Cultivating optimistic self talk.
Here's one we could all stand to do better at. Our mental chatter can dictate our actions, how we feel about ourselves and how happy we are in life. So why is it so easy for that internal chatter to become negative? I consider myself an optimistic person with high self esteem - yet I often find myself with negative self talk spiralling out of control. People will experience this in different ways; maybe you tell yourself you can't run that marathon, or that bad things will happen if you talk to that cute waiter, or that you're not pretty enough to wear that dress. After a while, repeating these kinds of negative self talk can really start to affect your behaviour. So let's improve ourselves, shall we?
Worrying. I've come to the realisation that I'm a worrier - I worry more than I'd like to. And it catches me off guard. I'll just be minding my own business, when I'll notice an oddly shaped mole on my arm. It's probably cancer. They'll cut it off but it's already spread throughout my entire body and my friends and family will alienate themselves from me throughout my treatment because they can't bare to see me dying and I'll be alone and in horrible pain and then I'll die. That escalated quickly. That's how it happens for me. Within seconds, I've jumped from being perfectly happy and fine to 100% maximum my-life-is-over-despair. Usually I can shake it off after a while, but just having that train of thought so easily accessible isn't doing me any good. I've gotten better at realising when a negative train of thought has taken over and is steering me astray. It sounds obvious, but knowing when a thought deserves energy and attention and knowing when it doesn't - is crucial. Slowly but surely, I've been teaching myself to derail the negative train before it gets to Despair Station. And even if it does still make it there, I'm bringing myself back to a happy place much much quicker. Rather than it throwing me off for the entire day as I call my doctor in a frenzy to have a mole check, I calmly tell myself that it'll be okay no matter what. Self-Soothing
Once you're able to identify the negative self talk, you've gotta start replacing them with something positive. Just like you would soothe an upset friend, I find it helpful to soothe myself. There there Erika, it's going to be okay. Even if you do get skin cancer, it'll be okay. Everything will work out just fine. It's surprising how well this works. Probably sounds ridiculous, but simply telling yourself it'll be okay really lays the foundation for positive thinking. You don't have to lie to yourself and say you're invincible, you will never face any challenges in life - but knowing that you will be able to deal with anything as it comes is a good start. Be nice to yourself. We're usually pretty nice to the people we love, right? So why aren't we nicer to ourselves? If a friend came to you with a worry about something, let's say they're self conscious about their weight - are you going to tell them that they're hideous and unhealthy and that no one will ever love them? NO. Of course not. And if you do, then you're probably a pretty shitty friend. So why would you ever talk to yourself that way? When you're getting into that negative self talk head space, try and remember that you love yourself - and adjust you're train of thought as if you were speaking to someone you love.