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The Power of Self Talk

We are the biggest cheerleaders of others. We sing the praises of our family, friends and co-workers. But why is it that sometimes we struggle to do this for ourselves? We can tell ourselves, we are excited, smart, brave, willing and capable – I can do this. Or, maybe we tell ourselves that we are not smart, strong, brave, or attractive enough, to face challenges and dreams the way others do – I can’t do this. It is this voice that tells us, who we are, what we can do, be, or become. So, who controls that voice? You do.

Positive vs. negative self talk

There are two types of self talk – negative and positive. Negative self talk is much easier than positive and sadly comes naturally to most of us at one point or another in our life. Our inner voice is what sets us apart from others and will lead us to a dark place or a healthy path.

Obviously, we all recognize that positive self talk is the healthy way of looking at life and how to deal with what it throws at you. But what if you get stuck in a negative cycle? How do you get out before it creates anxiety and depression?

Recognize negative self talk. 

While you read the next two statements try and think about your own experiences. Which one have you thought yourself?  How did that work for you?

  • I think I have an idea how we could save some time on this project, but I am not the smartest in the group. It’s probably not a good idea anyway, and I don’t want to look stupid. I just won’t say anything.
  • I have a great idea how we could save some time on this project. I am excited to share my ideas and discuss it with my colleagues.

It is easy to see which one of these statements are negative, so how do we switch the conversation in our brain? It starts with how you think about a situation. When negativity creeps in, take a breath, step back, and ask yourself these questions. These are referred to as Stop Techniques and can help switch from a negative to positive thought pattern.

  • Did I overreact?
  • Did I jump to a conclusion?
  • Am I thinking about this too much?
  • Is what I understand the truth?
  • Is this really a crisis or is it an opportunity?
  • Am I being harsh on myself?
  • Is the way I feel today influencing my thoughts?
  • Do people really think this way about me or is this my opinion of myself?
  • Listen for words such as, never, no one, always, or can’t.

Practice switching your thoughts

It is harder than you may think. What if your best friend came to you and told you what they were thinking? How would you respond? Would you agree with them and beat them down even more, or would you be encouraging and supportive? That is how you must learn to treat yourself. Positive self talk is a skill you must practice. Look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself you are those things you want to be. The more you say it the more you will believe it.

Impact of negative self talk

When people suffer a catastrophic life changing event, their world changes. Things that were simple can be difficult and frustration builds. The people supporting them are also impacted and self talk can change those personal interactions. Negative thoughts are exhausting, not only for you, but for caregivers.  Your inner thoughts will reflect in your actions and the way you communicate. If you stay positive even in the difficult times it will make those hard moments a little bit easier. Your thoughts can create a downward spiral or an upward lift. How will you cheer yourself on and look at things in a different light?

We have heard it a hundred times, the mind is a powerful thing. How will you choose to use yours?

The team at Wishart Brain and Spine Law take a holistic approach to injury law. We take care of the legal process so that you can focus on your recovery which includes the mind and body. Live a life not a claim. If you or someone you love is struggling with their mental health always consult a doctor. These blogs are not intended to replace or provide professional help. If you have questions about your injury, please contact us at Wishart Brain and Spine Law. Your first consultation is always free.

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