by Melissa Vander Laan, CTRS
When was the last time you looked into the mirror and thought, “WOW! I am good lookin’!?” If you just chuckled and thought to yourself, how about never, then perhaps it’s time to talk about the power of self-talk.
The thoughts and comments you say to yourself, either out loud or quietly in your mind, really do matter. What you say to yourself is true for you whether it is rooted in reality or not. Think about it. When you utter those soft spoken words, “I’m such an idiot!” or “I’m the dumbest person on the planet!” you truly begin to believe that you are unintelligent or lack any amount of common sense. Do the words you use about yourself build you up or tear you down? Do you affirm yourself or remind yourself of your many mistakes. If you are looking to help yourself feel better and ultimately be healthier, try changing negative self-talk into something positive.
We all have days when we feel unable, inadequate or frankly too tired to care about much. We attempt to fool the world by putting on our “totally together” mask, fluffing our hair and heading out to take on the world, however something peculiar happens. Our words don’t match our totally together outfit. In fact, our words we use about ourselves are cutting, hurtful and downright mean. We are our own bully and unfortunately have no one to rescue us from this personal misery except ourselves.
The place to start is to be aware that words really do have power. When we focus on small successes, good outcomes and mini mountaintops that have been achieved, then we actually begin to feel better, more optimistic, energized and it shows in our subsequent behavior. When you remind yourself of times you have done well, you want to continue doing those things and more.
Repeat after me, “I am awesome! I really am awesome!” It might feel awkward at first, but your brain loves being talked to in this way, so much so that with every positive comment your brain releases those feel-good endorphins to actually aid in the belief that you truly are awesome!
So here is your homework assignment, complete the following phrases with something positive:
I am … I am awesome because…
I can … I look great in the color …
I will … I love…
Write them down on index cards, carry them in your purse or wallet, post them around the house or make them your status on Facebook. Do whatever you need to do to retrain your brain with a positive super highway that detours from the negative road previously built by you and your thoughts. Words really do have power! Take your control back by amping up with positive self-talk!
Melissa Vander Laan, CTRS is a Recreational Therapist/Clinical Specialist in
Pine Rest’s Mother and Baby Program