4 Toxic Effects of Negative Self-Talk and How You Can Shift It
What are you saying to yourself right now? Is it supportive; or is your negative voice doing all the talking? Being aware of this inner voice helps in shifting your mindset and helping you get unstuck.
Notice what your voice is saying as you read on…
We all have a habit of self-talk, which you can call our inner critic or little voice of reason. This little voice can help keep us motivated and focused on our goals. It does so by reminding us about the pros and cons of each situation and how we should handle it.
But this inner critic can easily overpower our thought process and logical thinking capabilities. If it takes us into the realm of negativity, which often occurs with negative self-talk, that’s when things take an ugly turn. Being too critical of yourself does more harm than good.
We do experience negative self-talk from time to time. It can be in many forms. But generally, it is harmful to you as it generates a significant amount of stress and can quickly bring you down. Let’s find out more about the toxic effects of negative self-talk and how you can avoid it.
Negative Self-Talk: Is it a Reality?
As we mentioned above, negative self-talk can take any form. It can be grounded such as you would think “I am not too good at this,” or it could be downright mean, such as “I cannot do it,” “I am always wrong,” “I can’t do anything right.”
Sometimes negative self-talk can appear as an appraisal such as “I got a C, probably I am not too bad at math,” and it can also create fear-based fantasies in your mind, like “I cannot get a good job.”
Your inner critic’s musings can sound like a critical parent or a friend. The problem is that it is harmful and will lead you to a path of unwanted cognitive distortions. You tend to indulge a lot more in catastrophizing and self-blaming, all due to this excessively negative inner critic.
There’s nothing wrong with having an inner dialogue with yourself. It becomes wrong when it starts limiting your belief about your capabilities. Anything that diminishes your ability to make positive changes in your life or impacts your self-confidence will be dubbed negative self-talk and keeps you stuck. Believe it or not, it is powerful enough to stunt your overall success.
The Toxic Effects of Negative Self-Talk
Negative self-talk can be pretty damaging. A large-scale study published in PLoS One identified that self-blame and rumination caused due to unfavorable events were associated with an increased risk of mental health issues. It can lower our abilities to see opportunities and decrease our tendency to capitalize on these opportunities. A heightened sense of stress can emerge from the negative self-perceptions and the consequential changes that co-occur.
That study really means that negative self-talk is damaging!!! Some of the toxic effects of negative self-talk include:
Limited thinking: You start believing that you cannot do something.
Perfectionism: Negative self-talk instills the thought that perfection only matters and is attainable; which is inaccurate.
Depressive feelings: Research reveals that negative self-talk causes depressive feelings, and if left untreated, it could be pretty damaging.
Relationship Woes: Self-criticism, whether continuous or periodic, can make you insecure and turn your negative self-talk into negative habits that will bother others and negatively impacts your relationships.
The most significant adverse impact of negative self-talk is that it draws you toward negativity in life. On the other hand, positive self-talk can lead you to success. In a study on athletes, four different types of self-talk, motivational, instructional, negative, and positive, were compared. Results revealed that positive self-talk was a better predictor of success, whereas negative self-talk did the opposite.
How to Control Negative Self-Talk?
The first thing you should start believing in is that life is full of obstacles, and it is beyond our control to avoid them. We cannot foresee emergencies, undesirable events or situations, or change the circumstances we are born into.
The only thing you can control is your perception of life, the challenges it brings forth and the events you may not want to be a part of but have no other choice. Basically, you need to change the negative perceptions into positive ones. There are so many challenges already. Why make it more difficult for you and inflict more pain through negative self-talk. You can keep them to a minimum if you try to change your thought process and thinking patterns. How would you do that?
Through positive affirmations!
Start by acknowledging that you have negative self-talk. You cannot stop having it by mere ignorance. Unless you acknowledge having negative self-talk, you cannot confront it. The idea behind using affirmations is to put the negative thoughts and unnecessary criticism to rest in a meaningful manner.
Now using positive affirmations, bring your inner critic to some level of manageability. Positive affirmations refer to a set of positive statements to reprogram your negative self-talk. If you keep repeating a positive thought, it eventually becomes rooted in your subconscious mind. That’s the best way to overcome negative self-talk. You have to convert the negative thoughts into positive ones by repeatedly telling yourself that you can do it. Use phrases like the ones listed below to channel your energies in a positive direction.
- I acknowledge having negative thoughts and let them go.
- I want to let go of doubt, guilt, and fear.
- I want to eliminate all negativity from inside me.
- I am releasing thoughts that prevent me from growing.
Now focus on improving your ideas about yourself. Tell yourself that you are capable of doing everything. Tell yourself phrases like these:
- I accept myself for who I am.
- I choose to be gentle with myself.
- I am good at so many things.
- I am beginning to believe in myself and my abilities.
- I don’t give up easily and keep charging on.
- Nothing can stop me from being successful.
Lastly, remember that positive thoughts don’t mean that things will always be fine. It just means YOU will be fine no matter how things turn out.
Click on the download now graphic if you want to download a free set of affirmation cards to shift your beliefs.
Sometimes conscious awareness isn’t enough to reduce your negative self-talk. Another excellent tool to reduce your negative thoughts is to tap on them. EFT is such a powerful and flexible tool to use to help reduce those negative words you continually hear in your mind. EFT tapping is a scientifically proven self-help tool to release negative energy to heal your body inside out and develop a positive outlook towards life, yourself, and people.
Emotional freedom technique (EFT), or simply EFT tapping combines cognitive and physical elements and shift to the energetic system
Based on Chinese medicine, meridian points are thought of as areas of the body energy flows through. These pathways help balance energy flow to maintain your health. EFT focuses on the meridian points or energy points to restore balance to your body’s energy. It’s believed that restoring this energy balance can shift your energy vibration.
The primary aim behind practicing EFT tapping is to balance energy and improve emotional health. It is an evidence-based therapy validated by the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on Empirically Validated Treatments.
There are nine EFT tapping points, including the side of your hand, under-eye area, eyebrow point, under the nose, chin point, side of your eyes, collarbone point, top of the head, and underarm.
Select the link below to learn how tapping works and how tapping can transform your life and help reduce your negative self-talk.
Using Affirmations and Tapping Together
When you combine the power of tapping and affirmations; the benefits shift tenfold. It is so easy to do and helps shift your thinking on a much deeper level. It combines a conscious thought process and a subconscious shift to your energy system.
Since EFT/tapping works so well at shifting the energy at the deepest level; combining this with affirmations helps increase the success of removing that negative self-talk. The other benefit is that it only takes a few minutes a day to do this.
You choose your affirmation and go through the tapping points while you embody the affirmation and amplify the thought.
Try out some tapping affirmations to get unstuck; my Instagram account @getunstuckinlife where I post tapping affirmations to help you get unstuck.