Infinite Fitness Blog

Get Out of Your Own Way: The Impact of Self-Talk

How you talk to yourself matters. If you continually berate yourself, you may find it very difficult to ever feel good about yourself. Alternatively, if you are feeling good about something, you may end up feeling guilty for feeling good; simply because you are used to feeling bad about yourself.

This all stems from how you talk to yourself. The negative voice in your head that recounts ever thing you did wrong, things you could have done better or things you didn’t do at all. According to Darla Breckenridge, M. Ed and staff psychologist at Green Mountain at Fox Run, the definition of negative thoughts are “a runaway mind. It’s ruminating, obsessing, thinking — NOT problem solving”. The good news is that negative self-talk can be changed into something that is positive and helpful.

Take control of your self-talk and turn it into something that helps instead of hinders you. Here are some techniques to change how you talk to yourself:

        -Yell ‘STOP’ loudly in your head when the negative thoughts are stuck in a continual loop. Once you break the loop, consider what you are thinking about and how to turn it into something positive. For instance, if you had a rough week and didn’t lose the weight you expected to, tell yourself that you have the opportunity to change things for the better for next week. It’s not a reason to give up, it’s a reason to work harder.

        -Create a relaxing scene in your mind. Make it as vivid as possible and stay there as long as you can, even if you only have a split second. This technique can help quell anxiety and lead to a more productive thought process.

        -Be aware that you are being negative in your own head – then change that voice to one that is positive and supportive. Use a voice that is not easily discounted, one that you will listen to.

        -Time it. If you can’t get away from the negative self-talk, only allow yourself a set time of day to be aware of those negative thoughts. Save the thoughts for a conversation to have with yourself at a later time. Chances are, those thoughts won’t have the same impact as they did earlier.

Know that self-talk isn’t simply a voice just chattering away in your head, it actually creates its own reality. Positivity breeds positivity and affects all areas of your life and relationships. Many studies have proved the link between positive emotions with more satisfying relationships, lower divorce rates and more romance.

The more positive your self-talk, the more you will trust yourself. The more you trust yourself, the more goals you will achieve. Remember, you can do whatever you put your mind to – in every facet of your life. Whether you want to run a marathon, get fit or build muscle mass – the power is within you to do so.

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