Sep 29, 201102:17 PMMind & Body
We are loving and kind to our children, and to our coworkers, friends and family but too often don’t extend that same courtesy to us. We work hard to watch how we talk to others and most of us virtually ignore how we speak to ourselves. Whether you are aware of it or not, we spend a lot of time talking to our self. Not necessarily out loud, but we are constantly having internal dialogue with our self almost every moment of every waking hour. We don’t even realize that we are carrying on this internal conversation a great deal of the time. It turns out that most of us are frequently bombarding our self with negative messages and a good majority of these messages are about us. I challenge you to pay attention to what you are saying to yourself.
Research on children and parents found that it takes four positive comments to counteract one negative comment. So if you say one negative message to your child it takes four positive messages to prevent one negative comment from affecting your child. This rule applies to adults as well. Let’s think about how many negative messages you send yourself daily. Do you say enough positive comments to neutralize the negative? I guarantee if you spend a whole day paying attention you will be amazed at the number of negative comments you say to yourself on a daily basis.
Keep a small piece of paper in your pocket and for every positive self talk you notice put a plus sign, and for every negative comment you say about yourself put a minus sign. I love this exercise because it is truly eye opening. Even people that appear to be confident, positive people tend to do a lot of negative self talk. Say you are one of those rare positive people that only said three negative comments to yourself the whole day. You would still need to give yourself twelve positive comments just to neutralize the three negative ones. Odds are even if you only used negative self talk three times during the day that you didn’t say the twelve needed to keep them from affecting you or the more than twelve needed to help you feel good about yourself.
A good rule of thumb; don’t say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t want to say to your child or a child. Be aware of what you are saying. Stop yourself from thinking the negative thought or reframe or restate comments in a positive way to give yourself practice using nice and supportive internal dialogue. Our self talk defines who we are and how we feel about our self. If you would like to read more about how to incorporate self love and kindness into your everyday, I recommend reading Louise L. Hay and Cheryl Richardson’s new book entitled, "You Can Create an Exceptional Life." Be loving and kind to yourself today by paying attention, stopping the negative self talk, and adding positive supportive self talk.
Have a beautiful loving day,