How do you speak to yourself when no one else is around?
Are you feeding yourself with kind words, encouragement, and acceptance? Or do you put yourself down, make yourself feel small, and doubt your choices?
It can be tough to always be kind to ourselves. Especially in a world where we are constantly being sold the idea that we need more. Many of us feel like who we are isn’t good enough so we are constantly searching for ways to look better, be more successful, and do more.
What if the key to really being happy was just by practicing more loving and positive self-talk? What if we tried being our own best friends by hyping ourselves up, believing in everything that we have to offer, and knowing that we are good enough?
Easier said than done right?
I know, I personally have a really hard time being kind to myself but I also know that it’s possible.
With practice, tools, and guidance we can start loving ourselves a little more everyday. Before I share some tools that I have been using for practicing more loving self-talk, I want to share a little bit about my personal experience with negative self-talk.
I noticed that I started to be more unkind to myself as I entered my 20s, especially in the past few years. I’m not sure if it has to do with comparing myself or from generational patterns and habits, but I just know that it’s there. The interesting thing is that I know I am not alone in this and that many of my friends, and even my sisters who are also in their 20s deal with negative self-talk and insecurities. There’s an idea out there that when you are in your 20s you should have your life together, know exactly what you’re doing, be financially secure, and look your best… sometimes that’s just not reality. Not even close.
I’ve come to realize that we are way too hard on ourselves and that we need to learn how to be more accepting. We need to speak to ourselves in the same way we would speak to our best friend or a loved one!
Here are some tools to implement more loving self-talk:
1. Positive affirmations
They say repetition is the key to mastery; the same thing goes for positive affirmations. They won’t work if you just acknowledge yourself once in a blue moon. Positive affirmations have to start with a commitment to acknowledging yourself on a daily basis. Acknowledgement doesn’t have to be something grand, it’s about showing yourself love for accomplishing something, big or small!
Get into the habit of showing yourself more love and less hate. We hate on ourselves far more than we should when the truth is we have a lot to be proud of!
2. Journal your thoughts and feelings
In my experience with negative self-talk, sometimes putting pen to paper is the best thing to do. This is something my therapist really encouraged me to try as a daily practice for gratitude, happiness, and less anxiety, and honestly, IT WORKS! I have spoken to many of my friends who have also tried journalling, they also said they experienced positive results in their life.
One recommendation I can suggest if you’re a beginner is to try out the five minute journal. This book gives you prompts you can write about and then reflect on. The five minute journal is rated 4.8 stars on Amazon and has 7,445 ratings which is a testament to just how many people have used this tool!
If you don’t want to go for that option you can always just use any journal you have and start writing 3 things you are grateful for every single day. This is a great place to start and expand on!
3. Do more of the things that bring you joy
This is a tool that sounds simple in theory, but in reality, is easier said than done. Our lives are pretty hectic, we work, run errands, take care of our families, and try and maintain a social life. Sometimes throughout all the craziness life brings, we forget to slow down and leave time for ourselves. It is so important to create time and space in your routine to fill your own cup and do things you enjoy, bring you peace, or make you happy. These things certainly don’t need to be extravagant but doing something special for yourself goes hand-in-hand with self-love. When you make yourself a priority you’re basically saying “I care about myself enough to do the things that make me the happiest”.
4. Unfollow accounts or pages that make you feel bad
If you log on social media and constantly feel bombarded with accounts or people that bring you negativity, then there’s a good chance you should start making a change. Don’t feel bad about unfollowing people, pages, or things that make you feel crappy. What you consume plays a big role in how you feel about yourself.
Start following and consuming more content that brings you happiness, interests you, or challenges you to think in new ways. It’s easy to fall into the “comparison” trap on social media, just remember that not everything is what it seems! Social media is an illusion and there are a lot of people pretending to be a lot happier than they really are. The most important thing is how you show up in your everyday life.
5. Speak to a therapist
Last, but certainly not least, I think this tool is useful for everyone. I can’t think of a single person who wouldn’t benefit from speaking to a therapist. When it comes to negative self-talk, therapy can be a gamechanger for your confidence and how you feel about yourself. BetterHelp is a great place to check out if you’re thinking of speaking to someone. This is the world’s largest therapy service and it’s 100% online. Here you can get matched with professional and licensed therapists that you can trust.
To wrap it up, I want to leave you with some quotes that hopefully leave you feeling inspired to start leaving that negative self-talk behind. Remember, you are good enough and worthy of happiness.
When you make a mistake, respond to yourself in a loving way rather than a self-shaming way. -Ellie Holcomb
We just need to be kinder to ourselves. If we treated ourselves the way we treated our best friend, can you imagine how much better off we would be? -Meghan Markle
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Alexia Palmeri is a 26-year-old personal development enthusiast! She looks at life experiences as an opportunity to always learn and grow. Alexia is also a broadcast journalism graduate with a passion and knack for communications and media. She is always on the lookout for new trends on social media and keeps up to date with what’s happening in the world. In her free time, Alexia enjoys socializing with family and loved ones, being in nature, cooking plant-based meals, and discovering new places to dine and adventure!