Throughout the day take time to notice your self-talk, and take a moment to jot it down. Do this for a week. At the end of the week review what you wrote. Then ask yourself, “Is this how I would talk to a friend?”
New Year New You
It feels good to have a fresh start, wipe the slate clean so to speak. The new year provides that opportunity. Most people start with reforming their diet and exercise regimen. I want to introduce the idea of beginning the new year by becoming aware of your self-talk, and using that information to transform your life.
What is self-talk? Self-talk consists of the thoughts that stream through the mind in the course of a day. These thoughts are seldom held in conscious awareness, yet have a tremendous effect on a person’s feelings and behaviors. Here are some examples:
A person is shopping at the grocery store, and as she’s shopping here are some thoughts that may stream through her mind: “The AC feels good it’s so hot out, I should have bought these last week when they were on sale, I hope Jane (a lady she sees from church) doesn’t spot me-what would she think of the beer in my cart, I better hurry I have to take the groceries home before I pick up the kids, (while waiting in line) I knew I should have done the shopping earlier-the line is moving so slowly!”
Someone hearing their alarm go off in the morning: “ohhh I should have gone to bed earlier, (after getting out of bed stumbles over something on the floor) stupid me, I should have put that up days ago!”
A person’s self-talk is connected to core beliefs developed in childhood. If a person is operating from erroneous or distorted beliefs this will skew their perception of self, others, and the world. Over time this can lead to a variety of issues such as anxiety, depression, and problems in relationships.
So what is a person to do? Start listening to how you talk to yourself. When a thought flows through your mind take a moment to think about it. Look for patterns. How do you treat yourself? How do you see others? What are your expectations? Do you say one thing to someone, while thinking something else? Does your self-talk tend to be more critical or encouraging? When you work on modifying distorted thoughts be patient with yourself. These thoughts are automatic so it will take time and repetition to develop new ways of thinking.
The Holy Spirit Speaks
“Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
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