Do you need to stop negative self-talk?
Tired of thinking negative thoughts about yourself all the time?
“I’m fat!”, “I hate my thighs”, “I have this ugly flab everywhere”, “I will never be fit”, “I despise working out”. When I hear these words, I wonder how many people’s lives would change if they were to stop this negative self-talk for good.
I hear these words many times throughout the year. Sometimes people repeat them like a mantra.
My girlfriends once in a while drop them like an F* bomb. My mom says them as well, typically followed up with a long lecture from me (I love you, mom).
These words are like a screaming child on a small airplane to me but resonate with me deeply. I used to say them all. Sometimes these statements were so rough, I’d cry in response and get even more depressed about how many things were “wrong” with me.
A circular pattern that continued without an end. I called myself names, hated my reflection in the mirror, never felt skinny, smart, or good enough. Back then, I did not know how to stop negative talk, at all.
I reached my rocky rock bottom and I needed to start moving up. I focused on changing some stuff in between my ears, and my outlook took a 180-degree spin for the best.
Do these thoughts still come up? Are they still causing me anxiety and depression as they did in the past?
Do I indulge in hours, days, and weeks of rumination about how imperfect I am, how things are not the way I want, how I can’t lose the weight I want, and why do my abs still hide when I do so much work for them, ungrateful bastards?!
How I Stopped My Negative Self Talk For Good
Of course, they still come up, but I don’t feel the same anxiety, and I don’t fall into that state where everything is wrong with me. I don’t look for my flaws, because they are not what defines me. In fact, negative thoughts and ruminating patterns cause more anxiety and depression in many people.
It took me a while but I’ve mastered the art of stopping the negative talk for good.
Negative thoughts and talk can stress you out and stagnate your weight loss, health goals. They can spiral out of control like a mad hurricane, but… and this is important. You can groom them to some healthy assumptions and stay sane.
You’ll become more positive. I say “more” positive because it’s not black and white. There isn’t a single person on this planet who hasn’t engaged in self-deprecating, negative, destructive thoughts. It’s normal. It’s in our nature to continue negative self-talk. But another thing is to allow those thoughts to rule your life, mood, and health. Do you agree?
On the other side of the negativity fence is you being in charge of those miraculous agents – thoughts – that can bring much more content and balance in your life, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. What can you do if you’re tired of being your harshest critic, and you want to stop this crazy buzz of shaming, judging and tiring voices in your head? How can you stop the negative self-talk?
I’m going to share 7 methods and ways that helped me overcome the invasion of negativity thought squad and taught me.
7 Ways to Stop Negative Self-talk for Good
Ready to stop negative self-talk for good and embrace the power of positive thinking in your life?
Awesome, here are 7 strategies that help you choose the positive side.
#1. Awareness and Mindfulness
Two sister powerhouses for people who want to make any kind of healthier choices. Whether only eating when you’re hungry or finding where a particular negative thought came from it is important to be aware of yourself.
Consumed with our lives, we often skip those quiet times and get swept away in the rush. We eat in front of our screens, and move everywhere constantly busy, that we really have lost the internal dialogue that lets us know us. “I’m so busy”, could be the mantra of the 21st century, that we have become absent-minded about what we eat, what we think, and how we react.
Bring more awareness to your thinking patterns.
You can write them down, things that upset you or make you happy, and your responses. At first, practice just observing your thoughts without judging them. Recognize why things might be happening.
Do you see any patterns or things that repeat often? Do you see where your negative self-talk starts?
👉🏽 RELATED POST: How to Practice Mindfulness Throughout the Day
Release the tension.
Often, the things we say to ourselves aren’t true. We respond to a situation while being unprepared because we are so wound up. They are stories that someone else told us in the past, or we chose to believe in over the years.
Be true to yourself, and mindful of the stories that aren’t true for you. Are you really fat? Or is it Nancy from the 3rd grade who told you that? Are you really shy? Or did some family member say you that at a dinner party 10 years ago? Choose your beliefs carefully.
Write things down and identify the exact areas of your health, emotional and physical, you want to focus on. Toss the rest – those thoughts aren’t necessary. Then take these thoughts/goals. If you know something bothers you a lot, think about how you would react, and try to improve it. A planned response to a negative thought will help you curb those negative habits.
#2. Prolonging Your Positivity
When you’re having a good streak of positivity – a good day, good hour, heck, a good minute – prolong it. Stretch it out, literally. Do something nice for yourself. Read something positive. Watch a funny cat YouTube video.
Reinforce the positive self-talk, too, and it will become a normal habit to be positive than negative. Ask your colleague to tell you a joke. Use a Zero Negativity challenge (by Helen LaKelly Hunt & Harville Hendrix).
👉🏽 RELATED POST: 6 Steps to Staying Positive No Matter What
Praise yourself, tell yourself a compliment, play your favorite song, and book a table at your favorite sushi spot. Do anything to extend this by a minute, an hour, anything. It’s a chain reaction, and soon the stretches of time will get longer and longer for you, pushing those negative thoughts to the curb. Remember to practice this muscle, babe!
#3. Using Affirmations as a Crutch
Yeah, yeah, yeah. “I don’t believe in affirmations”, you tell me.
Neither did I. Six years ago I was going through my struggles with anxiety, poor eating, and negative thoughts. Tips from the internet to put a rubber band around my wrist and snap it to stop the repetitive thinking left me with pain but didn’t help much more.
Affirmations are amazing because they work no matter whether you believe in them or you not! Adopting some basic affirmations work much better than negative reactive conditioning for most people. Try them, listen to them while you work out, or surround your work area with your favorite positive quotes. They are truly transformational for people who want to stop the negative self-talk for good.
There are affirmations for everything:
You can create or find affirmations for any area of your life you want to improve!
#4. Write Down Your Wins
Let’s face it, none of us get enough praise at work or often, at home.
Celebrate small things: your smile looks particularly enticing today, you drank more water than yesterday, you feel good in these jeans, you stayed positive all day, etc. Those are your stepping stones to creating your new superpower – the positive mind.
Keep the list close and look at it often. Make a new list as often as you feel you need empowerment.
#5. Practicing Reversal
This step was huge for me.
There are a few ways to reverse your negative thinking and direct it in a positive way. It has nothing to do with your negative traits. It can be applied to anything. A body feature that you dislike, can inspire you to come up with positives to that trait. You can’t really change some aspects of your body, but you can change your thoughts about them. Reversal, like any other method, gets better with practice. So put your *light* thinking hat on, and let’s do it.
“I hate my small boobs but I love how they look in a tight dress.” Then drop the first part and silently repeat the statement.” I love how they look in a tight dress”.
Step 2. After you said or thought a negative statement, ask yourself “Is this really true?” What can I change here?” “Who told you so?” Then identify if this belief or thought truly belongs to you, and go from there (If it isn’t, forget it. You don’t need to believe in Santa Claus if you know he isn’t real).
That’s the power of positive thinking!
#6. Letting Go of Perfectionism
I still don’t know why Perfectionist Anonymous is not a thing. I’d totally go through 12 steps again to make sure perfectionism left my life for good. If you grew up thinking you are not good enough, not doing well enough, not looking good enough, I hope this will blow your mind. NOBODY’s perfect.
Even when you think they are, often they have their own flaws (Photoshopped, Instagram-filtered, perfectly lit pictures don’t count). What perfectionism does, it puts a lot of pressure on you, your life, your relationships, and your success. Let go of it ASAP.
Remind yourself you are worthy, and you’re amazing already. The rest is something you can work on and it will come with time Strive for progress, not perfection, and most important: enjoy your journey!
👉🏽 RELATED POST: Why You Need to Stop Stressing About Being Perfect
Perfectionism is like that guy in high school that wasn’t attainable. It will keep you on the swing from “I love him – I can’t live without him “to “I hate his jerk, he ruined my life”.
Perfectionism puts so much pressure on us to achieve something unachievable and non-existent. It’s a mind’s game, and it’s time to stop it for YOUR emotional and mental health (this is me telling you that, a girl who’s been paralyzed by a scratch on a new item she bought and upset over it for days!).
#7. Allowing Yourself to Learn
As Jen Sincero says, “nobody expects an infant to walk perfectly or run.” In fact, remember yourself from 10 years ago. Infantile? Compulsive? Silly decisions?
You learned, right? So allow yourself time to learn, whether you’re implementing a new nutritional plan or trying to neutralize your negative thoughts.
Let’s say today you’re overwhelmed and over flooded with negative thoughts. Think of it as a game. You’re starting at Level 1. In a week, perhaps you’ll handle your negative thoughts and repetitive patterns with a powerful affirmation in a Superman pose, naked in your bathroom in front of a mirror faking it until you make it. You’ll graduate to level 2 (or maybe 10, because a naked Superman pose is a lot of levels), and at some point, reach the highest level that makes your life so much more balanced, ordered, and structured.
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Practice some kindness, compassion, and loyalty to yourself, like you, would for your best friend. Deal?
Ready to stop your negative self-talk for good?
More About Guest Contributor
Anya Perry battled boring diets, low energy, and declining health for over 10 years before she found what works. Now, she helps women achieve their dream state of health, fitness, and vitality… without the struggles, battles of miserable diets, and yo-yo results.
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