We all have an inner critic. Sometimes, this inner critic helps us get back on track when we have lost sight of our goals or even ourselves. Some remarks from this critic about what you should (or should not) be doing are helpful – like when it reminds us of an important deadline that we must focus on rather than watching Netflix. However, this inner critic does more harm than good on most days. Especially when you begin to overthink and get stuck in negativity-driven thought patterns. This habit, also known as negative self-talk, can be harmful to both your mental and physical health.
Negative self-talk is generally an indicator of the negative beliefs bubbling within your mind. These beliefs can be picked up by the environment you live in or have grown up in. Our subconscious mind is like a sponge taking in all our life experiences. Therefore, when life gets harsh on you, it is bound to be reflected in the way you interact with yourself.
If you are someone affected by negative self-talk that is affecting your progress and stopping you from being happy, it is time to break out. Let us decipher the best ways to break up with these negative self-talk patterns.
How to deal with negative self-talk?
1. Investigate the patterns.
The first step in dealing with your harsh inner thoughts is understanding their patterns. So put on your spiritual scientist hat and set aside some time to sit with yourself and meditate or journal on the thoughts or behaviors that are limiting you. Look into your thoughts and beliefs without judgment. Try to learn as much as possible about how these thoughts developed and how they affect your life.
2. Find what engages these thoughts.
It is easy to determine the cost or harm of these negative thoughts. But every negative thought pattern has a payoff that lets these thoughts grow and operate repeatedly. Try to find out what you get when you engage in this negative self-talk. Do you feel right, protected, or liked? Now keep this information to yourself; we will come back for it in the next step.
Why are you feeling this way? What caused these feelings? Are these a sign of something else? These are essential questions you need to ask yourself to uncover the cause behind your thoughts. Remember the payoff we found in the previous step, sit with it and understand its cause. If you are acting out of fear, let that redirect you toward positive actions. If this thought pattern makes you feel liked or appreciated, then identify safe ways to find that appreciation within yourself.
Read more: The True Meaning Of Self-Awareness
4. Stop Expecting Perfection.
Negative self-talk won’t magically stop once you start acknowledging these thoughts and taking proactive steps against them. If you have been experiencing feelings of failure, low self-esteem, etc., allow yourself to get knocked down. Flaws, failures, and imperfections are a part of life, and once you embrace them and learn to move forward while recognizing them, you will only become better.
5. Take a conscious step to silencing negative thoughts.
We understand that, at first, all this will be difficult. You will have good days where you will feel you have left it behind and bad days where these negative thoughts will come creeping back into your head. It might even seem tempting to indulge in them but try to always confront them and remind yourself that you hold much more power than them. If you are affected by self-doubt, remind yourself of how far you have come and the progress you keep making each day.
Read more: The Ultimate Mental Health Care Shop
Negative self-talk might benefit you acutely but will always end up causing more harm than good. That is why one needs to take proactive and conscious steps toward dealing with these negative thoughts. We hope these above-listed steps will help you deal with your negative thought processes.
However, these ideas are not a substitute for proper professional help. If you feel that your negative thoughts have been affecting your day-to-day life or pushing you to the edge, it is important to get help. Therapy is a powerful tool for dealing with such negative thoughts. Online therapy has made finding a therapist easier and more affordable. To learn about the top five online therapy platforms, click here.
To continue learning about mental health daily, subscribe to Your Mental Health Pal.