One of the biggest gifts you should give yourself, is knowledge of self.
Knowing your mental health barometer, knowing when to pause and rest, or change your perspective is key to managing our fast paced, competitive modern life style.
I know it’s difficult to believe, but not everything we think is true.
When we have been in survival mode for a while, our thoughts go on an auto pilot loop.
Anxiety is our bodies natural response to worry and stress and can be healthy. BUT to many people it has become debilitating, due to neither stress nor worry letting up.
Thus it is extremely important to know when your anxious brain is doing the talking. Anxiety will affect your self talk.
Be aware of how.
Sometimes our anxious thoughts are our brains patterns functioning on auto pilot. Taking note of these anxious thoughts will help you identify when it’s your anxious brain talking rather than your true thoughts. Being aware and taking control of your thoughts and the holes your self talk my lead you into should very well help you to navigate your anxiety better.
Thought patterns that fuel anxiety:
All or nothing thinking
This kind of thinking sees everything in the extreme. It is identified by using words like “always” and “never”.
Changing your word choices, and reassuring yourself with evidence of the opposite. Should result in a shift in the all-or-nothing-mentality.
This is the thought process of taking a small concern and amplifying it into something extreme . This is any kind of thought pattern that stretches a thought out to the point of exaggeration.
Is a thought pattern that is common amongst people who suffer from depression or have been exposed to traumas in their life. It’s the process of taking one experience that took place in the past and applying it to all experiences, including experiences that still need to take place. Any experience that may resonate negatively with you , may be deemed as part of a pattern of inevitable mistakes. This can derail your daily routine and result in a pessimistic outlook on life.
Self-criticism is a mental pattern , that hyper focuses on every mistake, misstep,setback or perceived failure.
Owning these as character flaws or deeming them as your personality that is fixed and can’t be changed.
The truth however is looking at what happend in the larger scheme of things in a less personal context.
When you are constantly blaming and criticizing yourself for everything, it’s difficult to build confidence. You need to look at things from a different perspective - a holistic perspective and not pick up the weight of self blame constantly. Saying this doesn’t mean you relinquish responsibility : you simply have to be realistic about it. Most importantly we need self-confidence to combat the anxious mind, thus the cycle of criticism needs to be adjusted to a cycle focusing on points of growth.
This is the process of always expecting the worst . Assuming that everything will have a negative or disastrous outcome.
This is often done to protect ourselves from the disappointment of a possible negative outcome, but anticipating it constantly wires our brains to become negative in all aspects of our world.
Being a perfectionist places a great deal of pressure on you. There is nothing wrong with holding yourself to high standards and wanting to do your best. However if your expectations are unrealistic, it will lead to disappointment and exhaustion. When we expect greatly from ourselves we often expect greatly from those around us, putting strain on relationships and knocking our confidence .
When having unrealistic standards we invite anxiety, our vocabulary is infiltrated by words such as “must” and “should”. Which leads to anxious tendencies.
Jumping to conclusions
Feelings are powerful, but when we make decisions impulsively based on how we feel, we often stress ourselves out and start worrying before finding out further information.
Take a step back and gather more information, before making a decision. Double check your facts. Then make your choices based on that.
Ignoring the positive side
This is a habit, it filters out all the good.
It focuses on a situation in the negative.
Failing to acknowledge our strengths and our victories, creates a negative loop within our thought patterns, stealing our confidence.
A low self-confidence opens up a door to limited resistance toward worry or stress.
Worrying and being nervous are all normal parts of our day to day existence. Keeping it in check is the key. When these start to interfere with our ability to complete daily tasks, we have entered into murky waters.
The simplest and most important step to combating these negative thought patterns, is simply to fact check and shift perspective. Toss the words “can’t” and “don’t”, “never” and “always” out for a week or two and replace them with “yet”.
You may just find that the way you speak to yourself will innately change the way you see the world and it see’s you.
Your self talk determines your perspective.
Capture your thoughts and fact check them with information from a wider source than yourself.
Write the thoughts down, evaluate them and then apply, gentleness toward yourself, forgiveness and kindness.
Keep on, Keeping on.