Are you talking to me?
Sometimes we aren't very kind to ourselves. You know what I'm talking about. Those moments when you look in the mirror and don't like what you see so you say horrible nasty things to yourself. "You look fat, you're so ugly, is this the best you can do with this body of yours?"
Think about the times you've make mistakes at work and then beat yourself up emotionally because of those errors. "You're stupid, you're going to get fired over this you idiot."
How about the way you speak to yourself when you realize you've made a poor life decision? "You are always making poor choices, never knowing what's good for you"
Think of a situation where you were disappointed in yourself. How did you handle it?
Did you beat yourself up emotionally and say things to yourself that you'd never think of saying to another person?
Did you push food into your mouth hoping that it would make the hurt go away?
Maybe it was a combination of the two, or maybe you totally blew it off and never thought about it again.
These situations can result in a series of self loathing comments that are so awful you know you'd never say them to another person.
But if they're so awful, then why save that level of respect for others and not include yourself?
We do it because we are easy targets, especially when we don't feel good about ourselves. Sometimes we're angry and we are the only ones around to take it out on. However, most often we do it because it's a habit and we don't know any better.
But now you do.
Negative self talk can lead to stress, anxiety, depression, low self esteem and low self worth. It also sets you up for failure. Telling yourself you're fat and that you'll never lose weight can be as detrimental to your psyche as binging on a tub of ice cream. It de-motivates you, it keeps you in that perpetual cycle of unhappiness. It sabotages your efforts to make change.
It also impacts how others see you because if you believe it, you portray yourself out in the world believing it and before you know it, other people will believe it too.
How do you change it?
1. Be mindful. Pay attention to what you're saying to yourself. When something negative pops into your mind, take notice and silence it.
2. Name the voice. Some therapists will tell you that negative self talk stems from your inner child. I'll go into that in another blog sometime. However, for now, name the voice in your head. It personifies it and makes it easier to shut it down.
3. Reframe. When you catch yourself being a bully to yourself, take the negative comment and turn it into something positive. Example: "I'm never going to lose weight" changes to "I'm making change everyday. I'm going to get there." Or "You're so dumb, what a huge mistake" turns into, "you're only human, it's ok. We can fix this."
4. Be a bestie. If you heard your friends or kids say that to themselves, what would you say? Treat yourself like your best friend and counteract that negativity with more positive statements.
5. Don't own it. Just because you say it doesn't mean it's true. It's in your head but you don't have to believe it. Push it away, turn it into something positive, but ultimately just don't own it.
Negative self talk impacts all of us. I deal with it just like you do but using the strategies above helped me tame my monster and over time, contributed to my successful weight loss.
If I can do it, you can too....
Bee healthy. Bee happy.