Have you ever observed that an endless chatter is going on in the back of your mind? It’s an ongoing conversation playing restlessly! But did you know that the internal dialogue that we have with ourselves often influences us to behave and act in a way to bring it to fruition? Therefore, while carrying on the monologue, know what to say when you talk to yourself.
What is Self Talk?
We tend to talk to ourselves about different aspects of life. This conversation goes silently at the back of our mind. Most importantly, this inner chatter goes on continuously. This is called as self-talk. This self-talk acts as affirmations and attracts situations that match with it. For instance, if you are continuously having a disempowering conversation to yourself you will often have undesirable experiences.
On the other hand, if your self-talk is positive you will find amazing things happening with you! So, it’s beneficial for you to engage in good, constructive self-communication. Because when we consciously practice positive self-talk, we start activating the Law of Attraction in our favor.
Why Should We Talk to Ourselves?
The words we speak, the thoughts we think and the feelings we feel are recorded in our Subconscious. And because our Subconscious mind cannot judge, it simply absorbs these words, thoughts, and feelings and starts to find ways to bring similar experiences in our lives. The Subconscious mind works day and night to draw people, resources and situations that match our dominant words, thoughts and emotions!
Therefore, we should be watchful of our words and thoughts. As our mind restlessly continues an internal dialogue we must be sure that most of the time it is not having a negative self-talk. One of the finest books available on this topic is What to Say When You Talk to Your Self by Shad Helmstetter. In this book the author has explained the principles of self-talk and how we can use it to our advantage.
How to talk to yourself
Have you ever observed how often you talk to yourself? Almost all the time! Most of the time it’s occurring in your head and sometimes you do talk out loud especially if you feel stressed. But to be honest, most of the time your self talk is negative and disempowering. The levels of self talk throughout the day vary greatly. Your goals should be to talk as positively as possible. Try to catch yourself before getting immersed in negative thoughts instead of blaming. Bring your focus to positive ideas.
You have to understand that your quality of thoughts shapes up your life. Stay focused on what you think or speak to yourself.
Here are some simple tips on how to talk to yourself.
1) Practice kindness
Be gentle to yourself. If you are frequently engaged in negative self-talk it can take a toll on your mental health. Talking aloud isn’t a bad thing. But what type of conversation you have while talking to yourself tells a lot about your attitude in life. When you practice self-compassion, your self-talk will become more kind and constructive.
2) Use a mirror
Try doing the mirror exercise. Stand in front of a mirror and then talk aloud. You will be amazed to see you can’t talk negatively for long while looking at your eyes in the mirror.
3) Play a soft happy music
While doing the self-talk, play soft music at low volume. You will find a long list of happy music on YouTube. Try talking to yourself with gentle, uplifting music in the background. Now, you won’t have a choice other than to speak nicely with yourself.
4) Use “I AM” while talking to yourself.
Start conversing with yourself with “I am”. Use powerful words after that.
For example –
“I am happy.”
“I am healthy.”
“I am worthy.”
“I am loved.
“I am beautiful.”
“I am strong.”
5) Smile while talking to yourself
I know this sounds weird, but when you smile while talking to yourself you immediately start talking positively.
Although self-talk has been proven to be beneficial, you don’t want to create an impression that you are out of your mind! So, keep your talks to yourself. Talk while you are in your room or when you are sure that you won’t be overhead!
Benefits of talking to yourself
Self-talk is often considered quirky although research shows it can influence your brain and bring positive effects on your behavior. Psychologist Ethan Kross has researched how the silent conversations in our head could be altered from anxious to empowered ones. You can switch your self-talk and develop your confidence level.
Here are 10 benefits of talking to yourself:
1) Motivate yourself
When you talk to yourself in a positive, assertive tone you start influencing your brain. It becomes like a high-energy pep talk for you. To make the most of this habit you can stand in front of a mirror, look into your eyes and speak aloud positive words or phrases to yourself.
2) Act as your earnest cheerleader
Use this habit to cheerlead for yourself. Congratulate yourself, maybe shout out loud when you are alone and celebrate your little or big wins. It elevates your mood and paves way for more successes.
3) Solve a problem
Did you know you can solve all your problems yourself? Yes, the solution exists already within you. When you talk to yourself often the solution comes out. Maybe you ask yourself. “This is my situation. What can I do now?” And then you speak out the solutions. You would get multiple of those. Now, you can choose the one that seems best for you.
4) Release tension
Through self-talks, you can release a lot of stress. It’s almost like talking to a best friend. You feel better as you are “heard” even if it’s just you hearing yourself. Speaking up about your worries can make you feel much lighter. Try this if you haven’t already!
5) Organize thoughts
Almost for all of us, a lot is going on in our lives. Our plate is full. We get ideas, make plans, set goals, keep thinking on petty matters to things that are important for us. A lot of valuable information is lost in this mental chatter. When you talk with yourself you start analyzing and organizing your thoughts. It’s like a private secretary making your To-Do lists and prioritizing your day.
6) Helps you to communicate better
Self-talk, especially in front of a mirror, enables you to communicate better. You can rehearse a speech, a presentation or an interview beforehand. It will make you feel more comfortable before the real event takes place.
7) Acts as a reminder
It is said when you say something aloud you remember it better. This is why some students memorize their lessons while reading the notes aloud. So, you can keep muttering “tea bags” in a grocery store until you find it!
8) Improve your attention span
If you mutter to yourself in public for a length of time people can think you are crazy. Certainly, you are not! On the other hand, as you mutter a word or a phrase you tend to put more focus on it. Self-talk can improve your attention level. Now that you speak out aloud, you are more aware and mindful.
9) Achieve goals
Life coach Jack Canfield highly recommends speaking out your goals aloud to impress your subconscious mind. When you speak out about your goal it enables your mind to stay focused on your goal. This creates a greater chance for you to accomplish your desires.
10) Increase confidence levels
Talking out loud can be used as a powerful tool to eliminate negative programming. You can repeat positive words to yourself. It can act as a pep talk or universal affirmations. As you affirm positive, empowering words and ideas, your confidence level is bound to increase.
What does it mean when you talk to yourself?
Pretty much everyone talks to themselves. It’s a common habit that begins in your childhood and then becomes second nature. Also, it has a bunch of benefits that we discussed in an earlier section.
Talking to yourself could mean –
- You enjoy solitude and doing those pep talks
- You are an eccentric
- You are self-reliant
- You seek your expert opinion over others
- You don’t have many friends
But when should you be concerned about your self-talks?
- You hear voices or see things in your mind
- You start talking to yourself in front of people
- You hallucinate imaginary people and talk with them out loud
- You talk negatively to yourself or bash yourself down
- Your family or friends are worried about your self-talks
If your self-talk falls in the latter category, you must absolutely visit a therapist or a trained mental health professional. Talking to yourself is normal but when it crosses the threshold or that you are communicating with yourself for all the wrong reasons, probably it’s a sign of mental illness. So, do not hesitate to take professional help if your self talk is not helping you in any way.
What to Say When You Talk to Yourself? – 25 Ways to practice positive self talk
The good news is that you can deliberately choose how to talk with yourself and create a better life. The 12 ways to practice positive self talk are:
1. Consciously Practice Positive Self Talk
Check your inner dialogue. If you are aware you can consciously communicate only positive and empowering ideas with yourself.
The easiest way to talk positively is to become aware of your internal dialogue. Are you continuously sabotaging yourself with self-defeating ideas such as –“I am not enough!”,“I can’t do it!”, “I am worthless”, “It’s difficult!”, and so on? If you are always talking to yourself in this harsh tone you have to consciously change it!
Start monitoring your inner-talk and immediately prevent it if it becomes negative. Say positive things to yourself. It will take time but if you keep on practicing eventually you will be able to change the pattern.
2. Practice Positive Affirmations When You Talk to Yourself
Repeat affirmative statements to change your self-talk.
Going even one step forward to consistently practicing positive self-talk is doing positive affirmations. For those who are unaware, affirmations are statements that convey a positive message in the present tense. For instance, if you are always saying in your mind that you are a failure, replace it with a positive affirmation. You can repeat “I am successful” again and again every single day until the message sinks in.
Also read -> Why Affirmations Work and How to Use Them
Some useful affirmations to replace your negative thoughts are given below. Have a look!
- I am worthy of.
- Success always finds me.
- I am lucky!
- Life is great!
- I am healthy.
- I communicate effectively at home and at work.
- My family loves and supports me always.
- I am happy.
- Opportunities always come to me.
- I am a money magnet.
- Love and happiness follow me wherever I go.
- I am beautiful.
3. Eliminate Negative Influences When You Talk to Yourself
Remove negative people and ideas from your life. Bring positivity to yourself and your inner voice will start speaking in a positive tone.
An easy way to prevent your negative self-talk is by detaching from all negative influences. The friends you mingle with, the magazines you read, the videos or programs you watch have an impact on your mind. Deliberately choose good influences and eliminate the bad ones.
If you change your environment your thought pattern will also change! So, choose people and experiences that uplift you not that which pulls you down. Remember that others do have an influence on you. Therefore, immerse in positivity and your self-talk will become a positive one!
4. Express Gratitude
Be grateful for what you already have. This helps to develop a positive outlook in life.
We are energy beings and an act of gratitude always raises our vibrations. Maintain a gratitude journal to write the five things you are grateful for every single day. It is said that energy flows where focus goes! Therefore, when you focus on gratitude you become inclined to positivity.
As a result you start to see the goodness in everything. Most importantly, whenever you express gratitude you focus on the brighter aspect of life. This changes your mindset.
Also read -> Giving thanks can make you happier.
5. Stop Blaming and Complaining
Whenever you blame or complain you bring negativity in your life. Therefore, change this habit to change your inner talk.
Blaming and complaining never solves a problem. Instead it lowers the vibe and brings more complexities. Whenever you complain about others you initiate a pattern of negative thoughts. If you want to live a happy, successful and grand version of life give up on whining.
As you take responsibility for your own action and behavior your life becomes easier. Besides that, you start to see that your inner dialogue has changed to a positive tone.
6. Practice Self Love
When you start loving yourself you spontaneously become attuned to self-empowering thoughts and ideas.
One major reason behind your negative self talk is that you don’t love yourself! It seems weird but often we are extremely critical to ourselves. It could be because of your upbringing. Maybe your parents discouraged you often or they criticized you a lot when you were a child! Or perhaps at school you were said unkind things by your teachers and peers.
Now these false statements have become imprinted in your Subconscious. This is the reason why you have become your harshest critic! Change this thought pattern by practicing Self Love. Become your own best friend. Start saying more appreciative and encouraging words to yourself.
7. Speak Kindly with Others
When you speak kindly with others you eventually develop the habit of talking more gently to yourself.
Kindness softens our character. When you are kind you become more positive minded. Start practicing kindness with others and gradually the tone of your inner voice will change too! Your thoughts and words changes when you speak kindly with everyone. This becomes a habit.
If you make a commitment that you will only speak gently, you will eventually become more compassionate. Besides that, it would become only normal for you to speak only gently whether to yourself or with others.
8. Practice Forgiveness
When you practice forgiveness you start to heal. As a result you become free of negative emotions.
Forgiveness releases past hurts and heals your mind and soul. When you consciously choose to forgive you release stored anger and bitterness. Because of this, your mind becomes more peaceful. The more you hold up your resentment the more you would think about those.
As soon as you start forgiving the people who had harmed or hurt you the negative thoughts in your mind start to go away. Besides that, it’s not even required to forgive in person; you can send your forgiveness mentally in the form of meditation, prayer or EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique)
9. Create a Vision for Yourself
Set goals for yourself. When you stay on purpose you do not get involved in negative thinking.
Have a life purpose. Set goals for yourself. If you have vision and clarity in life you will not indulge in limiting self-talks. Change your life by creating a vision for yourself! Where do you want to see yourself at the end of the year? When you have ambition you will be focused on your dreams. Start building a better life and your limiting beliefs will start to move!
10. Visualize Achieving Greater Things in Life
In your mind’s eyes see and feel that you are worthy enough.
Visualization is a powerful technique to improve your life quickly. The Subconscious mind is reprogrammed using this. It’s a technique in which we can see and feel in our mind that what we want. Start to see in your mind’s eyes that you are achieving the things you desire.
The more you do this the more your perspective on life would start to shift! As you picture yourself as a winner you will slowly start to believe it. Change the way in which you perceive yourself and your thought patterns will change too.
11. Help Other People
When you help others you start to live for a bigger reason than yourself.
We are always so focused on our lives that we fail to grasp the bigger picture! Each moment we are worried about our lives. The wins, the losses, the heartbreaks, the humiliation, and the rewards – all the time we are thinking only about ourselves. But this life is much more than our successes and failures!
We are here for a reason. There should at least one way that we can contribute to this big old world. When we change our perspective, our life starts to change. Instead of always focusing on your gains and losses start making a difference to the society. Be of some assistance to others.
In little or a big way you can certainly help others. You can help with your money or through service but try to help people. Uplift people and your mindset will change radically.
12. Stay Humble
When you are humble you stay connected to your essence. Therefore, you don’t dwell on disempowering thoughts.
Humility is a virtue! If you stay polite and humble you stay to your core. With pride and arrogance comes worries and tension. An anxious person will always think in a negative way. To eliminate your anxiety stay grounded. When you are humble you know you have nothing to worry about as other people’s success does not bother you. Stay humble and you would always find a way towards happiness and light.
13. Eat high vibe food
Foods have vibrations, high vibe foods give you a lot of positivity.
Add more greens to your diet. Eat veggies, fruits and nuts. These foods are said to be high-vibe foods and consuming these can impact your inner talk and behavior. Avoid eating stale food, dead food (meat) and take more of the healthy organic ones. As you change your diet, you will be amazed to find how your self-talks change too!
14. Practice any form of art
Practicing art can induce positive changes in your mind.
Choose a form of art and start practicing it. You can join a class or do it at home following YouTube tutorials. Do any artistic pursuits, be it music, dance, painting, writing, acting, recitation or any other form. And you know what? You don’t have to excel in this practice. It doesn’t matter if you do not get better in your art class. Take it as a hobby and a form of entertainment. Art can bring positive changes in how you speak or behave. So, start practicing any form of art today!
15. Practice self-care
Taking care of your body can improve mental health.
If you want to change the quality of your self-talk, start following a self-care routine. Take care of your skin and hair, do some makeup before going out, do your hair, dress nicely fitted clothes and use perfume. Doing any of these isn’t an expensive affair! You can take care of your appearance even if you are on a budget. Do something to improve your mood. Give attention to your body and your mindset will change.
16. Go for a walk
Going for a walk in nature can change your self-talk
Instead of going out in public places, go for a walk alone in nature. When you walk in the natural environment you will start thinking positively. Spend some time outdoors doing nothing but taking a walk watching birds or listening to the sounds of nature.
17. Read good books
Books can change your mindset. Read self-help books to change your pattern of thinking.
Make it a habit to read good books on a daily basis. Books on personal development, spirituality, mind power and success strategies can make a big difference in your mindset. As a result, it can improve your self-talk.
18. Avoid topics that irritate you
Purposefully, avoid discussing things that make you angry or sad.
Stop discussing matters that boil your blood! Sometimes, when you prevent yourself from talking about negative topics it keeps your peace of mind. If discussing politics or your boss makes you feel irritated, why talk about it? Avoid spending time talking about things that annoy you. This would certainly help you improve your self-talk. Be more
19. Communicate clearly
Clear communication can avoid confusions and grievances. This can reduce your negative self talk.
Start conveying messages to people more clearly. When you communicate clearly you avoid attracting unnecessary drama into your life. This helps you to avoid negativity and frustration. And this can reduce your negative self-talk to a considerable extent.
20. Don’t overpromise
Commit what you can do for someone, not something that is out of your capacity level.
Often we bring a lot of anxiety to ourselves by committing things that we cannot deliver. For instance, you promise a friend to meet him after work. But then you cancel the meeting at the last moment. The reason being, you are tired from work.
And you know you have to go to the office the next day so you can’t hang out with your friend till late at night. Now that you have canceled the meet-up, you know your friend is angry and you also feel bitter. Now you start a series of negative self talk that dampens your mood further. But you could have avoided the situation by realistically analyzing the situation before making that promise to your friend!
21. Be more mindful
Practicing mindfulness can keep a positive state of mind.
Practice mindfulness as often as you can. When you are conscious of the moments you are more likely to catch yourself if your mind wanders off in the wrong direction. As soon as you catch yourself doing the negative self-talk, just do a positive affirmation and intentionally direct yourself towards a positive direction. To practice mindfulness, focus on the “now”. Put your attention on what you are doing, even if you are eating or taking a shower, do things mindfully!
22. Practice meditation
Meditation can reduce the negative chatter in your head.
Daily meditative practice can bring more positivity to you. Meditate regularly to condition your brain with positive thoughts and feelings. You can join a class or do it alone following some instructions.
23. Hydrate yourself adequately
Drink enough water to stay fit physically and mentally.
Our brain doesn’t function properly if our body is dehydrated for long. Often depressive thoughts can be controlled only by this simple tactic of drinking enough water. Hydrate your body and more likely you will be able to focus on positive thoughts.
24. Manage your time effectively
Become an effective time manager. This would relieve you of unnecessary stress and negative self-talk.
Learn to manage your time effectively. As you do your tasks on time you will retain your peace of mind. Handle the urgent tasks the first thing in the morning and delegate unimportant tasks. Clear your time of obstacles and distractions. As you start managing your time better, the self chatter starts improving itself.
25. Smile more
Smiling can enhance your mood and the quality of your self-talk.
Smile more often. This is your life and your chance to live. Why not enjoy it then while it lasts? Smiling releases the happiness hormone, endorphin. It is said to be a mood up lifter. When you are in a bad mood, just go to the mirror, look at your eyes and smile broadly. It would make you feel better and you can check your negative chatter.
What to say when you talk to yourself? (101 Positive Things to Say to Yourself)
What you say to yourself can shape your life. It is said that what we think and feel is what we experience in life. So, if you want to improve your life, change your self-talk!
Here are 101 things to say to yourself to impress your subconscious mind. Choose one or two of the following affirmations and repeat them throughout the day.
- I am the best.
- I deserve the best.
- I am happy and healthy.
- I am loved.
- I love my life.
- The Universe always has my back.
- My friends and family love me.
- I am moving closer to the life of my dreams.
- I am beautiful.
- I choose only positive and empowering thoughts.
- I am divinely protected.
- I am healthy physically and mentally.
- I have a strong and fit body.
- My family members are all happy and healthy.
- I am a good father/mother/son/daughter/brother/sister.
- I am successful in relationships.
- I am successful in whatever I do.
- I am intelligent.
- I am massively successful in life.
- I am wealthy.
- I earn money easily.
- I am blessed.
- Good opportunities find me all the time.
- I am extremely lucky.
- People come out of their way to assist me!
- I attract happiness and abundance all the time.
- My family adores me.
- I make wise decisions.
- I am always led to the right path.
- My boss believes in my abilities.
- I am appreciated for what I do.
- I always attract good people in my life.
- My life is peaceful.
- I receive more rewards for my efforts.
- I make friends easily.
- I am confident in my own skin.
- My income is increasing constantly.
- Money comes to me from expected and unexpected sources.
- I am a money magnet.
- Success finds me easily.
- I am a success magnet.
- I am healing from the inside.
- I forgive those who have wronged me.
- I am forgiven for my past mistakes.
- My partner loves me unconditionally.
- I have a great romantic relationship.
- I can easily afford the things I need or want.
- I reach my goals easily.
- I have a great purpose in life.
- Love and happiness surround me.
- I believe in myself.
- I am enough.
- I am provided with all I want.
- Life brings me thousands of reasons to smile.
- I am abundant.
- I am at peace with my past.
- I can see myself realizing all the goals I desire.
- I am fortunate.
- I am favored by the Universe.
- I have strong determination and focus.
- I have a great memory.
- I talk confidently even with strangers.
- I can communicate with people with ease and confidence.
- I always believe in the best.
- I am flexible and adapt to change easily.
- I can communicate with people of any nationality or culture.
- I attract unlimited opportunities.
- I am wise and able.
- I am an awesome communicator.
- I always give out good vibes.
- I chase my dreams with determination.
- People respect and give me attention.
- I make decisions fast.
- It’s so easy for me to make new friends.
- My friends love to be around me.
- I am beautiful inside and out.
- I am strong and healthy.
- I talk courageously.
- I impress people wherever I go.
- Men/Women find me extremely attractive.
- I am a huge success.
- Others see me as a successful person.
- I always find a way to reach my goals.
- I have a success mindset.
- I am great at my job/business.
- I always attract kind and helpful people in my life.
- My skills give me great monetary return.
- I am happy from within.
- I am a magnet to great opportunities and possibilities.
- I am a charismatic person.
- I attract the opposite/same gender easily.
- I always find success in whatever I do.
- I am cherished.
- People are eager to take my services.
- I have great entrepreneurial skills.
- I am naturally happy and successful.
- I am calm and peaceful.
- I can concentrate effortlessly.
- I enjoy being in the limelight at parties.
- I have a great sense of fashion and etiquettes
- I am enthusiastic and full of energy.
Here is a list of books on Positive Self Talk. These books would help you condition your mind and to talk positively to yourself.
1) What to Say when you Talk to Yourself by Shad Helmsletter
2) 365 Days of Positive Self-Talk for Finding Your Purpose by Shad Helmsletter
3) Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It by Ethan Kross
4) The Power of Positive Self-Talk by Kim Fredrickson
5) Me, Myself, and Lies: What to Say When You Talk to Yourself by Jennifer Rothschild
The Bottom Line
We are always talking to ourselves. Our mind is ceaselessly communicating with us. If you are not watchful your self-talk can damage your persona. Modify your internal dialogue and improve your life! Because thoughts become things, it will be in our best interest to not indulge in negative thoughts.
Most importantly, consciously practice talking positively at the back of your mind. Use the 12 tips given in this article to improve your self-talk. Because the more you talk nicely with yourself the better your life will become.
Ishita is a published author, poet and freelance writer. Being an avid reader from early childhood, she has always loved books more than anything else in the world! At the start of her career, she has worked in the corporate as well as the academic sector being a double master's degree holder - M.Sc and MBA. But now she is a fulltime writer. She believes words have immense power and writers can make a huge impact in the world! She wants to bring positivity into the lives of the readers through her association with TheMindFool.