It’s important to regulate our actions to achieve goals or get better at what we do. One of the ways we do this is by criticizing our shortcomings to get back on track and work on getting more positive results.
There is no doubt that the state of the mind is a huge déterminant for success. i.e. a person’s success is highly proportional to how well he has trained his mind.
For this reason, people might begin to go hard on themselves with hopes of yielding better results, but instead of that, they might get even worse. This is a result of an unhealthy method of self-regulation called Negative Self-talk.
What is Negative Self-talk?
We all have the inner voices that we have inner conversations with. Now, negative self-talk is the conversations you have with yourself that limit your ability to believe in yourself or trust in your abilities.
Simply put, any thought or idea about yourself that makes you feel less of a person is negative self-talk.
Effects Of Negative Self-talk
● Increased probability of having mental health issues
A person who constantly feeds his/her mind with negativity without enough optimism might become a pessimist. Pessimism might lead to depression, which can in turn spiral into a life-threatening issue.
This is a condition where a person no longer finds pleasure in activities they used to enjoy. Anhedonia is dangerous because, as humans, our basic drive is a pleasure. So, what happens if someone loses pleasure in all things of life? There’s almost no reason to live.
● Negative self-talk reduces the thinking range
A person who constantly has limiting thoughts will have a small thinking range. They will never really believe in their problem-solving abilities.
How to Minimize Negative Self-talk And Boost Optimism
Negative self-talk doesn’t only reduce productivity, but it creates stress and increases our stress levels. To reduce the risk of depression and suicide, and also to increase one’s productivity, that negative critic in your head needs to be silenced. Here are some tips:
● Know when it begins to surface
Learn to identify those thoughts that make you want to back down when you want to set upon something.
● Understand that not all thoughts are true
People often mistake pessimism for being realistic. They think those harmful thoughts are how things are, but that’s not true. Limiting beliefs are not your reality!
You need to learn how to reject those thoughts, and how to differentiate the realistic thoughts from the harmful one. Doing this is important because the more you dismiss these thoughts, the less they resurface.
● Think like a friend
Close friends always have the right words for whatever it is we’re feeling. Knowing what your friend would say to you if they could hear your negative thoughts, will help in reducing the regular occurrence, or in neutralizing the harmful effects of those words.
Reassuring yourself like your friend with statements like “You’ll do just fine,” “Go for it!” “You did great once, you can do it again!” will surely help in boosting your optimism.
● Replace bad habits with good ones
If you want to stop yourself from thinking negatively or talking yourself down, replace that habit with another. For example, anytime you feel the thoughts creeping in, you could give yourself a light pinch to snap yourself out of it.
Little by little, though slowly, your brain will adapt to the condition that it will be punished for producing such thoughts, and since pain mainly deters us from doing things, it will eventually stop.
The best thing to do is to change those thoughts to positive ones, and to convert the energy to get great output!
For instance, when bad thoughts start creeping in, you can counterattack with good ones. When you catch yourself thinking, “I’m such a loser,” say, “I’m an amazing person. I deserve happiness.” Bit by bit, your mind will get the message. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it!
Positive thinking is necessary for a healthy mind, and a healthy mind is necessary for high productivity. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have questions, need help utilizing these tips, or wish to speak with a counselor.