Take a negative thought and change it to something encouraging that's also accurate. Repeat until you find yourself needing to do it less and less often.
Simply stopping negative thoughts in their tracks can be helpful. This is known as "thought-stopping" and can take the form of snapping a rubber band on your wrist, visualizing a stop sign, or simply changing to another thought when a negative train of thought enters your mind.
Telling a trusted friend what you're thinking about can often lead to support or a good laugh when the negative self-talk is ridiculous. Even saying some negative self-talk phrases under your breath can remind you how unreasonable and unrealistic they sound, and remind you to give yourself a break.
Sometimes looking at things in the long term can help you to realize that you may be placing too great an emphasis on something. Shift your perspective by imagining that you are panning out and looking at your problems from a great distance.
Decrease it’s negativity by imagining you are saying your self-talk to a friend. If you know you wouldn't say it in a certain way, think of how you'd share it instead or what you'd like a good friend to say to you.
Catch your negative self-talk and ask yourself how true it is. The vast majority of negative self-talk is an exaggeration, and calling yourself on this can help to decrease its damaging influence.
It can be hard to force yourself to stop a train of thought. An easier alternative is to change the intensity of your language, thus muting its power.
"I can't stand this" becomes, "This is challenging. " "I hate... " becomes, "I don't like... " and even, "I don't prefer... "
You can limit the negativity by setting up a maximum time for self-criticism or only allowing self-criticism to certain things in your life.
When you think of your inner critic as a force outside of yourself and even give it a goofy nickname, it's easier to realize that you don't have to agree, and it becomes less threatening and more easy to see how ridiculous some of your critical thoughts can be.
Your thoughts and feelings about yourself can't be considered accurate information. Your thoughts can be skewed like everyone else's, subject to biases and the influence of your moods.
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