Thursday, July 18, 2013


One of the most destructive habits I help clients reduce is what we shrinks call "negative self-talk". Negative self-talk causes stress and self-defeating behaviors. Our thoughts are very powerful. Over time, if we repeatedly tell ourselves we are a failure, or an idiot, or unlovable, we actually change our brain chemistry! Therefore, negative self-talk can affect how we see ourselves and the world, and can ruin our moods and harm our health.

Here are some examples:
"Other people can do this. What's my problem?"
"I can't believe this is happening to me."
"I am such an idiot"
"I'm useless."
"I'm a failure".

Sound familiar?  Very often the quality of our self-talk has been influenced by our family, friends, teachers, bosses and the media. Start to notice when you bully yourself with negative self-talk. 

Here are some ways to stop the self-sabotage: 

1. Notice when you insult yourself.
(Look for phrases such as such as "I don't", "I can't", or "I'll never".)
2. Visualize a stoplight, and gently and silently tell yourself "stop".
3. Replace the insult with a realistic or positive comment.

Example: Negative self-talk- "I will never get a good job." 

REPLACE this with a more REALISTIC or POSITIVE comment:
"Right now I am frustrated with my job situation, AND I am taking several steps to improve my prospects."

Changing your inner dialogue will probably feel awkward; even positive change feels uncomfortable at the beginning. Keep working at it, you deserve the better moods and good health that result from reducing negative self-talk.

Please let me know how you do!