Think to yourself about the last time you said or thought something negative about yourself. While I’m hoping you can’t think of a recent example, you very well might have done this today, when you looked in the mirror and said, “Ew, my hair looks terrible today.” We’re all guilty of being overcritical at times, and that has a lot to do with our society’s views of perfection, social media, and other factors that all work to shape various insecurities in people.
It’s complicated, but the more aware we are of this negativity and how it affects our overall mental health, the better we can work to stop it (with both ourselves and others).
When initially starting to change what I thought and said aloud about my body, I soon realized positive self-talk goes much deeper than just appearance. Saying anything negative about yourself can really affect your overall confidence and self-esteem. So, when I say something that’s not necessarily about my body but still negative, like “I’m such an idiot,” it still negatively affects how I feel about myself in some way – especially when repeated. Instead, I’m trying to shift my mindset to, “I messed up this time, but I’ll get it next time” – or something like that.
Positive self-talk is something that I find so important in truly treating your mind, body, and soul right. Because if you’re not being nice to yourself, who the hell is going to be? Okay, probably multiple people. But still, the love you show yourself is so important.
So today and for the rest of the year, I want you to become more aware of the positivity you’re giving off – as well as those close to you – and work to move your mindset from negative to positive. Here are some quick ways to start doing this now:
- When you wake up, say something nice to yourself. One of the first things you do in the morning might be heading to the bathroom to brush your teeth, where you’ll likely come across yourself in the mirror. How about starting your day off with a nice compliment? “You are beautiful” or “Today’s going to be a great day, you badass” are two ideas to start with, but really it can be anything positive.
- Write down everything you say that’s negative, and then turn it into a positive. Next time you say or think something negative, document it. Then, turn it into something positive that changes your mindset and document that. If you catch yourself saying or thinking it again, correct yourself to say the positive thing instead. Repeat, repeat, repeat – our minds are powerful tools.
- Think about if you would say those things to a friend. I wrote a post about a video of best friends saying negative things they’ve thought to themselves about their bodies, but aloud to each other, and it was heartbreaking. Next time you’re going hard on yourself (whether it’s aloud or in your thoughts), think about if you would say it to your best friend. Maybe that will knock some sense into you!
- When you hear a friend say something bad about themselves, stop them. My friends know that if they make a comment about how they look or say something negative, I’m going to call them out, in hopes they think twice about saying it or eventually stop. You can always try to combat it with something positive, like a compliment that completely disputes their negativity.
We’ve all got work to do here, but the more actively we’re thinking about ways to cut out negative self-talk, the more positive our lives will be in the end. So, how are you going to change your mindset in 2018?