We all have an inner critic. Sometimes this inner critic helps us get back on track when we lose sight of our goals or even ourselves. A few notes from this critic about what we should (or shouldn’t) be doing are helpful — like when he reminds us of an important deadline that we should focus on instead of watching Netflix. However, this inner critic does more harm than good most days. Especially when you start to overthink and get stuck in negative-driven thought patterns. This habit, also known as negative self-talk, can be harmful to your mental and physical health.
Negative self-talk is generally an indicator of negative beliefs exploding in your mind. These beliefs can be picked up by the environment in which you live or were raised. Our subconscious mind is like a sponge in all of our life experiences. So, when life gets rough on you, it is bound to reflect in the way you interact with yourself.
If you are a person affected by negative self-talk that is affecting your progress and preventing you from feeling happy, then it is time to break up. Let’s break down the best ways to get rid of negative self-talk patterns.
How do you deal with negative self-talk?
1. Investigate patterns.
The first step in dealing with your harsh inner thoughts is understanding their patterns. So put on your spirit world hat and take some time to sit with yourself and meditate or journal about the thoughts or behaviors that are limiting you. Consider your thoughts and beliefs without judgment. Try to learn as much as possible about how these thoughts evolved and how they affect your life.
2. Find out 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 allows these thoughts to grow and act more frequently. Try to figure out what you’re getting yourself into when you engage in this negative self-talk. Do you feel right, protected, or loved? Now keep this information to yourself; We’ll come back to that in the next step.
Why do you feel this way? What is the reason for these feelings? Is this a sign of something else? These are basic questions that you need to ask yourself to uncover the reason behind your thoughts. Remember the reward we found in the previous step, sit with it and understand why it is. If you are acting out of fear, let that redirect you toward positive actions. If this thought pattern makes you feel loved or appreciated, 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 are struggling with feelings of failure, low self-esteem, etc., allow yourself to fall apart. Imperfections, failures, and flaws are a part of life, and once you embrace them and learn to move forward while recognizing them, you will become better.
5. Take a conscious step to silence negative thoughts.
We understand that all this will be difficult at first. You will have good days where you feel left behind and bad days where those negative thoughts will pop back into your head. It may seem tempting to wallow in them but always try to face them and remind yourself that you have more power than them. If you are plagued by self-doubt, remind yourself how far you have come and the progress you are making each day.
Read more: The ultimate mental health care shop
Extremely negative self-talk can benefit you, but it will always end up doing more harm than good. This is why one needs to take proactive and conscious steps towards dealing with these negative thoughts. We hope these above steps will help you deal with your negative thought processes.
However, these ideas are not a substitute for appropriate professional help. If you feel like your negative thoughts are affecting your daily life or pushing you over the edge, it’s 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 matters.