I remember a time when I allowed the negative chatter in my head to really get the best of me. I got really depressed and I hid from the world and made lots of poor choices. I even dated someone who was the physical manifestation of my inner chatter. AlI this man did was put me down! (But that's another story which I will perhaps revisit in a subsequent blog.) So, with regards to the negative chatter, I didn't realize then, what I know now.
What I know now is that I don't have to buy into the negativity that pops into my head. And I know that I can control and combat that negativity with the antithesis of negativity. Yes, that's right... positivity! I find it to be very effective and I continue to practice this often. For just as we maintain our hair, nails and bodies, we must also maintain the health of our minds.
So what does that look like? Well, first I became aware of my thoughts. Once I did that and realized all of the negative thoughts popping in, I started to figuratively play tennis in my head. For example if a thought of fear came into my mind, I would remind myself that fear is just a feeling and that I could choose courage instead. If I felt like I was inept at performing a task or reaching a goal. I would remind myself that everyone has to learn before they master a skill or attain their goals. If I felt unattractive I would remind myself that I was created in God's image. Because I am spiritual, I would use biblical verses to combat my negativity. But that's just me; so what ever positive affirmations you can create for yourself, use them.
Another thing I do is to write a list of things that I am grateful for; from my eyesight to my children and every little thing in between. I also write lists of things that I am proud of; from my goals like graduating from college late in life, to surviving/conquering traumatic events and still being here to help others. It's so important to acknowledge and celebrate ourselves. For no one knows and understands us better than we do. We have give to ourselves more than we give to others so that when we give to others, we are not left empty.
So, go ahead and write those lists! Then try reading them daily and especially during times when you are feeling down and out. You will be surprised at how it will change your mood for the better. And don't forget about playing mental tennis in order to combat you negative inner conversation. It may feel a little strange at first, but soon you will reap the benefits of being an active participant in your own mental maintenance. Because you are so worth the time and effort!