The Power of Self-Talk
How is your Self-Talk?
The things we say to ourselves matter because our internal dialogue colors our experience. We can choose to say positive things to ourselves or negative things. The choice is ours. Instead of allowing a negative train of thought to gain momentum we can choose to shift our thinking.
One of my yoga teachers, Shauna, cautions students during particularly difficult poses to “say nice things to yourselves.” I’ve noticed that my self-talk makes a difference not only in how much I enjoy the class, but in how long I can hold the poses. My first thought with balancing sequences has been “oh no, my balance isn’t very good,” but now that I’m taking her advice I’m changing my thinking and saying nice things to myself like “my balance is getting better every day. I can do this.”
The other night I went on a challenging, and very rocky, two-hour hike. This full moon hike started at 9:00pm. About five minutes into the climb, up the first switchback, a barrage of negative thoughts began running through my mind i.e. “This is hard. I don’t want to do this. What was I thinking? It’s going to be steep and slick coming down. It’s so rocky. I could twist my ankle. This sucks.”
As I was hiking, Shauna’s words came to my mind: “say nice things to yourself.” I realized at that moment I could turn around and go home, I could continue hiking and be miserable, or I could change my internal dialogue.
I chose to change my self-talk. I began telling myself: “I can do this. I can take it as slow as I need to. I am safe. I am grounded, etc.” It wasn’t my dream hike, but I ended up actually enjoying it. It was a beautiful night, an adventure, a workout, and an opportunity to observe my mind at work.
My neighbor said she also experienced the power of self-talk when she was out on a hot summer day for a walk. She does not like the heat (to say the least) and after about ten minutes was about to turn around and then said “Wait. Yes, it’s hot, but I’m OK. I can go for a longer walk. I’m fine.”
In all of these examples the external situation didn’t change, just the perception of it and the self-talk changed and that makes all the difference. As Wayne Dyer says “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
Encourage yourself along the journey of life by looking for the good and shifting to positive self-talk whenever possible. “Say nice things to yourself” and your world will be a better place!
Wishing you the best.