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First of all just let me assure you that talking to yourself is NOT the "first sign of going mad". Everyone talks to themselves. A lot of people aren't even aware that they are doing it.
Your self talk or the things you say to and about yourself can have a massive impact on your stress levels, your anxiety levels, your physical health, your optimism, your happiness and your relationships with other people and the world around you.
Self talk can last just a split second and it doesn't always resemble the kind of talk that you engage in with other people. It can be based on feelings and thoughts and it has a huge influence on your life. If you can tap into the power of self talk you could literally transform your life.
Talk Better To Yourself And Feel Better
Plenty of people when they look in the mirror engage in very negative self talk. They say all sorts of terrible things about themselves. If a stranger in the street came up to these same people and said the same thing they would get a smack or a mouthful back but when we say these things about ourselves we seem to just accept it.
We take it at face value and believe the words said, even if there is evidence to the contrary. I'm sure you have heard of those people who swear that their daily mantra is responsible for their success. You know the kind of thing they say.... "Every day in every way I am getting better and stronger!"
This kind of thing is usually delivered at the self in the mirror and is said very emphatically and overly genuinely. If this kind of thing works for you then great, carry on. The problem is this kind of thing just doesn't work for the majority of people. There is an alternative though.
It's As Easy To Change Your Self Talk As ABC
The alternative is as easy as ABCD. Let me tell you about it...
A = Adversity: What is the situation or circumstance that is causing the problem? eg. "I'm not good enough at my job"
B = Belief: What are your beliefs about the adversity? eg. "I'm rubbish at everything because I can't do my job as well as other people"
C = Consequence: What are the results of your beliefs? eg. Stress, anxiety, depression, illness.
D = Dispute. This is where you argue against your beliefs. eg. "I'm not rubbish at everything, I'm really good at the design part of my job, it's just the marketing side I sometimes struggle with. I'm really good at golf too so I'm definitely not rubbish at everything. Just because you think something does not mean it is true.
The more you are objective about your own life the more likely you will be to enjoy it. If you continue to listen to just one opinion, your own negative internal critic, then don't be surprised if you start being more negative and down on yourself.
If you balance out that negativity with evidence to the contrary then you will have the best chance of being happier, more fulfilled and optimistic. Many of the people I see at my Sheffield hypnotherapy practice have very negative and unsupportive self talk. Through mindfulness and hypnotherapy exercises I help them to think better so they can feel better.