Do you ever get sick and tired of the “mind chatter” in your head? Constantly dishing out approval or criticism. No one else can hear this internal dialogue, but it matters because YOU are listening. Think about the moments when you talk to yourself. What are you doing? Where are you? What is it you’re saying to yourself? By paying attention you become increasingly aware of your internal dialogue and the messages you are sending yourself. Notice the tone you use. Are you friendly or encouraging? Are you punitive and critical or making mean and harsh comments? How often are you saying things to yourself that you would never say to a friend? Reflect on your own internal dialogue, ask yourself – if you heard someone on the street telling someone the things you tell yourself, what would you think?
At times, your inner critic can be helpful. It can give you a shove when you need it and it can act as a protective shield when others criticise you – it can hurt less hearing things you’ve already told yourself.
When your internal dialogue makes you feel bad, your mind chatter no longer serves a purpose.
LISTEN TO YOURSELF
* Be mindful of how you speak to yourself and the words you use
* Implement a no name calling rule
* Be aware of danger words like…I “have to….I “need” to… I “should”…
* Create Psychological distance from yourself – Many Psychologists recommend state that using phrases such as “Why am I so stressed?” or “How can I do better?” increases feelings of anxiety or shame. Instead, use your own name or a second or third person pronoun to create psychological distance from yourself to lessen discomfort.
* If you are criticising yourself, challenge the specifics of the criticism
* Treat yourself as a friend