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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Self-Talk

So, what is “Self-Talk?”

Every one of us has an internal dialogue that encourages or discourages us from doing something. It tells us to eat the chocolate cake because cake tastes good. Then, minutes later, it will tell us we are too fat to fit into that nice outfit that we just bought. For many of us, our Self-Talk has an opinion about everything. Sometimes those opinions make us feel good and sometimes they result in our feeling bad. While Self-Talk starts off as our minds way of vocalizing our emotional experience, it often because an amplifier to whatever emotion we are experiencing. See if this picture looks familiar…

Just the other day, I was feeling a bit lethargic. The weather was raining and I was trapped in the house. Now I am one of those people who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which essentially means bad weather can result in my feeling depressed. While mulling around the house, I started to think about how nothing seemed to be going my way. The weather wasn’t cooperating. The bills were piling up. The economy was in the tank. My brain was pulling out all sorts of statements to support the mood I was feeling. My Self-Talk was running around like a new puppy, and it was crapping all over my perspective. Fortunately, I recognized what was going on and threw on the Mindful Measures program “Live in Joy.” In just a few minutes, I was able to adopt a positive mood. I was soon thinking thoughts like, “I take stock of my blessings every day.”

Here’s the rub:

You can control your thoughts by taking very specific steps. And in so doing adopt a positive perspective at will. It all starts with that pesky Self-Talk. Like a new puppy, all your Self-Talk needs is a bit of training. It’s really not hard to swap your old patterns with new ones that work for you. It’s just that our old patterns have developed over a very long time, and with multiple repetitions. So we need to be very efficient and effective about how we go about changing our Self-Talk patterns.

The reality is, we all have Self-Talk. The question is, does yours work for you?