The Benefits of Positive Self-Talk
Negative self-talk can look like being called clumsy, silly, awkward, stupid, and more. The names we call ourselves, the constant criticizing, analyzing, and critiquing all fall into the category of negative self-talk. I have recently become more cognizant of the words I tell myself, and changing to positive self-talk has benefited me so much that it is life-changing. I encourage you to take a closer look at how you talk about yourself and ask, "Would I talk to someone I love this way?" The answer may surprise you.
What Is Self-Talk, Whether Positive or Negative?
According to Psychology Today:
"Many people are conscious of an inner voice that provides a running monologue throughout the day and even into the night. Cheerful and supportive or negative and self-defeating, this internal chatter is referred to as self-talk."1
There are a plethora of benefits from positive self-talk that can be used as motivators to begin this journey of transforming our thoughts. Positive self-talk can:2
- Improve self-esteem, stress management, and wellbeing
- Make you feel more in control of your life
- Help chronic pain
- Motivate you to overcome obstacles
- Help calm you
Both Negative and Positive Self-Talk Hold Power, But Only One of Them Holds Benefits
I recently came back from an amazing trip to the Caribbean to visit my grandfather. I was blown away by the beauty of the island and the quality time I was fortunate enough to spend with my loved ones. Although the trip surpassed my expectations in every sense, I still felt flooded with anxiety and anticipation on the flight back home.
All types of negative self-talk were swirling in my brain. "Why didn't you prep more before leaving?" "Why would you take time off with so much going on?" (Side note: It's called healthy work-life balance.)
The crazy thing is I felt pleased about how I left all my obligations before traveling, even work. I let my thoughts and anxiety cultivate a feeling that did not previously exist, and the negative self-talk just added fuel to the fire. That is the danger of negative self-talk.
Do not fear. Fortunately enough, self-talk falls on a spectrum. While negative self-talk may cause us to feel worthless, overwhelmed, and anxious, positive self-talk can help build us up. When I felt overwhelmed on the plane ride back home, I didn't sit these feelings out like I may have attempted to a few months ago; I let myself feel them. By not shaming myself for having these feelings in the first place, I allowed for room to assess with an open mind and a sense of validation. It was only when I spoke to myself kindly that I realized the spiraling thoughts in my head were not actually scary and, to be honest, were not even factual.
Be Kind to Your Mind with Positive Self-Talk and Reap the Benefits
Where negative self-talk can break us down, positive self-talk can build us up. Telling ourselves we are worthy, competent, and fabulous may seem strange at first, but take it from me; it truly does have the potential to bolster our confidence and overall attitude. To be transparent, I personally like to hype myself up in my head when I am taking on a new task at work or maybe entering a situation that may be unfamiliar or anxiety-provoking. As author, coach, and philanthropist Anthony Robbins says:
"Whatever you hold in your mind on a consistent basis is exactly what you will experience in your life."3
Our mind is a powerful instrument, and thus the journey to fully mastering it is never truly complete. Although developing consistent positive self-talk can be challenging, the benefits we can reap are unparalleled when we take the time to be kind to our minds.
- Psychology Today, Self-Talk. Accessed March 14, 2022.
- Health Direct, Self-Talk. Reviewed February 2022.
- Robbins, A., "Unlimited Power: The New Science Of Personal Achievement." Free Press; Reprint edition, June 30, 2008.
Jack, J. (2022, March 17). The Benefits of Positive Self-Talk, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, March 24 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/survivingmentalhealthstigma/2022/3/the-benefits-of-positive-self-talk