“Talk to yourself like you would someone you love” - Brene Brown
Whether we realize it or not, we’re talking to ourselves all the time. In fact, it’s estimated that we have 60,000 thoughts a day, all making up our inner monologue. With this much self-talk, it’s no surprise that the quality of it can totally shape the way we see ourselves and the way we take up space in the world. In other words, saying is believing.
Good things grow from a healthy mindset. After all, it just makes sense – there are tons of positive mental health effects shown from positive thinking and self-talk. People who practice speaking kindly to themselves are often thought to be more confident, self-assured, motivated, and even productive. Early findings even link a positive outlook to physical health outcomes as well. Plus, there’s nothing better for the other relationships in our lives (romantic or otherwise) than a healthy relationship with ourselves. What’s more magnetic than self-confidence?
So think about it. How has your inner voice been treating you lately? Do you find yourself criticizing yourself for small mistakes (ugh, how stupid of me), or speaking to yourself like you would your BFF (lesson learned, you’ll get ‘em next time)? Either way, the great news is, we have more control over our internal narrative than we might think. It just takes a little bit of practice.
Here’s how to work a little more love and kindness into your routine:
1 - Start noticing how you talk to yourself
Awareness is the first step. Over the next few days, try noticing what’s actually going on in your inner dialogue. Are you being kind to yourself, or beating yourself up over the littlest things? Would you say any of these things to your best friend? Better yet, would you tolerate a friend speaking to you this way? Which thoughts are useful, and which just hold you back from doing what you want? Don’t try to change any of these things just yet, just pay attention and note any patterns. Journaling can help a lot with this.
2 - Practice flipping negative thoughts on their head
Here’s where the magic happens. Once you gain a better awareness of your inner dialogue, you can make a conscious effort to speak to yourself more kindly. When you notice a negative thought that doesn’t serve you, try flipping it on its head.
For example, “I’ll never be able to do that” could turn into “let’s take a chance on something new.” “Gosh, I’m so dumb” becomes “whoops, I’ll try again.” See how much kinder that is? Notice how much better your day gets when you speak to yourself like your own best friend.
3 - Try positive affirmations
Tried, tested, and true. Positive affirmations are uplifting, optimistic statements that can boost self confidence and help you stay away from negative thinking. Think of them like your own personal mantras.
- Today is going to be a great day.
- I’m beautiful, capable, and worthy.
- If I set my mind to it, I’ll get it done.
Try writing one down on a piece of paper, and taping it up somewhere you’ll see it often. The more you repeat these positive affirmations, the more you’ll start to inhabit them in your daily life.
So, promise to make an effort to speak kindly to yourself today, and every day. Over time, you’ll notice it can really change the way you move through the world. After all, what’s sexier than someone who loves themselves?