What do you say to yourself?

What we say to ourselves is really important. Negative self talk can increase depressive symptoms and heighten feelings of anxiety.  Often the negative self talk is a replay of what others have said to us.  Very often people are unaware of their self talk because they are doing it automatically.  They are upset and just not that aware of what they are saying to themselves.  This negative self-talk is based on past situations that formed the negative core beliefs that they have about themselves now.  They may not even remember the situations that caused the formation of these core negative beliefs.

Once when I was still working as a nurse, a unit clerk had made a mistake and said to herself; “Oh  (her name)  you stupid idiot.”  This went on as she corrected her mistake.  Finally I stopped her and said ” We all make mistakes.  Its OK thats why 2 of us check the orders.  You need to stop calling yourself names.”  She seemed surprised when I said that to her.  Then she said: “Well I am an idiot.”   No she wasn’t,  but that was how she saw herself.  She believed a lie.  I can only imagine how that affected the rest of her life.  She was a nice, lovely person and great to work with but I doubt that she saw herself that way…….

Life is not easy……..It can be difficult don’t so make it any harder for yourself with negative self talk.  We would never say the things to our best friend that we say to ourselves.  Start noticing what you say to yourself and ask yourself if its really true?  How do you know its true?  Take a piece of paper and write down the evidence for and against it.  My guess it that you will find out its a lie.  Replace it with the truth.  With the situation above she may have been trying to take the orders off too fast or her mind was on something else.  So the mistake was really a call for  her to slow down and focus.


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