The Quick Mental Hacks You Should Learn To Eliminate Negative Self-Talk And Self-Sabotage
That little voice in your head, have you heard it lately? You know, the one that tells you what you can’t do, the one that sees you behaving hopeful, but then clouds your mind with doubt.
Unfortunately, you and this frenemy in your head begin your own symphonic cacophony – in response to these negative thoughts and feelings, you begin to speak to yourself in a similar negative tone.
Why is it so important to eliminate this negative self-talk? Because negative self-talk leads to self-sabotage and self-sabotage leads to failure and little to no success!
The Consequences Of Negative Self-Talk
After speaking so many negative things to ourselves, after hearing so many awful soul-killing thoughts, and after letting this drone on without any remedy – we often buy into these negative thoughts and beliefs. We become these things.
The human brain is brilliant, but it must be managed and properly nourished. A diet of negative self-talk and negative self-belief will actually make our brain better at having those thoughts. The concept is called neuroplasticity; our brain becomes better at what we task it to do over time.
Psychiatrists and neurologists have found that under these conditions, sufferers’ brains actually become more attuned to becoming high performance depression-creating machines.
These truths are not being told to put you down, but to show that you have more control over your experience, and to be mindful of what you feed yourself because your brain is collecting data and will morph itself into the best version of what you feed it.
5 Mental Hacks To Eliminate Negative Self-Talk
1.Catch Yourself In The Act!
Step one to ending the cycle of negative self-talk and self-sabotage is to catch yourself in the act of being self-critical.
Yes, we should all be fully aware of who we are, what we are doing, our strong traits and our weak ones, but being overly self-critical will completely sink all your efforts. The goal here is to recognize when your self-critical thoughts and vocalizations are not serving you, but instead destroying.
This is very easy to write down, it is easy to agree with while reading, but the real world and real-time application of catching yourself in the act takes a ton of work.
When things are mostly working out well, we can easily do this, but in the grips of high stress it is quite difficult to catch ourselves in the act and press the escape key.
2.Our Thoughts & Feelings Are Not Always Real
The stress we create, the imagery we conjure in our brains, our negative feelings and thoughts may be happening in real-time, but the event/belief itself sometimes is not happening to us when we practice negative self-talk.
*Check out this link By Elizabeth Scott, MS and on how to reduced negative self-talk by distinguishing feelings from reality in Very Well Mind
Realize that our thoughts and feelings should be cycled through our logical and sensing centers. We need to question them, we need to determine their truth value, and from there we should respond. Otherwise, (and sadly) we are often left simply reacting to the impressions we receive and create emotionally and mentally ourselves.
3.Negative-to-Neutral & Negative-to-Positive
When experiencing distressing and negative thoughts, is the solution to just automatically filter the world with rose tinted glasses? No! A huge emphatic, No.
The goal is to be able to first slide into a neutral frame of mind, to ask questions, to observe and to put us in a better position to move from negativity to a neutral center where we have greater options.
It is then easier to move from negative to positive by seeing the bigger picture, by seeing how events might benefit us, by reframing things so that they benefit us and our growth.
4.'All-Or-Nothing' Thinking & Black And White Thinking (The Seeds Of Self Sabotage)
One of the major cognitive distortions that people make that keeps them in a negative cycle is seeing their condition and solutions as ‘all or nothing’ or as black and white.
When people get into this frame, they fall into a binary light switch frame of mind. They see all darkness, and only one path towards light. They have limited their ability to reach their goals, to think in healthy and beneficial ways.
Who hasn’t done this before? For example, thinking “I will never be happy until _____.” Turning to these thoughts overarches a lot of factors in your situation , and often leads to a form of inertia that is difficult to escape.
This is why it’s important to move from ‘negative-to-neutral’ (as mentioned in point #3 above), and becoming more observant, or as Albert Ellis would say, “disputing our faulty beliefs is our biggest tool for getting out of all-or-nothing thinking.”
5.Mindfulness Is The Master Tool
Most of us are taught meditation as a singular act. We sit down, we breath, we count, we think about nothing, we sense, and then it is over.
Truthfully, practicing mindfulness is supposed to be a superhero skill that we develop and take into the world. Mindfulness doesn’t end when your meditation timer goes off.
The carryover from mindfulness to the real world is when we are in those stressful situations, when we are in a crisis, when those negative thoughts keep popping up, when we are being detrimentally self-critical that we can HALT those thoughts, recognize them, see that they are not benefiting us, see that we are doing a disservice and take a different path.
That is how real mindfulness works – to lead us to better decisions, better feeling, better thoughts and better outcomes. There are a tonne of articles on mindfulness, and different mindfulness methods. It doesn’t matter which one you practice, just start a practice that fits you, and learn how to conjure the meditative high awareness state when you are in the real world and dealing with whatever issues that might come.
Negative self-talk is a huge issue that cripples many people, but use the information shared in this article to overcome it!
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