It’s not exactly new news to be told that the things that we say to ourselves do have a profound impact on what we feel both physically and emotionally. But I do wonder whether most of us actually get that, REALLY!
Cognitive Behaviour Therapists have long since understood the link between what we think and how we feel; and just how inextricably linked they are!
In a lot of my work I hear clients talk about and to themselves in ways that are harsh and critical; and in ways that they wouldn’t dream of talking to someone that they care about. At times it can feel hard to listen to and difficult to watch. Even when we’re in the middle of something really difficult we can be tough, unsympathetic and critical about how we’re feeling or what we’re dealing with.
Here’s a few ideas of the things to say to yourself when we’re feeling down. discouraged or up against it;
- “This is tough and so am I” is such an empowering message and a great example of more positive self talk. Reminding yourself of times when you’ve dealt with tough stuff CAN help you believe that you can do it again
- “I am in charge of how I respond to this.” Remembering that, if nothing else you DO have control over how you respond, can help you discover some other ways of dealing with even the trickiest of situations.
- “I haven’t figured this out yet!” What a great thing to say to yourself when it feels like you’ve tried a few things and nothing’s worked so far. There’s a sense of hope here and an intention that’s highlighting how we WILL find a way to resolve this!
- “This challenge is here to teach me something.” I find the this one the hardest to hang onto in the darkest moments. Hindsight usually helps, so taking the time to reflect on what you’ve learned and having these close to hand can be helpful in those moments when all seems lost.
- “All I need to do is to take one step at a time.” I love the idea of just focusing on small steps. What are the small, almost insignificant things that I can do that will help me inch slowly but surely forward?
The one thing that we can ALWAYS control is how we respond to stuff that happens. I don’t know about you, but each of the 5 things above sound infinitely more empowering than many of the things that we usually say to ourselves.
If you’d like to take the first steps in changing how you speak to yourself, feel free to drop me a line and let’s get started!!
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