Published in  
Self Improvement
October 11, 2021

7 Ways to Deal With Negative Self-Talk

You spend most of your life in your own head, talking to yourself. In the current COVID-19 climate, this is especially true. So, what do we do if inside our head isn't a kind place to be? If this is true for you, please keep reading.

Replace the Negatives With Positives

While you don't have to lie about your feelings, it can be helpful to reframe negative self-talk into something more positive. For example, if you ever think to yourself that you can't do anything right after you fail at something, you can challenge that thought by accepting that this was an isolated incident, you are talented at many things, and you'll know better for next time. All of the latter thoughts mentioned are examples of positive self-talk that can be used to challenge feelings of self-doubt.

Treat Yourself Like Your Own Best Friend

The things you say to yourself are surely things you would never say to or about one of your friends. A great way to combat negative self-talk is to treat yourself like your own best friend! When you have these negative thoughts, think about how you would replace them if you were talking about one of your friends. For example, if you fail at something and spiral into negative self-talk, think about what you would say about a friend in this situation. You would probably comfort them, assure them that they tried their best, and point out all of the things they are great at. Practising compassion with yourself is a great way to combat self-doubt!

Check-in With Yourself

Lack of sleep, poor eating habits, and stress are just a few things that can push us into a spiral of negative self-talk. If you are dealing with these draining thoughts first check-in with yourself to see if your needs are met. Did you get enough sleep last night? Did you eat enough throughout the day today? Did you give your body and brain any rest today? If you realize that your basic needs are being met, ensure that you work to meet them as soon as possible. It may not solve all of your problems, but it can make it easier to take them on without having feelings of negative self-talk!

Use Positive Affirmations

Okay, it may feel silly the first few times, but repeating positive affirmations daily is a great way to combat negative self-talk. Positive affirmations can include "I am" phrases, such as "I am brave." Find some online or come up with your own. Repeat them in your head or out loud in the mirror. Repeat them until and after you believe them to be true about yourself.

Practising Mindfulness

Practising mindfulness doesn't have to be complicated or professionally-led. Try adopting mindful habits in your life, including focusing on one thing at a time or spending time just sitting with yourself. Adopting mindful habits into your life can help you to not spiral into negativity as negative self-talk often involves dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. Mindfulness practices help cancel out these negative thought patterns by helping you to focus on simply being.

Look At Your Surroundings

It is hard not to spiral into negative self-talk when your surroundings are not conducive to your personal growth and wellbeing. To deal with spiralling negativity, first look at your immediate surroundings and adjust accordingly. This includes things like cleaning and organising your workspace. What does your workspace have to do with any of this? Well, an organised workspace can boost one's confidence and that helps improve self-image and minimise negative feelings or thoughts about oneself. We are also telling ourselves when we care for our surroundings that we deserve to live in a clean space. In other words, we are telling ourselves we deserve a nice life! This can encourage feelings of positive self-talk.

Look at Who You Surround Yourself With

What is equally as important as being cognizant of your surroundings, is being cognizant of who you surround yourself with when confronting negative self-talk. How do the people your around talk about you, or even others? How do they talk about themselves? Is it positive? If it's not positive this could be encouraging your own self-doubt. Pay attention to who you're around when you experience positive feelings about yourself and who you're around when you experience negative self-talk. With this information, adjust your inner circle accordingly!

Image by Dom Aguiar