Do you talk to yourself? Everyone has some degree of mental chatter during the course of the day. How you talk to yourself matters. When you talk to yourself about your physical health and fitness, is it positive talk or negative chatter?
The dangers of negative chatter
Experts estimate that up to seventy-percent of daily thoughts are negative; i.e. things you would never say to a friend or family member. You don’t have to speak to yourself aloud to allow those thoughts to impact your day. Worse yet, the negative thoughts that enter our minds throughout the course of any given day aren’t completely spontaneous. Those thoughts are often the representation of a belief that you hold true, often about yourself.
Negative thoughts, unsurprisingly, don’t lead to the results you want, but instead lead to self-fulfilling prophecies and general anxiety. Thoughts also become pervasive and recurring if left unchallenged. If you’re constantly listening to the negative thoughts that tell you you’ll never lose the unwanted weight or achieve a personal fitness goal, you might accidentally start to believe that noise.
Improving your mental dialogue
The bad news is seventy-percent of us experience negative-tending thoughts. The good news, however, is that you can turn around the negative thoughts by practicing mindfulness when the chatter arises. Simply hearing the negative thought or internal accusation and re-framing it to a more positive thought can change the way you talk to yourself.
Your brain is constantly evolving and just like every other muscle in your body, it can be strengthened and made healthier through practice and work. The brain has the ability to build new “neuronal pathways” that can actually change the way you think and how you respond to difficult circumstances.
For example, instead of “I’ll never lose this weight,” re-framing it might sound like, “Today’s workout is a step forward.”
How to create a positive affirmations
You can also interrupt negative thoughts with positive affirmations. A positive affirmation should be personal to you and clearly represent the way you hope to feel. Speaking your positive affirmations out loud can help the affirmation become a habit, increasing your ability to immediately and automatically replace a negative thought with a positive affirmation.
Try to avoid using negatives in your positive affirmation. Replacing “not” or “don’t” for example with “can” or “do” in the present tense can help you begin to see your affirmation as true, rather than merely wishful. Bonus tip—the affirmation doesn’t have to be presently true for it to work. “I run marathons and enjoy a healthy lifestyle,” for example doesn’t mean that you have medals already hanging on your walls. The affirmation is designed to trick your brain into believing that you are capable of running marathons and enjoying a healthy lifestyle.
Do you “talk” to yourself? What do you tell yourself to improve your mood, cut the negative mental chatter and allow yourself to live a happier, more resilient life?