This blog shares 3 steps for reversing negative self-talk. You may experience thoughts that are distressing, discouraging, or overall uncomfortable. They can take a toll on your functioning throughout the day. You may feel an inability to focus on tasks, fully engage in activities, or overall feel content with yourself. They can be intrusive, and seemingly come out of nowhere.
When we stop giving our thoughts the power to hold absolute truth, we can have better control over them. We can pick and choose what resonates with us, and what does not. Self-talk can be used for self-growth and self-improvement, as well as self-love, rather than for shaming ourselves, guilting ourselves, or making ourselves feel worse. We can decide what messages we want to take from our thoughts and examine the meaning behind them.
We also gain a greater understanding of ourselves. Try to reflect on what may be causing this thought to come up. Are you in a situation where you are seeking to find your purpose, but may be struggling in doing so? What steps can you take to address this?
(1) Be mindful of when negative thoughts come up for you – perhaps write them down to reflect upon later. (2) Acknowledge themes in your negative thoughts, and create opposing, healthy statements. (3) Speak to yourself as you would your inner child, or the younger version of you.
Individual therapy in Simi Valley, CA can be an evolutionary experience for those wanting to explore their own personal desires and challenges and, ultimately, grow and heal. Make sure to read our blog on 3 Benefits of Individual Therapy!
Negative self-talk can feel innate and normalized within us. However, it subconsciously stunts our ability to welcome growth and accept ourselves for who we are.
3 Steps for Reversing Negative Self-Talk: Be mindful of when these negative thoughts come up for you.
Be mindful of when negative thoughts come up for you, and try to acknowledge them the moment that they cross your mind. This may take some practice in being aware of when you experience negative thoughts. It can feel so natural to you to simply go on about your day, and negative thoughts may be a normalized experience.
You may notice that certain negative thoughts come up during certain moments or activities. This might occur late at night when you are in bed trying to fall asleep, when you are engaging in a school/work/hobby activity, or when socializing with others. They differ for everyone and may come up for various reasons as well.
By identifying the negative thoughts, this means you are acknowledging their presence. For example, you may be laying in bed at night, and suddenly think to yourself “I’m such a failure”. You might find it helpful to write down negative thoughts when convenient for you so that you may look back and reflect on them when you’re in a different state of mind. Additionally, try to separate yourself from this thought, and contemplate it from an outside perspective. “I’m thinking negatively because of this uncomfortable encounter I had today”. By removing yourself from your thought you can reflect on the origin of the thought without confirming it.
Individual therapy in Simi Valley, CA provides you with a focused space to begin working towards reducing your negative self-talk. Make sure to check out our blog on How to Sit With Uncomfortable Feelings, as it is relevant to this blog topic!
Negative self-talk can be experienced for a variety of reasons. You can also experience them in multiple areas of your life: within relationships, work, school, or when you are alone.
3 Steps for Reversing Negative Self-Talk: Acknowledge themes in your negative thoughts, and create opposing, healthy statements.
Acknowledge common, negative thoughts or themes that come up for you, whether it be on your phone or on paper. Next to them, write an opposing, healthy statement. Try to do this in the moment of a negative thought, or soon after it occurs. This way, you can actively work to reverse it in the moment.
You can also note multiple, recurring thoughts and write opposing statements at once. You can do these at the end of the day, or from the day prior. The success of this practice fully depends upon finding a method that works best for you, and there is no right or wrong way to go about this. All you need is to be able to set time aside to practice this skill.
You also don’t need to necessarily write something down, and rather think of an opposing statement to yourself as well. This scenario could apply if you were driving in your car and you’re unable to note something. Actively take time to reflect on alternatives of a negative thought. Sometimes speaking to yourself aloud can be helpful in observing your thoughts more objectively.
More examples of opposing, healthy statements can look like:
- I let everyone down. —> It is not realistic to please everyone at all times, and it’s okay to make mistakes.
- I’m so stupid. —> Making errors is how I can learn and evolve.
- I can never do anything right. —> I will give myself room to continue to learn and grow.
- I am such a bad parent/child/sibling/partner. —> I am doing the best I can and that’s what matters.
- I am unlovable. —> I am inherently deserving of love, care, and respect.
- I am ashamed of who I am. —> I embrace and honor my uniqueness and imperfections.
Anxiety therapy in Simi Valley, CA can help you in finding opposing, healthy statements that work for you. Make sure to read our blog on Signs It’s Time to Start Anxiety Therapy to understand if it would be beneficial for you at this time.
It can feel unnatural at first to consider the truth in opposing, healthy statements. Especially if you struggle with feelings of guilt, shame, low self-worth, or anxiety.
3 Steps for Reversing Negative Self-Talk: Speak to yourself as you would to your inner-child.
Speak to yourself as you would to your inner-child. Try to imagine that you’re talking to yourself when you were younger. You would want that child to feel loved, supported, and that they are deserving of believing in themselves.
It is important to address your “inner child” with self-compassion, unconditional love, and support. An example of speaking to yourself as you would to your inner child would look like:
- I am proud of myself for how far I’ve come, even though it doesn’t feel that way.
- I have so much to offer to this world. I can do whatever I put my mind to.
- I am strong, healthy, and determined. I can make it through difficult times.
- I have so much potential!
- I am deserving of love and care.
This may not always be an easy task if you have suffered childhood or teen trauma. It can feel painful to reflect back on uncomfortable or distressing experiences we had as a child or teen. Maybe we hold blame for things we did when we were younger, and struggle to come to peace with ourselves.
When we can recognize that we deserved love as a child, just as much as we do now, we can begin healing. You may notice that maladaptive patterns or behaviors arose in your childhood or teen years. The family or social environment you were raised in may have contributed to some issues you are seeking to work on. There may be understandable feelings of resentment, confusion, and sadness that come with addressing these parts of you.
Recognizing that you would benefit from processing past experiences is the first step. There is always room for improvement and growth within you. Regardless of past mistakes you have made, you can choose to become the person you want to be today.
Struggling with negative self-talk can feel defeating and discouraging. However, you don’t need to go through this alone. You can work with a therapist to achieve your goals in feeling more positive, confident, and content with your life.
In-person therapy in Simi Valley is ideal for those seeking a separate, safe space from their home. Check out our blog on Online Therapy or In Office Therapy to understand what format is best for you.
By seeking out support, you can begin your journey to feeling relief. You don’t have to go through finding the right level of support alone, either.
Seek out a validating, safe environment with us today. We will help you get to where you want to be. Our therapists provide teen therapy, individual adult therapy, LGBTQIA+ therapy, anxiety therapy, depression therapy, family therapy, and more in-office in Simi Valley, CA.