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How to Reduce Negative Self-Talk for a Better Life

Say It Out Loud

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.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

How to Reduce Negative Self-Talk for a Better Life

How to Reduce Negative Self-Talk for a Better Life

https://www.verywellmind.com/negative-self-talk-and-how-it-affects-us-4161304

verywellmind.com

10

Key Ideas

Replace The Bad With Some Good

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. 

Notice And Stop That Thought

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.

Shift Your Perspective

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.

Think Like a Friend

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. 

Cross-Examine Your Inner Critic

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.

Change Negativity To Neutrality

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... "

Contain Your Negativity

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.

Give Your Inner Critic a Nickname

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.

Thoughts And Feelings Aren't Reality

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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Take a Break From Social Media

Studies show that social media increases self-criticism. Instead, spend some time paying attention to yourself and how you feel and see your life through your own eyes.

If you cannot be with yourself or speak to yourself respectfully, you shouldn’t expect others to. 

Write Out The Insults You Say To Yourself

Seeing it on a piece of paper will make it more obvious to you how self-deprecating your thoughts really are.

Your thoughts run so swiftly, you may not register it if you’re not paying attention. Writing it allows you to slow down and see the absurdity in your own negative self-talk.

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Becoming Young

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Our Inner Critic

Our inner critic is usually formed in a system based on right and wrong answers and outperforming others on structured tasks. Listening to our inner critic will rarely improve our creative work - it may actually result in conformative work.

We need to turn this inner-critic into an inner-coach and drive our personal growth.

Re-educating Our Inner Critic

We do not need to suppress or kill our inner critic, but only need to re-educate it, but only need to deploy three simple ways to make space for the inner child:

  1. Get more playful in our creative endeavours.
  2. Skip doing something adults do in favour of doing something that kids love to do, like drawing, writing poems and playing in the pool.
  3. Practice constructive questioning by asking why to the things we (and others) take for granted.
Replace Self-Criticism

Our brains automatically look for evidence that matches up with what we believe about ourselves, but often disregards other evidence to the contrary.

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Talk Back

Talking back to your inner critic is an important part of taking away its power. 

Telling the critic you don’t want to hear what it has to say begins to give you a sense of choice in the matter. 

Separate The Critic From You

Self-criticism isn’t innate to us, it’s internalized based on outside influences, such as other people’s criticism, expectations, or standards. It’s a habit that can be unlearned or controlled.

One way to separate yourself from the self-criticism is to give it a name. Doing so, you better positioned to free yourself from its influence.

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