innertalk | Terezia Farkas | depression help | Beliefnet

You learn how to speak to others. What you’re never taught is how to speak to yourself. What is healthy inner talk? After all, you are listening. What do you need to say, and what should you say, when your head space is overflowing with negative thoughts and emotions?

Learning to speak to yourself.

First you need to realize that speaking to yourself isn’t weird, or something that makes you “different” from other people. Every human being talks to their self, either at the conscious or subconscious level. Many of us don’t know what healthy inner talk is about. You just hear your inner self talk, and go with it. You believe the negative words repeating inside your mind, and soon you are living out a self fullfilling prophecy.

The first step of learning to speak to yourself is learning to listen to your inner chatter. Hearing it and listening to it are two different things. Listening to what you tell yourself means being aware of your thoughts and feelings, much like you do when you listen to someone else. You need to listen to your thoughts the same way you would listen to a friend who is talking to you. What is being said? What is the meaning behind the words? Is there any emotion attached to what is said? How does the tone make you feel?

Challenge what you tell yourself.

You need to challenge thoughts that are negative or destructive. Notice when you snap at yourself. Be aware of when you beat yourself up, or when you call yourself “dummy”, “waste of life”, or worse.

Usually there’s a pattern to one’s negative self image. There are triggers like people, places, and calendar anniversaries. Triggers teach you to think a certain way, and to react to yourself in a negative manner. Over eating, drinking too much, excessive partying, physical violence – these are some coping mechanisms people use when a trigger sets off negative inner talk.

By noticing what you’re saying to yourself, you can realize that you are reacting to a trigger. That the problem really isn’t you. It’s something external to who you are as a person. Deliberately listening to your negative inner talk will help you realize what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.

Noticing your thoughts is a gift to yourself.

A thought or feeling doesn’t have to become embedded in your mind. You don’t have to try to be positive. Noticing what you say to yourself and how it makes you feel is a gift to yourself. A gift that lets you see the thought or emotion for what it is – a moment in time passing by. You don’t need to grab that moment, and press it into your heart. That moment doesn’t need to become a part of you. Even if you feel guilt, that guilt is about holding onto a moment that passed by long ago and has nothing to do with who you are right now.

Be careful how you talk to yourself. You are listening.

 

Find me on Twitter  @tereziafarkas

Visit my website http://www.tereziafarkas.com

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