Better Mental Chatter

Hi Everyone!
Today the fabulous Rebelle Haze is back with words of wisdom, don't forget to check out her blog (HERE). I thoroughly enjoyed reading all of her tips and will certainly be taking them on board and trying to change the way I think to stop any negative chatter going on inside my head...

I’m sure it’s not just me, but that most of us are in constant mental conversations. We talk to ourselves all day long and, unfortunately, this self talk is frequently negative. Quite often it is tainted with guilt about our past or anxiety about our future. This negativity can destroy any seed of hope that we may otherwise have had in reaching for or achieving our goals.
Our actions are mostly guided by our thoughts. If we can change the way we think, we can begin to change the ways in which we act. Its basic human nature to seek out growth; whether financially, emotionally, physically or spiritually. Practicing positive self talk and mental chatter can help us set in motion actions that will bring us closer to the things we want to achieve.
The following are seven steps to positive mental chatter.  By following these steps you will begin to rid your inner conversations of negativity and instead have empowering thoughts.

1. Eliminate Internal Negative Chatter

The first step is one of awareness. It will be hard to make a change to positive thinking without being acutely aware of the thoughts that run through your head. Recently, I was amazed to discover deep buried emotions from negative thoughts that I had for fewer than 10 minutes. Without awareness, I would have carried the hurt and anger inside. Awareness helped me to bring them out to the open for me to deal with.
Obviously it will not be easy to make a switch if you have a long history of negative self talk. Your talk became negative over the years due to various factors. For instance, if your first class teacher repeatedly told you that you were “stupid”, you might believe it to be truly the case. You would find that your inner chatter would often be filled with talk of “I am so slow” and “Learning isn’t fun”. If you constantly tell yourself such negative stories, your actions are going to reflect your low self esteem. It will be difficult to get very far if you are always putting yourself down.
A common negative talk involves telling yourself “I can’t”. When you say to yourself “I can’t” or “it is too difficult”, you are creating a resistance. Having such a mental block will prevent you from achieving a task you might otherwise succeed at.
Anytime you catch yourself saying “I can’t…”, turn around and challenge your own claim with, “Why can’t I?” Research shows that most geniuses became the people they are also because of the hard work they put in. So if you would like to be successful, you need to start saying “I can” an awful lot more.
Something that I have also found useful is to take a pause each time I find myself thinking something negative. This break to take a breath and take time out to pause is very helpful in stopping a negative thought pattern from going further. The method works if you sincerely have the intent of becoming a positive thinker.

2. Positive Affirmations

Affirmations are positive statements of a desired outcome or goal. They are usually short, believable and focused. By repeating them over and over again, you build a structure in your subconscious mind, opening up the possibility of a new state of thought.
An important step when repeating affirmations is that you need to read your affirmations aloud with feeling. The mere reading of the words bears no consequence unless you put some feelings and emotions behind them. A significant fact is that your subconscious mind takes any orders given in complete faith and after repeated mental chatter. So the daily practice of repeating affirmations is important.

3. Positive Scripts
From reading this article so far you may be becoming aware of how easy it is for your mind to build negative thought upon negative thought. The chatter not only does not stop but it spins a drama that traps and limits you.
From now on, regularly do this exercise instead. Spin an uplifting story that runs like a movie script. Some visualization will be helpful. You build on a story with a positive outline. The longer you can tell this story to yourself the better. It is also best if you can make this story one about having all your goals achieved. When you do this, you start to internalize your goals and dreams, as if they are something that you have already achieved. Do this every time you see a challenge or a block coming your way and you will eventually mentally remap your mental chatter and thought processes.

4. Replace Negative Influences with Positive Ones

Identifying external negative factors in your life which may be holding your thoughts hostage is of huge importance. For instance, your mental state can become toxic by being around friends who are negative. If you are not vigilant enough, you will start to adopt their thought patterns and behaviours as your own. Therefore you need to be alert to what your negative influences are. If they come from certain friends, limit your exposure to them as much as you can. Refrain from discussing your plans with people who will be unsupportive of your dreams and goals.
Instead surround yourself with thoughts and actions from people who will empower you and be much more positive. From being uninspired and de-motivated, you will begin to feel uplifted and driven to greater self growth. The positive energy that they give will start affecting the self talk that you engage in as well.

5. Present Tense Messages

You may find yourself daunted by the many things you need to do in order to reach your goals. Your mind gets caught up in an endless stream of worry. What may be helpful is to concentrate on steps you can take in the present. If you find yourself becoming stuck, stop and say, “What can I do right now?” Change your mental chatter from a future anxiety ridden one to one that is more focused on the manageable present. You cannot control what will happen in the future but you can take the necessary steps now to build a better tomorrow. Taking the necessary steps require you to focus your thoughts and inner talk on Now.

6. Confront Fears

Fear is often what holds you back from your success. You are scared of taking chances because you fear losing the security that you enjoy now. Let’s face it change can be scary! You try to convince yourself that you are happy in your current state when in fact, you are not. Your mental chatter may sound positive in your attempt to lie to yourself. But somehow, there is a deep down realisation that you are short changing yourself.
Ask yourself what you are afraid of. What’s the worst that can happen?  Take a step-by-step approach in breaking down your fears and see if there is any way round to looking at things more positively. When you confront your fears, you will often realise that the worst case scenario is not as bad as you think. In fact, the benefits of change are worth the risk. Your self talk begins to change at this point.

7. Focus on Enjoyable Moments

It is much easier to have a positive attitude if you focus on the enjoyable moments in life rather than the difficult ones. While there will inevitably be challenges, you need to remember that life consists of ups and downs and the good times are forged through the bad.
So choose to fill your mind with positive images and thoughts. Make it a conscious habit. Simply bring your mind back every time it goes astray in its thoughts. For a start, if you can be grateful for what you have presently, your self talk will also change to be in alignment with one of joy.

Redirecting your mental chatter from a negative space to a more positive one is not going to happen overnight. If your mind has ingrained in the habit of thinking negatively, it will take some work and time. However, if you find yourself often struggling, unable to achieve your goals and talking yourself down, then you should grit your teeth and commit to the process of change.

By following the above tips to positive mental chatter, you will experience an improvement in the quality of your life.  Best of all, you will feel more empowered. With the change in energy, you are more likely to reach your highest potential and achieve the goals you set out for yourself.

Thank you so much for reading and thank you Rebelle Haze for sharing your words of wisdom!

Erin X
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