Today we are chatting all about negative self talk. These negative thoughts that seem to continuously pop up into our head become such a normal occurrence that most of the time we don’t realize its happening. My hope is you can walk away with some insight and skills to begin to challenge that negative voice in your head.
1. Practice self compassion.
You can read my blog here on self compassion . The main takeaway of self compassion is to treat yourself like you would a good friend. We hear this all the time but how do we put it into action? The first pillar of this is is to offer self kindness over self judgement. This looks like becoming your inner ally instead of your inner enemy. The second layer is common humanity. This is a gentle reminder that we are all human, we all struggle and suffering is part of the human experience. Lastly we want to practice mindfulness. This looks like being aware of our thoughts and actions and practicing non judgment.
2. Keep a thought log.
Become aware of what triggers your most critical self talk. In a journal keep track of The triggering situation, the emotion, the thought and the behavior. Next (practicing self compassion) brainstorm new thoughts and behaviors that are aligned with your values.
Situation: Trying on swimsuits
Emotion: Defeated, embarrassed
Thought: I hate my body
Behavior: Leave the store. Plan my next diet
NEW THOUGHT: "I understand why this is a challenging moment for me, what else is going on and what do i need?" or " My worth is not dependent on my body"
NEW BEHAVIOR: Do something aligned with your values. Connect with a friend. Regroup and take a break. Go outside in nature. Journal
3. The Power Of Three
I love this exercise because it challenges our black and white thinking. Next time you have a critical thought, pause, and challenge it with three new ways you could think about the situation.
"I can't do anything right"
New thought challenges:
"I'm a beginner at this, it's okay for it to be messy"
"There ARE things that I do right"
"I have never met anyone who did everything perfect before, I don't need to be perfect either".
4. Journal Your Story
Take some time to explore what story it is that you are telling yourself. Is it one of failure and being a victim? Is it an old belief you grew up thinking? Remember to practice self compassion here. Understanding our story and what we are telling ourselves is helpful in changing our thoughts.
Let me know what skill you are wanting to practice more of!
Always rooting for you,
Hanna Kuyper is a wife, a mom and a lover of all things outdoors. She has owned a women only movement studio, sat on the board of a non profit dedicated to eating disorder and body image awareness and has volunteered as a mentor for girls in school. Hanna has a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in eating disorders and body image. She currently runs groups to clients world wide through The EDC and is a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor.