Negative Self-Talk Communicates to Others… Here’s How to get More Positive
We are always projecting information about ourselves whether we want to or not. Don’t believe me? Think this is woo woo? Check out this science website if you’re skeptical.
But let’s assume you go along with my claims. What does that mean about what you’re communicating? What private information do people glean from you that you are NOT saying? Think about it, it’s almost as if your mind is being read and that is not a situation any of us want.
And the kicker is that we say worse things to our self than to anyone else. Negative self-talk is rampant in all of us and it does absolutely no good for our self-image or the opinion others have of us. Not fair.
So, what can you do about all your negative self-talk?
For one thing, begin to be more aware of what you are saying to yourself and stop it. Humans default to negativity because it’s a protective reaction from the primitive brain. You have to be ready in case there’s a saber-toothed tiger in the bush ahead, right?
When you catch that negative self-talk in midair, change it by utilizing one of the exercises below. By doing that you will begin to break down your negative default. Will this leave you unprotected? No. There are plenty of other negatives which we are bombarded with daily. However, you will pull away from bringing yourself down and your self image will improve more and more. Believe me, people will notice that you are changing.
1) Bilateral Stimulation
Here’s something you can do that’s so simple but so effective and works so well to calm a negative moment. It’s called Bilateral Stimulation.
When you become aware of negative self-talk…
Say STOP! and put your hand out. Then shake your hands to get rid of it.
Now pass a ball, a water bottle or anything grippable back and forth and pass the midline for one minute.
Stop. Take a deep breath. Check in.
Repeat until anxiety is diffused.
What we are doing is activating both hemispheres of the brain and spreading blood and electrical impulses throughout the brain and this floods that anxious area of association and diffuses it.
This is so easy, quick and emerged from discoveries in neuroscience.
2) Assets You Have
Take a pad and list some of your learned skills and abilities; include people skills, personal charm, curiosity, desire for lifelong learning and other intangibles that you already have. Got it? Take 30 seconds.
Now also make a list of the things that may be currently holding you back. Just write them down. The action of writing them down dissociates you from them. You’re pulling these conflicts out of the unconscious mind and putting them on paper in front of you. These can be the mean things that you tell yourself all day.
Simply looking at them objectively can often change your perspective.
And changing perspective is one of the things that will help decrease negativity.
OK, 30 seconds again if needed.
3) The 17-Second Rule
It’s an exercise from Dr. Kelly Brogan. She’s a Psychiatrist who put down her prescription pad in 2010 and has had enormous success treating her patients using techniques like this. She wrote an amazing book called: Own Your Self.
This technique makes it easier to shift your thoughts when you’re in a negative head space. So once your thoughts are more positive, your emotions follow suit and your overall vibration starts lifting.
It takes practice, but once you have the hang of it, the 17-Second Rule can help you shift your mindset from one that blocks you from receiving what you want, to one that’s open to it.
You can use the 17-Second Rule mentally, by speaking aloud to yourself or someone else, or by writing it down.
The important point—and what makes it work—is not to contradict your positive thought during that 17 second period.
ACTION: Think of something wonderful that happened to you in your life at any age. Now keep track of the 17 seconds and focus on that thought, bring it to life again in bright color and think of details that make the memory more present. (Count 17 seconds on a watch)
4) Belly Breathing
It can be done anywhere and it always works to calm and bring your mind back to peace. I just wish I had known this when I was in college at exam time. There are many patterns people use but I happened to adapt the 4-2-7 technique. What that means is that you breathe into your belly for 4 seconds, hold 2, then slowly let out for 7. Use it when something upsets you during the day or for wanting to induce sleep. (belly breathing 4X)
Belly Breathing is something that you can easily take for granted but it can help clear your mind to think or drift into a peaceful sleep.
5) Amy Cuddy – Power Posing
Amy Cuddy’s 2012 TED talk about body language is the second most popular ever.
Want some power? OK please stand up and I will show you what Amy Cuddy was talking about. Put your hands on your hips, feet apart Wonder Woman style and just let the hormonal changes flow through you. Feeling that testosterone? Part of the studies involved taking saliva samples so they could actually see a rise in testosterone. Hold for 2 minutes. Notice.
Tiny tweaks – can lead to big changes. – Amy Cuddy