Here is an easy fix if you want to feel better – soon and quick. This is an opportunity to fully acknowledge once and for all that negative self-talk, negative talk with others, toxic talk, poisonous talk, downer talk, complainer talk, negative thinking talking, is absolutely not ok simply because the more you engage in negative talk, the worse you feel, and the worse others feel around you.
This is not about stopping yourself from constructively addressing difficult or challenging issues within oneself or with others. We’re talking about the draining, downer, destructive consequences of indulging in plain old negative thinking and talking as an aware or unawares habit.
This is not about forcing yourself into “being or acting happy all the time”.
This is about noticing that it is easily possible for you to create a more satisfying experience in your day-to-day life.
Take this moment to notice the way you talk with yourself inside your own mind. And if you are in a relationship, then with your partner. And if you have kids, then with your kids. With your friends. With your parents. With your coworkers, at work. With your neighbors. Is your talk negative? Is it neutral, or positive?
If your talk, overall, were a colour – what colour would it be? If the colour of your internal self-talk is different from how you talk to others, what colour is your self-talk? What colour is your talk with others?
Take a moment to notice those colours. You might get a feeling as you let yourself breathe into those colours. Let them brighten, let them speak to you and inform you. What do you notice?
Now, take a moment to notice what “gets you into” your negative talk mode. What sparks you off? It is often easy to identify what sparks you into negative talk. It’s good to know: because when you know what sparks you into negative yip-yap, you can find ways to steer clear of this toxic sludge and you can head towards the good stuff. When your speaking – internally and externally – is at least neutral, you will notice you immediately feel better. This is an easy fix!
Ask yourself, “What, for me, are some important reasons to steer clear of negative talk and at least speak neutrally? How will doing this benefit me, in the next two hours even? How will I feel better?”
Perhaps you start to feel: “I’d be more relaxed” or “I’d give myself a break” or “I’d avoid unnecessary conflict or confusion”. “I’d be able to breathe better.” “The person I’m with will feel more relaxed.”
Notice your answers. Notice what you want for yourself, and for others around you, and how you feel as you list the benefits of even neutral, calmer talk.