The way you talk to yourself matters.
Truth is, our inner conversations with ourselves affect our outer realities.
If we go through life being hard on ourselves, life will feel harder than it needs to!
On the other hand, positive self-talk can make life feel a lot easier and enjoyable.
Let’s look at the power of positive self-talk and ways you can bring it into your life to make you happier!
1. Start your positive self-talk first thing
Positive self-talk needs to start from the moment you wake up.
It needs to begin before your feet touch the floor…
…Simply put, it needs to kick into action the very second you open your eyes.
You see, positive self-talk needs to be consistent throughout the day to have a real effect.
It’s no good starting the day with thoughts about how rubbish your life is and letting those thoughts dictate your reality.
Truth is, if the first thing you think when you wake up is negative, it’s going to shape how you experience the day.
If you tell yourself that you’re lazy and good-for-nothing because you wake up feeling tired and don’t want to get out of bed, you’ll be setting yourself up for failure.
Instead, if you feel tired and sluggish, just choose to be kind to yourself and to accept that some days we have more energy than other days.
It’s necessary to be mindful about the small thoughts we have about ourselves, as they really do affect us more than we might realize.
In my experience, it takes conscious effort to work on switching negative thoughts to positive ones.
Truth is, it’s a case of overriding the negative with more positive.
2. Question your thoughts
Each day, we have no shortage of thoughts…
…In fact, we have hundreds or even thousands of thoughts!
Now, by that logic it makes sense that not all of these thoughts are going to be positive and helpful.
However, there is something you can do to take back control:
You can question your thoughts!
Simply put, you don’t have to accept all of the thoughts you have as the truth.
You see, it’s necessary to have a level of self-inquiry where you look closely at the thoughts you have to decide where they come from and whether they are real or not.
I like to play a game of true or false with some of my thoughts. I literally pause and ask myself whether something is real or otherwise to help me sift through the noise.
I find it essential to inquire into why I think certain things in order to allow me to feel more positive.
For instance, if I find myself telling myself that I’m annoying, I take the time to pause and look at where this thought it’s coming from and why I’m affirming this.
If it’s negative, unhelpful and not grounded in any reality, I let it go!
3. Weave positive thinking into your daily routine
Now, a misconception about positive thinking is that it’s something you need to make time for each day…
…As in, you need a window of time dedicated to this way of thinking.
Truth is, positive thinking should be weaved into your routine and very naturally appear throughout your day.
As I say, it should begin from the moment you wake up…
…And, what’s more, it should carry on until you go to sleep.
It does take conscious action to try and override negative thoughts and to stay mindful about the thoughts you’re having, but it gets more and more natural over time.
My best advice is to weave positive thinking into your everyday life by including it in your daily routine.
For instance, when you go to grab a coffee in the morning, you can take it as a cue to check in with your thoughts…
…The same goes for lunch breaks or when you finish work.
You could even make a point to check in with yourself each time you go and put the kettle on.
If you’re anything like me with my coffee and tea drinking, this would mean you check in with yourself over 10 times a day!
4. Get used to affirmations
Affirmations are super simple.
Now, just because they’re simple doesn’t mean that they’re not powerful.
Truth is, affirmations are incredibly powerful.
In my experience, affirmations have the ability to change your entire perspective about yourself.
If you’re totally new to affirmations, you might find them a little bit cringe and, at first, not even believe the things that you’re saying about yourself…
…But this will change over time, the more you stick to it!
Start by working with a handful of affirmations that you repeat day in, day out.
The affirmations you choose will be personal to you, but you could pick some that are geared towards self-love and positivity.
For example, you could affirm:
- I am enough
- I am worthy
- I deserve love
- I am where I need to be
- I am happy with myself
These very simple affirmations will have a dramatic effect on yourself if you commit to repeating them consistently!
As I say, it might seem like it’s not possible that a few phrases could affect your reality… But they will!
5. Set positive reminders on your phone
Our phones get a bad wrap for taking all of our time and energy.
But our phones can be used for good!
As I said, positive thinking should be weaved into our days… And our phones can be a great tool for helping us stay on track.
I personally find it really helpful to set notifications on my phone with affirmations.
You can set reminders throughout the day to remind you how great you are, and to take back your power from negative thinking.
At first, I felt a bit embarrassed when my first buzzed and a notification popped up saying “you are loved”…
…But now I find it so empowering!
What’s more, I’ve inspired my friends and family to do the same because feeling good is infectious!
6. Refer to yourself in the third person
A great tactic for helping with positive self-talk is referring to yourself in the third person.
Now, if you’ve never done this, I won’t pretend it’s not a bit weird…
…Because it is!
There’s definitely an element of feeling a little bit odd when you refer to yourself by your name, as though you’re talking to someone else.
But it’s powerful!
I often find it incredibly soothing and comforting when I find myself saying: “it’s OK, Pearl.”
In my experience, it can make you feel more supported and as though you’re a team with yourself!
You’ll have to experience it to understand what I mean.
Next time you find yourself having negative thoughts about something you’ve said or done, just pause and address yourself to say that you’re OK.
Literally say outloud to yourself that you’re OK and doing well, as though you’re talking to a friend.
You see, we should all be our own best friends… Meaning we should talk to ourselves in kind and soothing ways!
7. Focus on being present
If you find yourself drifting between the past, present and future, you’re not alone!
Us humans all have a tendency to drift between thoughts of what has been and what we want the future to hold…
…But often it can be to our detriment as we actually miss the very moments in front of us!
You see, if we spend all of our time feeling nostalgic of the past and wishing for things to be different, life will literally pass us by.
On the other hand, being present is the art of mindfulness.
Now, it takes practice to fully be present in each moment and I’m not suggesting that it’s easy…
…But there’s no harm in trying!
Start by doing little things that anchor you more into the present moment and see how they make you feel.
For instance, next time you go for a walk outside, pause and think about:
- Three things you can see
- Three things you can hear
- Three things you can feel
This will instantly ground you in that very moment… And, no doubt, you’ll have an experience that you’ve not had before.
For instance, you might wonder how you had missed all of these things before.
8. Don’t let comparison creep in
Comparison is one of the most unhelpful things we all do!
Even if people say they don’t compare, the truth is that they will have at some point or they might consistently battle with trying not to compare.
It’s very natural to compare ourselves with other people…
…So don’t feel bad if you find yourself doing it.
You’re just a human!
The key thing is to be mindful about it and to try and work on not doing it.
In other words, we need to be actively working against the desire to compare!
So next time you find yourself wanting to compare yourself with a friend, a colleague or a random person on the street, catch that thought and try to stop it.
Instead, remember that we are all unique and we should all celebrate our individuality.
Simply put, no one can be you… And that’s your superpower!
9. Surround yourself with positive people
It’s very true that we are the sum of the people we spend the most amount of time around.
In other words, it matters who you hang out with!
If you constantly surround yourself with negative people, you’ll find that you’ll gradually become more negative.
Simply put, don’t be surprised if you find yourself being pessimistic if all you hear are pessimistic thoughts from other people.
Meanwhile, if your gang are a bunch of positive people, it’s going to rub off!
You’ll find yourself focusing on the good in life and be more like a glass half-full kind of person.
Remember that while we can’t choose our family members, we can choose our friends…
…So if you’re finding that all you hear is negativity around you, you can be conscious about wanting to meet new people that align with you.
10. Keep a gratitude journal
There is something I like to do at the end of each day:
Reflect on what I’m grateful for.
A bit like affirmations, journaling might seem like such a small act isn’t going to have any impact.
But when we do something day in, day out, you can bet it has the potential to have a massive positive impact.
If journaling is something you’ve not done before, just start with five or ten minutes a day to get used to it…
…It doesn’t have to take loads of time!
However, what you write does matter:
To help you feel happier and generally more positive, focus on writing about what you’re grateful for.
I suggest thinking about this in relation to different areas of your life – from the fact you have a roof over your head and running water, to your relationships with other people, and your passions and hobbies.
When you start doing this, you’ll no doubt find yourself feeling really positive about how many things you have to be grateful for!
Stick with this daily exercise and you’ll struggle to find any justification for negative thinking!
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