What Are the Benefits of Self-Talk

From Healthline.com

Understanding self-talk

Take a minute and think about what you’ve said to yourself today. Was it critical? Or was it kind and helpful? How did you feel after you engaged in this inner discussion?

Your thoughts are the source of your emotions and mood. The conversations you have with yourself can be destructive or beneficial. They influence how you feel about yourself and how you respond to events in your life.

What is self-talk?

Self-talk is something you do naturally throughout your waking hours. People are becoming more aware that positive self-talk is a powerful tool for increasing your self-confidence and curbing negative emotions. People who can master positive self-talk are thought to be more confident, motivated, and productive.

How does self-talk work?

Although positive self-talk comes naturally to some, most people need to learn how to cultivate positive thoughts and dispel the negative ones. With practice, it can become more natural to think good thoughts rather than bad ones.

Positive self-talk

Positive self-talk is supportive and affirming. Consider the following two inner statements:

“I’m going to speak up in the meeting today because I have something important to contribute.” This sounds like a positive plan and attitude.

“I don’t think I want to speak up in the meeting today because I’ll look foolish if I say the wrong thing.” Contrast this negative comment with the statement above.

Rumination: Negative self-talk

Rumination is the flip side of positive self-talk. It happens when you replay upsetting or cringe-worthy thoughts or events over and over again in your head. Thinking through a problem can be useful, but if you spend a lot of time ruminating, small issues tend to snowball. Constant rumination can make you more likely to experience depression or anxiety.

This statement show negative thoughts can grow and become self-defeating:

“I look so fat in this dress. I really am fat. Look at those thighs. No wonder I can’t get a date. Why can’t I lose weight? It’s impossible.”

What is self-talk?

Self-talk is something you do naturally throughout your waking hours. People are becoming more aware that positive self-talk is a powerful tool for increasing your self-confidence and curbing negative emotions. People who can master positive self-talk are thought to be more confident, motivated, and productive.

How does self-talk work?

Although positive self-talk comes naturally to some, most people need to learn how to cultivate positive thoughts and dispel the negative ones. With practice, it can become more natural to think good thoughts rather than bad ones.

Positive self-talk

Positive self-talk is supportive and affirming. Consider the following two inner statements:

“I’m going to speak up in the meeting today because I have something important to contribute.” This sounds like a positive plan and attitude.

“I don’t think I want to speak up in the meeting today because I’ll look foolish if I say the wrong thing.” Contrast this negative comment with the statement above.

Rumination: Negative self-talk

Rumination is the flip side of positive self-talk. It happens when you replay upsetting or cringe-worthy thoughts or events over and over again in your head. Thinking through a problem can be useful, but if you spend a lot of time ruminating, small issues tend to snowball. Constant rumination can make you more likely to experience depression or anxiety.

This statement show negative thoughts can grow and become self-defeating:

“I look so fat in this dress. I really am fat. Look at those thighs. No wonder I can’t get a date. Why can’t I lose weight? It’s impossible.”

Switch gears

Now that you have a better idea of how your inner thoughts are skewed, it’s time to switch gears and learn a new approach to self-talk. Look back at the thoughts on your list and reword them in a kinder, more positive light.

You can only win

Banishing your inner critic and learning how to have productive, positive inner conversations has no downside. Some people may find it easier than others to adopt positive self-talk. Others may have to give it more time and put more effort into it. Either way, it’s a worthwhile step toward bettering yourself and improving your sense of self-worth.

Sources

Brown B. (2012, March). Listening to Shame

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2014, March 4). Positive Thinking: Stop Negative Self-Talk to Reduce Stress

The Role of Self-Talk and Anxiety. (2009)

Kross, E., Bruehlman-Senecal, E., Park, J., Burson, A., Dougherty, A., Shablack, H., Ayduk, O. (2014) Self-Talk as a Regulatory Mechanism: How you do it Matters. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 106(2), 304–324