Oftentimes, we forget that our self-talk could be increasingly damaging. Our repetitive stories, our negative words, body-shaming, and judging can all form walls, shutting out possibilities of success, happiness, and anything else, if we're not careful.
Oh yes, and here's why:
Every time we think a thought and believe that thought, our brain changes. I am incredibly spiritual, and because of that, the neural pathways of my brain are different than someone who is Christian, or Atheist, or Buddhist, or anything else. When I think of God, my mind zaps to a clear image, while other people think of God and their mind zaps to a different image. The same goes for every possible topic. A single thought or idea flows through our minds, turns on neurons, and those neurons turn and create connections. A single thought can change the patterns and entire layout of your brain.
These thoughts can be as simple as I'm ugly, I'm not good enough, etc.
Man, even writing that out made me sad!
We don't always notice the negative self-talk that goes on and on in our head, but by noticing it, by just reading it, saying it out loud, we can take a step back and notice how it makes us feel. While there's a science to back it up, the science shouldn't be necessary. Thinking negatively just makes you feel... negative, sad, low, tired, weak, and more. And when we're constantly focusing on the negative, on the repetitive sad stories, we not only have no room in our minds for happiness, but we don't notice it, because our brains are literally wired to think otherwise.
So, how can we stop our negative self-talk?
Well, here's the thing: Less negative self-talk isn't going to automatically make you happier. This is something I recently learned in positive psychology, and it surprised me greatly. The key is not to stop negative self-talk but change negative self-talk. For many reasons, it's important to have negative thoughts, because they show us who we want to be, what we want to change, and who or what we should stay clear from. However, it can also be incredibly damaging to allow our brains to cling to low-vibe thoughts. The key is to raise those low-vibe thoughts and change the way we're talking to ourselves and others altogether.
4 steps to changing your negative self-talk and low-vibe thoughts
1. Begin observing your thoughts more often
By getting into the habit of listening to and observing your thoughts, you'll be able to spot the self-talk that could be blocking your happiness. Start by trying to meditate daily, whether that's to a guided meditation or silence, or simply take time to be quiet, to look at your surroundings and be in the present. In these times of calmness and clarity, the negative thoughts should jump out at you. And you'll clearly be able to see the impact these words may be doing.
When you catch a negative word or story in action, stop it from expanding and snowballing into something worse. Grab the thought midair, and don't let it go. Focus on it, observe it, and ask yourself, "Why is it here? Is this thought serving me in any way?" And simply, for the time being, stop thinking.
3. Forgive yourself of the thought
Simply take a step back and forgive yourself for your damaging self-talk, and you should instantly feel a sense of relief. The only person who can truly make you feel better is you. So forgive yourself. It's okay to feel low sometimes, but it's also okay to let it go, to release the mental tension.
4. Change the thought
By realizing that this thought is probably not serving you, you can decide to change it. If the thought is, "I'm not good enough," start by saying "I'm growing as a person and am becoming stronger every day," and maybe add on, "I will get there," or better yet, "I am already there, I am good enough." See how easy that was? By changing the story, the entire mood shifted to something optimistic and high-vibe.
Remember--we don't need to focus on the negative stories. Because our brains adapt to our thoughts, our minds have clung to negativity and reflect back on them often because of the way our neural pathways our structured. If we truly want to, we can think happiness into our lives, simply by changing our thoughts.
After practicing these steps, you should already be closer to a more positive, healthy mind, and happiness and abundance will surely be in your favor. Thinking positive will re-wire your brain to connect to other positive connections, and in turn, positive thoughts are more likely to appear and positive events are more likely to be noticed.
An important thing to remember is that it's okay to focus on the "negative", but it's also important to focus on the solutions, the change in thought, the optimism. Otherwise, you may find yourself digging an even deeper hole, your mind focusing on the bad and ignoring the good.
Let's take time to observe our thoughts, and call upon happiness, abundance, and physical and emotional well-being as often as we can. Why? Because it feels good to feel good!
Did this post help you in any way? If so, let me know in the comments!