We all have an inner critic, which manifests itself through inner chatter or unconscious internal dialogue. Sometimes this little voice can actually be useful and keep us motivated towards goals, as when this inner critic reminds us that what we are about to eat is not healthy or what we are about to do may not be wise. However, this small voice can often be more harmful than helpful, particularly when it enters the realm of excessive negativity.
This is known as negative inner dialogue, and it can really bring us down.
Negative inner dialogue is something that most of us experience from time to time, and it comes in many forms. It also creates significant stress, not only for us but for those around us, if we are not careful. Here is what you need to know about negative self-talk and its effects on your body, mind, life and loved ones. Read on for valuable strategies for recognizing and changing the negative self-conversation habits you have.
What is negative inner dialogue?
Negative inner dialogue can take many forms. It may seem ingrained (“I’m not good at this, so I should avoid trying it for my own safety,” for example) or it may seem decidedly bad (“I can never do anything good!”). It may feel like a realistic assessment of a situation (“I just got a” C “on this test. I guess I’m not good at math.”), Just to engage in a fantasy based on fear (“I’ll probably fail this class and never get into a good college.”).
The reflections of your negative inner dialogue, or “inner critic”, may seem very similar to a parent or friend critical of your past. It may follow the path of typical cognitive distortions: catastrophic, blamed and the like. Basically, limiting inner dialogue is any inner dialogue you have with yourself that could limit your ability to believe in yourself and your abilities and reach your potential.
It is a thought that diminishes you and your ability to make positive changes in your life or your confidence in your ability to do so. For this reason, negative inner dialogue can not only be stressful, but it can really ruin your success.
The toll of negative inner dialogue
Negative speech can affect us in some pretty damaging ways. Studies have linked negative speech with higher levels of stress and low levels of self-esteem. This can lead to decreased motivation and increased feelings of helplessness. This kind of critical inner dialogue has even been linked to depression, so it is definitely something to be resolved.
Those who often find themselves engaged in negative selfish discourses tend to be more stressed. This is largely due to the fact that their reality is altered to create an experience in which they do not have the ability to achieve their goals. Or is it due both to their reduced ability to see the opportunities around them and to a decreased tendency to take advantage of those opportunities. In essence it means that the increased perception of stress is due both to mere perception and to changes in behaviour that come from them. The following are more negative consequences than negative self talk.
- Limited thinking. You tell yourself that you can’t do something, and the more you feel it, the more you believe it.
- Perfectionism. You begin to truly believe that “great” is not as good as “perfect” and that perfection is actually attainable. (On the contrary, simple achievers tend to do better than their perfectionist counterparts because they are generally less stressed and happy with a job well done rather than distinguishing it and focusing on what could have been better.
- Feelings of depression . Some research has shown that negative self-talk can lead to an exacerbation of feelings of depression. If left unchecked, this could be very harmful.
- Relationship challenges. If constant self-criticism makes you seem needy and insecure or if you turn your negative self-speaking into more general negative habits that annoy others, a lack of communication and even a “playful” amount of criticism can take its toll.
One of the most obvious disadvantages of negative inner dialogue is that it is not positive. It sounds simplistic, but research has shown that positive self-talk is a great tool for success.
Giving your inner critic a nickname
Once upon a time there was a character from Saturday Night Live known as “Debbie Downer”. This character would find the negative in any situation. If your inner critic has this dubious ability, you can say to yourself, “Debbie Downer is doing her thing again (or a nickname that reminds you of a critical, negative person).
When you think of your inner critic as a force outside of you and even give him a stupid nickname, it’s not only easier to realize that you don’t have to agree, but it becomes less threatening and easier to see how ridiculous your critical thoughts can be.
Reduce stress by Containing your negativity
If you find yourself engaged in a negative conversation, it helps to contain the damage that a critical inner voice can only cause by allowing it to criticize certain things in your life, or to be negative for only an hour in your day. This puts a limit to how much negativity can come out of the situation.
Reduce stress by Changing Negativity to Neutrality
When you are engaged in a negative conversation, you may be able to catch yourself, but sometimes it can be difficult to force you to stop a train of thought on its tracks. It is often much easier to change the intensity of your language. “I can’t stand this” becomes “This is challenging”. “I hate…” becomes “I don’t like it…” and even “I don’t prefer…” When your self-talk uses kinder language, much of its negative power is silenced as well.
Reduce stress by examinating of your inner critic
One of the damaging aspects of negative conversation is that it is often not disputed. After all, if it is an ongoing comment in your head, others may not be aware of what you are saying to yourself and therefore cannot tell you how wrong you are. It is much better to grasp your negative self-conversation and ask yourself how true it is. The vast majority of negative self-conversation is an exaggeration, and calling you about it can help to remove the harmful influence of negative speech.
Recuse stress by Thinking like a friend
When our inner critic is at his worst, he may seem our worst enemy. We often say things to ourselves in our heads that we would never say to a friend. Why not reverse this and – when you catch yourself talking negatively in your head – it becomes a point to imagine yourself saying this to a precious friend. If you know you wouldn’t say it that way, think about how you would share your thoughts with a good friend or what you would want a good friend to say to you. This is a great way to shift your self-discussion in general.
Reduce stress by changing your perspective
Sometimes looking at things in the long term can help you realize that you might be overemphasizing something. For example, you may wonder if something you’re upset about will really matter in five or ten years. Another way to change your perspective is to imagine walking out of an overview and looking at your problems from a great distance. Just thinking of the world as a world and yourself as a tiny person on this globe may remind you that most of your concerns are not as big as they seem. This can often minimize the negativity, fear, and urgency of speaking negatively.
Say it out loud
When you are surprised to generate negative thoughts in your mind, you can just say it out loud. Telling a trusted friend what you are thinking can often lead to a good laugh and shine a light on how ridiculous some of our negative self-words can be. Other times, it can at least bring support. Even saying some negative self-talk phrases around your breath can remind you how unreasonable and unrealistic they sound and remind you to take a break.
Stopping that thought
For some, simply stopping negative thoughts in their tracks can be helpful. This, of course, is known as “thought stopping” and can take the form of snapping a rubber band on your wrist, displaying a stop signal or simply switching to another thought when a series of negative thoughts enter your mind. This can be useful with repetitive or extremely critical thoughts like “I’m no good” or “I’ll never be able to do it”, for example.
Use Positive Affirmations:
This is one of the best ways to fight the negative discourse: replace it with something better. Take a negative thought and change it into something encouraging that is also precise. Repeat it until you have to do it less and less often. This works well with most bad habits: replacing unhealthy food with healthy food, for example, and is a great way to develop a more positive way of thinking about yourself and life.
Subliminal affirmations are positive statements that can only be heard by the subconscious mind…
More specifically…They are re-programming triggers layered beneath an audio file.
Your conscious mind hears nothing but the audio track itself…
The subconscious mind, however, is able to hear the underlying messages beneath the soft music, or whale sounds… or whatever your preferred audio may be…
When these messages are heard they are then stored into deep-seated parts of your mind, which allows the chosen subliminal to manifest into your reality.
These hidden positive affirmations are embedded in the music, just below your hearing level. Because your conscious mind is not aware of the subliminal suggestions underlying the music, it can’t put up barriers against it. That’s why subliminal affirmations avoid any resistance, which would usually hold you back.
Your conscious mind will hear only music… but there is much more happening behind the scenes! With repeated listening, your subconscious mind begins to accept the suggestions as true. Day by day, it’ll become easier for you to reach your goals because you now have tapped into the power source – your subconscious mind.