Identifying negative thinking and achieving inner peace and happiness
If you struggle with negative self talk and wonder how to change it, this post can be your starting point for understanding how to deal with and respond to those negative inner thoughts. Having an inner critic is part of being a human, and at times it can be helpful (like when you are indulging in something that might not be healthy for your mind or body). However, if that voice turns out to be more harmful than helpful, if you notice excessive negativity and it creates significant stress, then that inner critic might be limiting you and making you doubt your every move, making life painful and unfulfilling.
Fortunately, there are some good news. The fact that you are reading this post, means you are aware of those limiting beliefs and negative thoughts going through your mind, and that is the first step in dealing with them. Not noticing the negative train of thought can lead to a spiral of damaging thoughts and emotions. By noticing them, we are able to contain them and deal with them. There are many different ways of trying to minimize negative self talk, and I will be listing the ones I found helpful in my own experience.
By dealing with our inner critic, noticing when it is being destructive and working on challenging those negative thoughts, we are heading towards a place of self-compassion and love. I like to refer to that place as my inner peace – a state of spiritual calm despite the potential presence of stressor. Sounds like a wonderful place to be, doesn’t it?
6 tips to try out in order to minimize negative self talk and work on building inner peace:
Stand up to your inner bully
Challenge that negative self talk and stand up to your inner bully. One of the biggest issues with negative self talk is that nobody stands up to it and question its validity, and those thoughts go unchallenged. Just imagine someone said those things to someone you love, what would you say to them? Now act as if they did say that to someone you love, and defend yourself. Be to yourself who you are to those you love.
Ask for help
See a professional. If things seem too hard, don’t wait for it to get worse. Asking for help makes you stronger. Therapy can be helpful for everyone, and you do not have to wait for things to get unbearable. A mental health professional can help you understand and explore your relationship with yourself, understand yourself better. Therapy can lead the way towards healing and creating a better home in your mind.
Live according to your values
Determine your values and act accordingly. Why is this important? When we don’t live according to our values, we can’t be entirely happy and content with our lives. This does not mean live blindly according to something, but that your general direction through life should follow your inner values. Once you start living in alignment, life shifts in the most beautiful of ways. You stop holding on to the things that no longer serve you and reach within yourself for whatever you may need. Living in alignment brings inner peace – and it all starts with you asking yourself “What is important to me and how do I want to live my life?”.
Set boundaries with others
Set firm boundaries with other people. Don’t give your energy to them. Avoid those that stress you out and bring negativity into your life. Surround yourself with supportive people you are able to depend on to give you helpful advice, having your best interest at heart. Choose those that bring light into your life, not darkness, and be that person for them too.
Practice self compassion
You will not always get everything right, and that is okay. You don’t work towards perfection, you work towards progress. Wherever you currently are, accept yourself. Accept that you needed more or less time for some things and that you might even change your mind along the way. You are doing your best and that is enough. Give yourself a hug (a physical one, just try it, trust me) and forgive yourself. Remember: failing at something is a normal part of being human. This does not mean that you are a failure, but that you simply failed at something. Take that experience as a lesson and ask yourself – what is it that I can learn from this?
Take good care of your whole self
Exercise, eat nourishing food to fuel your body and mind, and learn how to deal with stress in a healthy way. Create healthy evening and morning routines to help better your sleep and manage your energy throughout the day. Following a more healthy lifestyle can have a huge impact on your overall well-being. Exercising can positively affect your mood, along with a healthy diet which will energize your body and give it the necessary fuel.
These tips are aimed at those wishing to improve their general well-being. However, if you are overwhelmed by your negative self talk, feel like you cannot cope, you should seek help right away. Ask help from a health professional, and/or call your local hotline.
With love and compassion,
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