GOOD MORNING MONDAY –
AFFIRMATIVE THOUGHTS FOR A GREAT WEEK
It is Monday! I hope your weekend was phenomenal and that you are refreshed, ready, and raring to go for another amazing week!
How many of you reading this have ever talked to yourself? Even if you do not realize it, you have an internal monologue going on inside of your head throughout each day. This internal monologue is referred to as your “inner voice” and is called “self-talk”.
Have you ever taken a minute to think about what you say to yourself on an ongoing basis? These conversations can either be positive and beneficial or they can be critical and destructive. Remember – the thoughts you think and the words you speak (even if they are your inner voice), create your world and your experience. In fact, there are quantum physicists and neuroscientists that have studied and discovered that our feelings and thoughts release neurotransmitters that affect our state of well-being, promote positive or negative mood, and even impact our organs and body systems’ functions. Additionally, they have found that the brain literally changes its function and STRUCTURE just by what we think or imagine.
So, just thinking or talking to yourself, either positively or negatively, has an effect on all physical structures of your body, not just your mood or emotions.
Let’s take a minute to understand self-talk, how it works, and how we can use it to promote a happier, healthier, more productive mood and life.
Self-talk is something you do naturally throughout your waking hours. Each of us has a set of messages that we play over and over again in our minds. This internal dialogue or personal commentary frames our reactions to life and its circumstances. Thus, self-talk can either be positive or it can be negative.
Positive self-talk is supportive and affirming. It is NOT self-deception or delusional. It is about recognizing the truth in situations and in yourself. One of the ways to recognize, promote and sustain optimism, hope and joy in your life is to intentionally fill your mind with positive self-talk. Some examples of positive self-talk are: “I do have something worthwhile to contribute; I will speak up in the meeting today”, “I am successful”, “I do have insight about this situation”, “I am good at my profession”, “I have value”, etc. etc.
Negative self- talk is the flip side of positive self-talk. This can happen when you replay upsetting thoughts or events over and over again in your head. It can also be stimulated by negative things you were told in your life. Throughout the years, you may have played these messages in your mind fueling negative feelings. Some examples of negative self-talk are: “I cannot do it right”, “I am not smart”, “I will never be successful”, “I will not figure this out”, “This is too hard for me”, etc., etc.
Positive self-talk is a powerful tool for increasing your self confidence and curbing negative emotions. Positive self-talk may come more naturally to some; however, most people need to learn how to cultivate positive thoughts and dispel negative thoughts. Through living in the present moment, being more aware of the “voices inside your head” and with practice, you can learn to think positive thoughts vs negative thoughts and when negative thoughts creep in replace them with positive ones.
Here are some tips to dispel the negative voices in your head and replace them with positive voices:
Give the negative voices in your head a name. Brene Brown calls them “gremlins.” This allows you to step away from them and poke fun at them,
Use the 3rd person in self talk, this can help you step back and think more objectively about what you are telling yourself,
Promote positive self-talk daily by thinking about or speaking “positive affirmations” to yourself and about your life situations
Spend a few days listening closely to your inner dialogues:
Are you supportive of yourself or critical of yourself?
Are common threads or themes repeated?
Are you labeling yourself harshly?
How truthful or accurate is the thought?
Are you overreacting?
Is this an “all or nothing” thought?
Would you be comfortable saying these same words to someone you love?
I suggest writing down the thoughts you are having (maybe get a journal). Assess the thoughts by using the question set above, or others you may have. Take a moment to intentionally counteract the negative messages with positive truths in your life. Do not give up if you don’t find them quickly. For every negative message, there is a positive truth. These truths always exist. Keep looking and you will find them.
I’d like to close by sharing an old Cherokee tale entitled, “The Tale of the Two Wolves”:
An old Cherokee Chief told his grandchildren, “Children, there is a battle between two wolves inside of us all. One is Evil – it is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies, ego and negativity; the Other is Good – it is joy, peace, love, humility, kindness, empathy, truth and positivity.” The children thought about this message and asked, “Grandfather, which wolf wins?” The Chief quietly replied, “The one you feed.”
This week, start paying attention and you will slowly begin to hear the different voices of the “wolves” within you. The choice is yours - which one you will feed?
Wishing you a deeper awareness this week of the voices inside of your head. Choose to replace negative self-talk with positive self-talk. YOU ARE WORTH IT!
Have a GREAT week filled with success, optimism, happiness and joy!