The Surprising Truth About Negative Self-Talk and How to Overcome It

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Written By Jim

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

Jim Van Wyck
Hi – I’m Jim, creator of this website and author of all the articles.

Hi, I’m Jim Van Wyck, the news curator for SelfTalkCenter.com.

I’m here to share some of the best articles on self-talk, the inner dialogue that shapes our thoughts, feelings, and actions. Today, I want to introduce you to this amazing article from Hindustan Times that teaches you how to cope with negative self-talk, which makes you doubt and feel bad about yourself.

We all experience negative self-talk from time to time, especially when we face challenges or setbacks.

Various factors, such as stress, trauma, criticism, or unrealistic expectations, can trigger it. But negative self-talk is not only unpleasant, it can also be harmful to our mental and physical health. It can lower our self-esteem, impair our performance, and increase our risk of depression and anxiety.

steps to stop negative thinking

Now, let me summarize the main points of the article for you. These are the key takeaways you can apply to your life and improve your self-talk.

Main Points

What is negative self-talk?

  • Negative self-talk is the inner dialogue that makes you feel bad about yourself, your abilities, and your situation.
  • Various factors, such as stress, trauma, criticism, or unrealistic expectations, can trigger it.
  • It can negatively affect your mental and physical health, such as lowering your self-esteem, impairing your performance, and increasing your risk of depression and anxiety.

How to recognize negative self-talk?

  • Negative self-talk can take different forms, such as:
    • Personalizing: blaming yourself for everything that goes wrong.
    • Magnifying: exaggerating the negative aspects of a situation and ignoring the positive ones.
    • Catastrophizing: expecting the worst possible outcome and seeing it as inevitable.
    • Overgeneralizing: making sweeping negative statements based on a single event or experience.
    • Shoulding: imposing unrealistic or rigid standards on yourself or others.
  • To recognize negative self-talk, you need to pay attention to your thoughts and feelings and notice when they are negative, irrational, or distorted.

How to cope with negative self-talk?

  • Negative self-talk can be changed into positive self-talk, boosting your confidence, motivation, and happiness.
  • To cope with negative self-talk, you can follow these steps:
    • Identify the source: determine what triggers and beliefs or assumptions underlying your negative thoughts.
    • Challenge the thoughts: question the validity and accuracy of your negative thoughts and replace them with more realistic and positive ones.
    • Use affirmations: repeat positive statements reinforcing your strengths, values, and goals.
    • Practice gratitude: express appreciation for what you have and achieved rather than focusing on what you lack or have failed.
    • Be mindful: focus on the present moment and accept your thoughts and feelings without judging or trying to change them.

I hope this summary helps you understand the article better and gives you some practical tips to improve your self-talk. Remember, you have the power to change your thoughts and change your life.

defeat negative thinking and negative self talk

My Biggest Takeaway

The one biggest takeaway from this article for me is that negative self-talk is not a fixed or permanent trait, but a habit that can be changed. Negative self-talk is not the truth, but a distorted and biased interpretation of reality. By becoming aware of our negative thoughts and challenging them with positive ones, we can create a more empowering and optimistic self-talk. This can greatly impact our well-being, happiness, and success. I think this is important for the reader because it shows that we can control our thoughts and emotions, and that we can choose to be kinder and more supportive to ourselves. 😊

If you want to learn more about how to stop negative self-talk and improve your mental health, you can check out these related articles from around the internet. They offer useful tips and insights on changing your inner dialogue and boosting your self-esteem.

Don't let negative thinking drag you down.
Don’t let negative thinking drag you down.

Related Articles From Around The Internet

How To Stop Negative Self-Talk – Cleveland Clinic1

This article from Cleveland Clinic explains what negative self-talk is, how it can be harmful, and how to stop it. It suggests some ways to cope with negative self-talk, such as trying neutral thinking, using affirmations, practicing gratitude, and being mindful. It also provides some examples of how to reframe negative thoughts into more positive ones.

How to Stop Negative Self-Talk: A 14-Step Guide – Happier Human2

This article from Happier Human offers a comprehensive guide on how to stop negative self-talk in 14 actionable steps. It covers topics such as what negative self-talk is, what causes it, how it affects you, and how to fix it. It also gives some practical exercises and tools to help you overcome negative self-talk, such as journaling, meditation, cognitive behavioral therapy, and positive psychology.

How To Stop Negative Self-Talk – Headspace3

This article from Headspace introduces the concept of negative self-talk and how it can impact your well-being. It also explains how meditation can help retrain your mind to stop believing every negative thought you think and every difficult feeling you feel. It recommends using the Headspace app to practice meditation and mindfulness techniques that can help you change your self-talk.

Three Techniques to Stop Negative Self-Talk – Larson Sports and Orthopedics4

This article from Larson Sports and Orthopedics shares three techniques to stop negative self-talk, especially for athletes and performers. They are thought stopping, thought substitution, and thought reframing. The article describes how each technique works and how to apply it in different situations.

Overcome negative self-talk to live an extraordinary life – Tony Robbins5

This article from Tony Robbins explores the root causes of negative self-talk and how to overcome it. It emphasizes the importance of changing your words, beliefs, and emotions to create a more positive and empowering self-talk. It also suggests some strategies to stop negative self-talk, such as identifying your triggers, challenging your thoughts, using empowering language, and visualizing success.

research about negative thinking

Scholarly Research About Negative Thinking

Here are three different peer-reviewed studies concerning negative self-talk and their main features:

  • Santos-Rosa, Francisco J., et al. “Positive and negative spontaneous self-talk and performance in gymnastics: The role of contextual, personal and situational factors.” PloS one 17.3 (2022): e0265809.
    • This study analysed how contextual, personal and situational factors influence positive and negative self-talk and performance in rhythmic gymnastics.
    • The results showed that task-involving climate and positivity predicted positive self-talk in sport, which predicted self-confidence and positive self-talk in competition. Ego-involving climate predicted both positive and negative self-talk in sport, which predicted anxiety and negative self-talk in competition. Performance was positively predicted by positive self-talk and negatively by negative self-talk in competition.
    • The main author is Francisco J. Santos-Rosa, a researcher at the University of Murcia, Spain.
    • Santos-Rosa, Francisco J., et al. “Positive and negative spontaneous self-talk and performance in gymnastics: The role of contextual, personal and situational factors.” PloS one 17.3 (2022): e0265809.
    • You can read the abstract here1.
  • Ford, Fae. “Exploring the impact of negative and positive self-talk in relation to peer loneliness and self-esteem.” (2016).
    • This study explored the relationship between negative and positive self-talk, peer loneliness and self-esteem among adolescents.
    • The results indicated that negative self-talk predicted peer loneliness but positive self-talk did not. It also emerged that socially threatening self-talk was a significant predictor of loneliness. Both positive and negative self-talk predicted self-esteem; however, personal failure self-talk significantly predicted low self-esteem.
    • The main author is Fae Ford, a student at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK.
    • Ford, Fae. “Exploring the impact of negative and positive self-talk in relation to peer loneliness and self-esteem.” (2016).
    • You can read the abstract here2.
  • Hatzigeorgiadis, Antonis, et al. “Effects of Self-Talk: A Systematic Review.” Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology 33.5 (2011): 666-687.
    • This study reviewed the literature on the effects of self-talk on performance outcomes in sport.
    • The results indicated beneficial effects of positive, instructional, and motivational self-talk for performance. Somewhat surprisingly, two evidence-based challenges to popular current viewpoints on self-talk emerged. First, negative self-talk did not impede performance. Second, instructional self-talk was more effective than motivational self-talk for tasks involving fine skills as opposed to gross skills.
    • The main author is Antonis Hatzigeorgiadis, a professor at the University of Thessaly, Greece.
    • Hatzigeorgiadis, Antonis, et al. “Effects of Self-Talk: A Systematic Review.” Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology 33.5 (2011): 666-687.
    • You can read the abstract here.
Stop negative thinking and negative self talk now.
Stop negative thinking and negative self talk now.

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