We can become victims of our own negative thinking patterns, in very subtle and unconscious ways. And yet the research suggests that these negative thinking patterns that are stored in our brain can be rephrased and adapted to create more compassion-based and empowering thinking patterns. And that these thinking patterns help build you up, rather than knock you down.
So, where do we start to create that more compassionate and empowered self-talk?
Know that You are in Control!
This is a key point to consider. Sometimes we can lose sight of the fact that we have the capacity within ourselves to rephrase our thinking.
Put it this way – would you hang out with someone who consistently was negative and gave you a hard time?Most likely you would avoid that person and try to separate yourself from them.
This is the same principle to apply when working to manage your negative thinking patterns. You can respond to your own negative thinking. You can become the driver in your self-talk car. You don’t have to let the negative talk take control of you. You can be the boss ofit. You can talk back to and control that self-talk by replacing the negativity with more supportive and understanding self-talk.
Our Negative Talk can be a Reaction to a Trigger Event
Sometimes our negative talk can be as a result of feeling tired, stressed, overwhelmed or upset. So, pause and consider this for a moment – when do you notice your negative chatter being more present? Have you had a stressful day at work? Has something happened with a friend or do you recognize that you are feeling emotional or tired?
Any one of these situations on their own can be a trigger for negative thinking patterns to kick in. So, when you notice your negative thinking pattern starting, considerhow you can support yourself. Do you need a break, a rest or a supportive chat with a friend? Do something that supports you and calms you.
Work to Create a Filter – Let the Good in, Keep the Negative Out
Know that you can create a filter to help you be selective around what thinking you allow yourself to listen to andrespond to. Use clarifying questions to support yourself. When you hear the negative self-talk ask yourself if that thinking or self-talk supports, nurtures, empowers orenables you? If not, then think how you can rephrase your thinking to be more understanding and compassionate of yourself.
So, remember, create your self-talk filter. If it is supportive, empowering and enabling, then you can let it in. If not, choose to let that self-talk go, and rephrase it to more empowering and nurturing thinking.
You can Re-Wire your Brain
Initially, as you work to rephrase your way of thinking, it may feel difficult and unachievable. You may think “what’s the point?” but don’t give up. Research suggeststhat for a habit to become established and feel like a part of your normal routine, it needs to be practised for up to 8-10 weeks consistently.
So, know that with practice, practice, practice it will gradually start to feel easier and will help change, shift and re-wire your self-talk pattern so that it is automatically supportive and understanding of you.
Remember to offer yourself Compassion and Understanding Daily
Begin to recognize when you are giving yourself a hard time or pushing yourself too much. Take a moment and reconsider what you can offer yourself in that moment – some compassion and kindness, alongside some self-understanding. This can go a long way and take pressure off you day-to-day. None of us are perfect, we are all works-in-progress. When we know more, we can grow and evolve as we were meant to.
Wash, rinse and repeat
So, remember – you are in control, negative talk can bea reaction to a trigger event, you can work to create a filter, to let the good talk in, check the negative and rephrase it, all of which helps create a new thinking pattern in your brain. Practice will help embed this way of processing your thoughts. And alongside this.remember to be compassionate and understanding of yourself daily.
Keep implementing these techniques until they become second nature for you. And as the saying goes, practice makes perfect. Allow yourself time and space to consistently apply these techniques until you get to the point of it feeling like second nature, and something that you automatically do. It’s a bit like learning to drive a car, initially you must really think and concentrate, and yet eventually it becomes instinctive, and you automatically know what to do.
If you wish, for advice or support about your next best steps – email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or check my personal growth and transformation Membership Community here. If you would prefer to listen to my podcast you can get the latest episodes here.