It can be so easy for us to live life trying to control each outcome so that it falls perfectly inline with our goals and vision. Bringing awareness to the flow of our thoughts, emotions, and reactions, rather than forcing the desired result or outcome, can help us gain a deeper understanding of who we are and reduce the tendency for us to propagate negative self-talk.
Here are three steps to bringing greater awareness through your day and ending negative self-talk:
Every time you observe a thought, acknowledge its presence. Observation doesn't mean joining in on the conversations inside our heads. It just means taking a step back and looking at it from the outside, like a spectator without judgment.
With childlike curiosity, take notice of the emotions that may arise. You may find that your body will also react to these emotions. As an example, fear can feel like a dull ache in the pit of my stomach. It might take a different form for you.
Allow yourself a few moments to experience the feeling that you get from your thoughts. Many of us have the tendency to deny ourselves this. We instead suppress our emotions and bottle them up over time. Know that the feeling or thought is only temporary and it will pass with time. Know that in this moment, you are just where you need to be.
Letting your thoughts go is probably the most difficult step. We hold onto thoughts that no longer serve us or we set expectations about how we should be thinking instead.
Especially with regards to negative thoughts, we have the tendency to put them on repeat in our heads. This weighs us down and over time it can drown out the positive thoughts which can bring us joy.
The best way to deal with these thoughts is to let go of them with acceptance and refocus. By sitting with the thought, you can accept that this moment is what it is, letting go of trying to control it. When you do this, you’ll notice a lightness - as if you’re no longer burdened.
Refocus and redirect your energy towards the version of you that you want to be instead. What response or action would you take if you were this higher version of you?
This is a simple technique to help you live more mindfully day to day. And remember, it is only time and conscious practice that will help you release the cycle of negative self-talk.