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We will always believe what we tell ourselves is true.
Even if it’s a total blatant lie. If your brain is convinced, then you have no choice but to believe what it’s telling you.
The unfortunate part about this is if your brain is full of constant negative self-talk, you will begin to feel negative a lot of the time.
And as the negativity begins to grow this will breed anxiety and possibly depression.
You might be thinking “I’m just a negative person.” Or “I like to be realistic about life.” Or “I’ve been told I’m a pessimist.”
And maybe because of those things, you really did start turning into a pretty negative person.
Let’s say you see things a specific way (because you’re human and have your own opinions on things) and when you start to voice these things, other people take offense to it.
Like maybe when you were 16 you really hated the Beatles and everyone around you thought you were crazy.
So, you start to feel like an outcast. And as you grow older, you realize your views on life differ from other people.
This is completely normal, but if you feel all alone in your views, you might start to think something is wrong with how you think.
If you don’t really go along with the social norms then sometimes it’s difficult to find people who get what you’re talking about.
And some people might start to label you as “the negative one”.
Because they don’t know what else to call you.
Then you just assume you’re negative and can never be a happy person. We can all allow ourselves to go down a crazy rabbit hole of really bad thoughts if we’re not careful.
When we do this, we train our brains to have automatic negative thoughts.
Negative thinking is a way to protect yourself from the world.
Being a more realistic person and seeing things as stupid or irritating doesn’t make you a bad person. It makes you human.
We were just all taught that complaining is bad and makes you a person that no one wants to be around. Which is true, if you choose to complain all the time and never do anything about it and expect other people to sympathize with you.
But, if you are just speaking your mind sometimes and venting to someone about a situation that really ticked you off, it’s totally ok to do that when you need to.
If I try to avoid my thoughts that feel too negative, they only end up coming back twice as bad.
The answer is not to avoid your negative thoughts.
Here’s How to Beat Anxiety by Changing Your Self-Talk
Go Easy on Yourself
With whatever changes you decide to make in your life, you first have to commit to going easy on yourself.
Change is hard, and a lifestyle change requires constant discipline and consistency.
Whether that’s getting into a workout routine, or changing your inner self-talk, this will take time and patience on your part.
Beating yourself up for not doing more than you should will only hinder your progress and make you feel more anxious.
Focus on going easy on yourself, especially when you are changing the negative self-talk going on inside your head.
If you find yourself having a bad day and letting your thoughts take over, forgive yourself.
Just say “this is a roadblock and I was told this might happen. I’m not going to beat myself even more for giving into the bad talk, I will forgive myself and move forward tomorrow.”
Listen to Your Self-Talk, and Write Down What It’s Telling You
I get that you might not be able to write down every single thing your thoughts are telling you throughout the day, but maybe the times you are home.
Begin paying attention to what that inner critic is telling you. This is how you become more aware of your thinking.
You might think you’re pretty in tune with your thoughts and that since they consume your life, you don’t have to be more aware of them.
But, honestly if they are consuming your life, that is a big sign that you aren’t aware of your thinking at all.
That’s because you’re allowing those negative thoughts to fester and take control of your brain.
If you’re more aware of your thoughts, you can begin to break apart each thought and work forward from there.
Realize That Your Thoughts are Just Thoughts
You’ve most likely heard this before.
Let’s be clear: I’m not saying that your thoughts don’t have a huge impact on how you live your day to day life.
Your thoughts and your brain are insanely powerful, and they really do create your reality.
They will prevent you from trying or doing things that can impact your life or future in some way.
Thoughts are definitely crazy powerful, but at the end of the day they are just thoughts.
And you ultimately make the decision to listen to them or not. You most likely have thoughts you ignore.
It’s the ones you listen to and act on that molds your life.
Whatever thoughts you have engrained into your head to tell you daily like “I’m not good enough.” “I don’t matter.” “This is pointless.” “No matter what I do, my life will never get better.” Etc.
These are what you’re telling yourself. You believe these things, and you replay it in your head daily like Drake’s In my Feelings song.
After a while, your sub-conscious catches on and hears this often so it must be important enough to stick it in the back of your mind.
So even on the days when you’re feeling ok, you still hear a little bit of your inner critic talking you down.
That’s because you’ve created these automatic negative thoughts that your brain immediately goes too whenever you’re trying to make a difference in your life.
Get Out of Survival Mode
When our lives are up in the air, we resort to survival mode because our anxiety completely takes over.
Which means you end up doing the bare minimum just to get through the day, like making sure you take a shower or eat enough food.
And if you do this long enough you become used to living that way. But, that’s honestly a really crappy way to live your life.
Especially with the type of world we live in now. There are so many new exciting things waiting for you out there.
But if you’re in survival mode, you won’t care about any of those things.
You truly just care about getting through the day. Or getting through the next hour without having a panic attack.
You just want to feel ok.
Honestly you won’t be able to work on yourself until you can find a way out of survival mode and are open to making changes.
(This might mean using medication to help raise your serotonin levels. Remember when I said earlier that your brain is a powerful thing? Well, when you are constantly feeding it negative thoughts and putting it in toxic environments, you will break down the happy parts of your brain.
That even means reducing levels of serotonin, which is what helps even everything out. A chemical imbalance is very common in a lot of people. And what sucks is if you have it, you will not care about improving yourself at all. You will just care about making it through today without having a total breakdown.)
There are many other ways to break out of survival mode, like talking to someone and getting help on how to fix it.
But, you may need a helping hand at the beginning to get you going in the right direction so that you have the energy to keep it up.
If your brain is low on serotonin and in survival mode, it will be like climbing Mt. Everest to try and get yourself to retrain your thoughts without fixing those things first.
Break the Bad Habits
Ok, so once you are finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and beginning to enjoy life again, you need to focus on breaking out of the bad thoughts.
This will take time. But, if you’re in a spot where you feel ok mentally, it won’t be too hard.
Start by slowly replacing your bad habits with good ones.
If you tend to reach for chocolate when you’re stressed out, try going for a walk instead.
Stop hiding away from your thoughts and instead show up for them. Be real with yourself and process what is going on.
When you repress things and just resort to bad habits, you just end up feeling worse. And the bad habits are feeding into that negative self-talk.
Start with baby steps. Think about one habit you want to change and work on that each day for a month. Then you can move onto the next habit you want to change.
Part of the reason why I wrote this post is for the people who feel like they have to be positive all the time to be happy. Especially when they have high levels of anxiety.
This is not true. Life is too chaotic and unpredictable to just be thinking “happy thoughts” all the time.
And if you pretend to be happy as you repress how you’re truly feeling you will eventually just blow up on somebody.
There’s a balance between being too negative and too positive. I tend to lean more towards the negative side so I have to work on balancing it out.
Just start with forgiving yourself and taking all the pressure off. That’s how you can move forward with letting go of all your anxious thoughts and live a life you enjoy.
Did you enjoy this article or have any questions? Leave them in the comments below!
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