educational benefits instead. Taking a free course or listening to podcasts on a topic of interest is definitely a better way to spend your time, and it can enrich your personal and professional lives.

              More Tips for Social Media Detox

              Featured photo credit: freestocks via unsplash.com

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