The Surprising Power of Self-Talk: A Simple Tool to Manage Work Stress

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Written By Jim

Jim has been teaching meditation and positive self talk since 1982.

Hi there, fellow self-talkers! I’m so excited to share this article with you.

It was first reported at Forbes.

This article is a gem.

It shows how using self-talk can help us cope with work stress, improve our performance, and cultivate compassion. It also explains the science behind self-talk and how to use it effectively. You’ll learn how to talk to yourself like a friend, use your name to distance yourself from negative emotions, and practice positive affirmations to expand your perspective.

I loved this article because it gave me practical tips on how to use self-talk in my daily life.

Positive self talk relieves stress at work,
Positive self talk relieves stress at work,

Use Your Name To Change Your Brain

I also found it inspiring and uplifting.

It made me realize that I have the power to change my brain and my life with one word.

And that word is my name.

Negative self talk is a major cause of work stress.
Negative self talk is a major cause of work stress.

Main Points

Self-talk is a powerful tool to regulate emotions and improve performance under work stress.

  • Self-talk is the inner dialogue we have with ourselves. It can be positive or negative, helpful or harmful, depending on how we use it.
  • Experts consider self-talk to be one of the most effective tools available to regulate our emotions, especially when we face work stress. It can help us calm down, cope with challenges, and perform better.
  • However, not all self-talk is created equal. Some types of self-talk can actually make us feel worse and limit our potential. We need to be aware of how we talk to ourselves and choose the right words and tone.

Using your name instead of “I” can help you distance yourself from negative emotions and gain a broader perspective.

  • One type of self-talk that has been proven to be beneficial is using your name instead of “I” when referring to yourself. This is called third-person self-talk or first-name self-talk.
  • Research shows that using your name can give you psychological distance from the emotional parts of your brain and activate the rational parts. This allows you to talk to yourself as if you were talking to a friend and process an event as if it happened to someone else.
  • Using your name can help you zoom out and look at the big picture, rather than getting stuck in the zoom-lens mode that narrows your focus and triggers your fight-or-flight response. It can also help you see a challenge instead of a threat, lower your anxiety, and boost your confidence.

Positive affirmations can help you expand your perspective and enhance your self-worth.

  • Another type of self-talk that can be helpful is positive affirmations. These are statements that affirm your strengths, values, and goals. They can help you counteract the negative voices in your head that criticize and judge you.
  • Studies show that positive affirmations can function as “cognitive expanders”, bringing an enlarged perspective to diffuse the brain’s tunnel vision of self-threats. They can help you transcend the egocentricism of your emotional brain and see yourself more fully in a broader self-view.
  • Positive affirmations can also help you bolster your self-worth and resilience. They can remind you of what matters to you and what you are capable of. They can also help you forgive yourself for past mistakes and move on.

Self-compassion and loving-kindness can help you cultivate empathy and happiness.

  • A third type of self-talk that can be beneficial is self-compassion and loving-kindness. These are expressions of kindness, care, and understanding towards yourself and others. They can help you cope with pain, suffering, and failure with grace and dignity.
  • Research shows that self-compassion and loving-kindness can be cultivated through meditation and other practices. They can affect brain regions that make you more empathetic to other people’s feelings and needs. They can also increase your happiness and well-being.
  • Self-compassion and loving-kindness can also help you perform better at work and in life. They can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. They can also increase your motivation, productivity, and creativity. They can also improve your relationships with others by fostering trust, cooperation, and belonging.

Biggest takeaway

The biggest takeaway from this article for me is that self-talk is not just a random chatter in our heads.

Positive self talk helps reduce stress at work.
Positive self talk helps reduce stress at work.

It’s a powerful tool that can shape our emotions, thoughts, and actions. It can make us feel better or worse, depending on how we use it. And we have a choice. We can use self-talk to our advantage or disadvantage. We can use it to regulate our emotions and improve our performance under work stress. Or we can use it to amplify our anxiety and sabotage our success.

This is important to the reader because work stress is inevitable and unavoidable. We all face it at some point in our careers. And how we deal with it can make a huge difference in our happiness and well-being. By using self-talk wisely, we can turn work stress into an opportunity for growth and learning. We can become more resilient, confident, and compassionate. We can achieve more and enjoy more.

So next time you catch yourself talking to yourself, pay attention to what you’re saying and how you’re saying it.

And remember, you have the power to change your brain and your life with one word.

And that word is your name.

Positive self talk is known to reduce stress at work.
Positive self talk is known to reduce stress at work.

Related Articles From Around The Internet

  • How to Use Positive Self Talk for Stress Relief – This article from Verywell Mind explains what self-talk is, how it affects our stress levels, and how to use it in a positive way. It also provides some practical tips and exercises to practice positive self-talk and overcome negative thinking patterns.
  • Positive thinking: Reduce stress by eliminating negative self-talk – This article from Mayo Clinic discusses the benefits of positive thinking and how it can help with stress management. It also outlines some common obstacles to positive thinking and how to overcome them. It also suggests some strategies to cultivate optimism and cope with challenges.
  • How Positive Self-Talk Can Support Your Mental Well-Being at Work – This article from Calm Business explores how self-talk can influence our mental well-being and performance at work. It also offers some examples of positive and negative self-talk and how to change them. It also recommends some resources and tools to improve self-talk and mindfulness at work.

1 Quick And Surprising Tool To Boost Your Performance Under Work Stress. https://www.forbes.com/sites/bryanrobinson/2023/06/06/1-quick-and-surprising-tool-to-boost-your-performance-under-work-stress/ Accessed 6/8/2023.
(2) Positive thinking: Reduce stress by eliminating negative self-talk …. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/positive-thinking/art-20043950 Accessed 6/8/2023.
(3) How to Use Positive Self Talk for Stress Relief – Verywell Mind. https://www.verywellmind.com/how-to-use-positive-self-talk-for-stress-relief-3144816 Accessed 6/8/2023.
(4) How Positive Self-Talk Can Support Your Mental Well-Being at Work. https://business.calm.com/resources/blog/how-self-talk-affects-your-workday Accessed 6/8/2023.

Work stress affects us all
Work stress affects us all

Related Research

  • The effects of positive or negative self-talk on the alteration of brain functional connectivity by performing cognitive tasks – This study from Scientific Reports used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine how self-talk affects brain activity and cognitive performance. It found that using one’s name (self-distancing) reduced anxiety and increased performance, while using positive affirmations (self-enhancement) expanded perspective and increased self-worth.
  • How to handle stress at work – This article from Harvard Health Blog explains the causes and consequences of work stress and burnout. It also provides some tips on how to cope with stress and prevent it from affecting mental and physical health. It suggests practicing mindfulness, setting boundaries, seeking social support, and seeking professional help if needed.
  • Effects of self-talk: a systematic review – This review from the Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology analyzed 32 studies on self-talk and its effects on various outcomes. It found that self-talk can enhance performance, learning, and self-efficacy. It also identified some cognitive and behavioral factors that mediate the effects of self-talk, such as attention, motivation, and emotion regulation.

The effects of positive or negative self-talk on the … – Nature. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-94328-9 Accessed 6/8/2023.
(2) How to handle stress at work – Harvard Health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/how-to-handle-stress-at-work-2019041716436 Accessed 6/8/2023.
(3) Effects of self-talk: a systematic review – PubMed. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21984641/ Accessed 6/8/2023.
(4) How to Use Positive Self Talk for Stress Relief – Verywell Mind. https://www.verywellmind.com/how-to-use-positive-self-talk-for-stress-relief-3144816 Accessed 6/8/2023.
(5) Positive self-talk: Benefits, examples, and tips – Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/positive-self-talk Accessed 6/8/2023.

1 thought on “The Surprising Power of Self-Talk: A Simple Tool to Manage Work Stress”

  1. Using your name when self talking is a grand idea. It definitely moves my self talk to a less emotional tone which is particularly helpful in business situations. Great article.

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