Let’s face it: LIFE IS HARD!
Times of hardship are virtually unavoidable for anyone and everyone- so, when it seems like the whole world is against you, challenge yourself to be on your own side.
More frequently than we would hope, life doesn’t turn out the way we planned; whether it’s a negative review by a colleague, a low test grade, or just a hard week- its easy to become engulfed in the sticky web of anxiety perpetuated by negative self-talk.
“Wait, What is Negative Self-Talk?”
Negative Self-Talk, according to Psychology Today, can best be described as your very own “inner critic.” Your personal “critic” may be someone you know very well- a cynical, unrelenting observer who never fails to comment on your failures and frequently undermines your achievements. Although you may think this kind of self-talk isn’t always a bad thing- DO NOT BE FOOLED. Even when things don’t go our way, there is never a place for Negative Self-Talk.
"Ok, But How Do I Redirect Negative Self-Talk?”
First, it’s important to listen and catch what you are saying to yourself. Most of what goes on in our brains throughout the day is “under the radar” of our awareness. Lean in and pay attention! While redirecting Negative Self-Talk seems like an unachievable goal, the process is quite the opposite. Instead of allowing Negative Self-Talk to run its course, reframing the thought process allows you to practice courtesy and kindness towards yourself.
Here are a few examples of reframing for Positive Self-Talk:
Instead of: Replace with:
“I’m so stupid.” “I am learning new things everyday!”
“I can’t do this.” “I have done hard things before and I can do them now.”
“I’m not good enough.” “I am doing the best I can, and that’s good enough!”
“I’m a failure.” “There are a lot of things I do right, and I only fail if I stop trying.”
“I can’t do anything right.” “Everyone makes mistakes. There are things I can do well.”
Download your FREE printable resource in honor of Mental Health Awareness month.
(This handout was created for Spring Branch Middle School's Mental Health Mile for middle and High school students in May 2022. The kids visited many different tents of activities that represented topics related to mental health. Our counselor, Brittany Christiansen, LPC did an experiment with the kids around a bottled water representing the brain. red food coloring was added to represent negative self-talk. then baking soda and bleach were added to represent positive challenging statement and asking for help that brought the water back to clear again.)