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How do I stop negative self talk?

To stop negative self talk you must first become aware of it. Once you are aware of it, then you can figure out how to change it. There are several tips for changing negative self talk. One tip is to become aware of it in the moment, recognize it and then change it into something positive. Another tip is to keep a journal or write a list of the negative thoughts you have and then write a list of complimentary positive thoughts. In the moment it can be difficult to come up with something positive but when you make a list it gives you options and alternatives.
Well, that’s a good question! Just the fact that you asked the question leads me to believe that you have mastered the first step which is to become aware of it. Most of us don’t really even hear the amount of negative things we say to ourselves on a daily basis. Now the key is to catch yourself early in the “dialogue” if you will. Stop and reframe your thought into a positive affirmation or even better into a positive ACTION.  For example, “Geeze, I look ridiculous in this outfit. I’m a disaster when it comes to fashion.”  Try saying something positive, even if it is a bit silly, in fact a little humor doesn’t hurt. “Well at least I’m adventurous with color!” Then come up with a positive action. “This weekend I’ll ask my friend Sarah, who is great with fashion to come over and help me sort out a few great outfits from what I have in my closet.” Negative thoughts lead to negative thoughts, which eventually lead to negative actions. So it is important to stop the flow and switch gears. A few affirmations every morning will help start the positive flow.
To stop negative self talk its important to start thinking positively about yourself. It's important to start writing positive words and phrases on sticky notes and posting them everywhere, particularly places you frequent: car, computer, bathroom mirror, refrigerator, etc. Initially those positive words or phrases might not be specifically tied to anything other than the positives you want to feed to yourself but as you increasingly become aware of the negative things you say to yourself you might want to have complimentary positive things you can say to yourself. As you move through healthy eating and physical activity you might want to have positive words or phrases that help to support that process. You may even want to have positive reminders that motivate you to do something: walk 20 minutes today! 
Darren Treasure, PhD
Sports Medicine
Here are two keys to successfully stopping negative self-talk. First, make sure you monitor your own self-talk and catch yourself when you start to use “don’t” or “I can’t” at the start of a sentence. Now that you are aware of your self-talk, and its impact on the way you feel and behave, you need to be able to reframe and replace the negatives with positives. The key to successfully reframing is twofold. First, don’t try to deny or ignore that there is some degree of concern in your mind. It would be foolish to believe that simply by change a “don’t” to a “do” all of your concerns will go away.  Rather, acknowledge that there is real challenge in the situation but commit to thinking about the challenge from a different, more positive, perspective. Secondly, try to have a replacement thought ready that you have practiced or rehearsed before. This will not be possible for all situations but the more you practice changing your self-talk the more you increase the probability that you will be able to effectively deal with the inevitable self-doubt and negative thoughts that come along with the behavioral change process. Here are a couple of examples that may help you. 
  • Negative self-talk: “There’s no way I can stick to my diet.”
  • Change to positive self-talk: “I can stick to my diet if I am prepared and make good choices.”
  • Negative self-talk: “I can’t do that!”
  • Change to positive self-talk: “Relax; I’ll be ok as long as I take one step at a time.”
Friedemann Schaub
Alternative & Complementary Medicine
Get a little notebook that you will carry with you at all times. In this book, you will write down all negative self-talk immediately when it comes up. Then ask yourself: “Is this true?” “Does believing this serve me or anybody else?” “Does believing this help me in reaching my goals?” These questions help you to interrupt the negative thought spiral.

Then promptly, next to the negative thought, write at least three positive ones, which are counter-balancing the negative thoughts. As you write down the words, make sure that you are fully aware of the positive qualities. Feel good about what you are writing. In the past, you may have tried to change negative thinking through positive counter-balancing. The reason why most people who unsuccessfully tried to counter-balance negative-self talk failed is that they did not add positive emotions to the positive statements. The subconscious mind does not care so much about words; it cares much more about feelings. So rather than using this exercise as mental gymnastics, make sure that you can feel and stand behind the positive statements you make. This is why the image of talking to a younger, subconscious self is so helpful, since it is easier to talk kindly and comforting to a child than to an adult self. Be very diligent and committed to this exercise, and don’t let one negative thought slip by without counter-balancing it. By using this method, most people are able to reduce negative self-talk by more than 80 percent in just a couple of weeks.
The Fear and Anxiety Solution: A Breakthrough Process for Healing and Empowerment with Your Subconscious Mind

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The Fear and Anxiety Solution: A Breakthrough Process for Healing and Empowerment with Your Subconscious Mind

The Fear and Anxiety Solution is the 2012 Independent Publisher Award Gold Medal Winner and the USA Best-Book Award Winner in the category best new-self-help book.You're late to a meeting and caught...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.