What we say to ourselves determines, in large part, our mood and feelings. So why do we continue to say crappy things to ourselves? Is it because we want to feel crappy on purpose?
Of course not.
Negative self-talk can be so automatic that you don’t even notice it. What you notice instead is your mood and how you feel.
I’ve worked on brain retraining a lot over the years to keep my negative thoughts away, but noticed them lately swirling and buzzing around in my head.
I got out of practice. It happens from time to time. So I pulled out my trusty workbook and got back to work…
The first step in reframing negative thinking is to become aware of the thoughts you’re having throughout the day. Once you’re in tune with the noise in your head, you can better control it. How empowering is it to know that we can control our thoughts?!
Here’s an example: When you notice yourself thinking, “Nobody ever listens to me,” challenge yourself to look at the facts… and reframe the statement to something you would say to a friend who was having the same thought, like: “Even though this person doesn’t like my idea, other people do.” You’ll realize that it’s simply NOT TRUE that NOBODY listens to you; that it was just an incident with one person that may have upset you.
It definitely takes practice, but once you get in the habit, you’ll be amazed at all the thoughts you notice, and can then change them to help you feel better.
If you want to try an exercise to help you change those negative thoughts into more positive ones, my partner, Mental Health America has a great worksheet to walk you through how to do just that. Get it here.