What does your inner self sound like? Is it positive and encouraging? Or negative and depressing? Our inner self talk is extremely powerful, after all it’s the message you’re telling yourself and your brain. Telling our brain something over and over again will encourage it to come true! Next time you hear your inner self speak, notice what message is being sent. If it’s not supportive, understanding or positive; change it. Explore your own thoughts and find out why you thought something negative about yourself.
Think back of a time where you really wanted something, whether it’s a promotion or getting good grades. If the voice in your head while you were studying was “I’ll never retain all this information” or “I’m not smart enough to understand this” chances are you had a much harder time studying and possibly never got the grades you wanted. It’s not surprising because you’re sending mix messages to your brain, on one hand you’re trying to learn something while also telling it you can’t. The same idea applies when your competing for a promotion, if you go about your day telling yourself “I’m not going to get it” chances are you wont. Your thoughts are projected on the outside, increasing your stress and in the end decreasing your work performance.
When it comes to our health and our body image, the same logic applies. If we think after eating “I can’t believe I ate all this junk food, I’m bad or I’m unhealthy or any negative word you use” than that’s what your brain thinks you are. A bad unhealthy person will continue to make bad unhealthy decisions in the future. Next time you find yourself in that situation change your self talk with something positive. You could say “I ate junk food today because I felt very hungry and stressed, tomorrow I’ll be healthier and plan my meals ahead to avoid relying on junk food” or anything else that’s positive and speaks to you. Apply the same principal when you look at yourself in the mirror, instead of focusing on your flaws focus on your what you like.
Another way to realize how bad your self talk can be is replacing yourself with a friend. Next time you have a negative thought ask yourself; if your friend did the action your reproaching yourself for doing would you give them the same answer? Chances are you wouldn’t, we don’t call our friends unhealthy, bad, fat, ugly or any other word that has a negative meaning to us. If your friend overeats at dinner or gains a few pound you’d say it’s okay and you’d comfort them if needed. Start treating yourself like a friend, this will require conscious effort but the effort will be worth it.