Being kind to yourself is good for your health. As a matter of fact, self-compassion and positive self-talk are healthy ways to pass the time.
What is positive self-talk?
Self-talk is something you do naturally throughout your waking hours. Positive self-talking is a powerful tool for increasing your self-confidence and getting rid of negative emotions. People who master positive self-talk are expected to be more confident, motivated, and productive. Even though some people might experience positive self-talk naturally, others need to learn how to cultivate positive thoughts and dispel the negative ones. With patience and practice, it can become more natural to think good thoughts rather than bad ones.
How can positive self-talk help?
Research has shown that stress increase blood sugar levels, thus exacerbating symptoms of diabetes. The American Diabetes Association states that increased levels of various stress hormones in your bloodstream (e.g. cortisol), can also pump up your blood sugars level. Therefore, positive self-talk can provide numerous benefits, including reducing depression, improving resistance to a common illness such as the flu, cold, or even less risk of diabetes complications such as heart disease, nephropathy or neuropathy.
How to get started?
Listen and learn
Spend a few days listening closely to your inner dialogues, try to answer the following questions and write down your thoughts:
- Are you supportive of yourself?
- Are you critical or negative?
- Would you be comfortable saying those thoughts and words to a loved one?
Think it through
Ask yourself the following questions about each of the thoughts you have listed above:
- Are you overreacting? Is it really that big of a deal?
- Are you coming to a conclusion based more on opinion or experience than facts?
- Are you assuming others have specific beliefs or feel a certain way? Are you guessing how they will react?
- Do you refer to yourself using words like “stupid”, “hopeless”, or “fat”?
- Is this an all-or-nothing thought?
- How truthful and accurate is this thought? Step way back and consider the accuracy of the thought as a friend might.
Rumination and How to avoid
Rumination is the flip side of positive self-talk. It occurs when you replay upsetting or cringe-worthy words or thoughts over and over again in your head. Thinking through a problem can be useful, however, small issues tend to become a snowball if you spend a lot of time ruminating it. In addition, constant rumination can make you more likely to experience anxiety or even depression.
How can you break yourself from these thinking patterns?
- Reverse those negative thoughts. Try to explain things to yourself in an optimistic way, for example, “I am a good person who deserves better.”
- Hang out with people who think positively, they can be a huge support system.
- Avoid negative environments if possible.
Distract yourself when negative self-talk pops up your mind. Take a short walk, meditate, practice deep breathing, listen to music, read, or write down anything which you are grateful for.
Self-compassion and positive self-talk take time and practice, yet it is a great thing to become very adept at.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: May 7, 2019 | Last Modified: May 7, 2019
The Power of Positive Talking. http://www.webmd.com/balance/express-yourself-13/positive-self-talk?page=1. Accessed January 6th, 2017.
Positive Self-Talk Makes a Difference. http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/fitness/get-and-stay-fit/positive-self-talk.html. Accessed January 6th, 2017.