Did you know that your most important conversations are those that you have with yourself? We have an adult son living with us-- he's an inventor and I often ask, "Say, what?", thinking that he is talking to me... but he inevitably answers, "Just talking to myself, Mom". It's pretty funny, but you know, these self-conversations of his are instructive and encouraging... at least the ones I hear him engaging in.
Unfortunately, not all of our self-talk is positive. What we need to do is to recognize that our self-talk reflects our emotional state. And our emotional state affects our mental and physical wellbeing, right?
Here is a handy little object lesson that helps to clarify just how often we rag on ourselves, and gives us a simple way to shift from negativity and self-injury to more positive, kinder self-talk.
1.- Place two jars on your work desk, near your computer, on your kitchen counter... wherever it is that is your hub for most of your day, one filled with pennies or buttons or beans, the other empty. Everytime you are aware of a negative thought, transfer a marker from the full jar to the empty one. At the end of the day which jar contains the most markers?
2.- The day after this exercise, list 28 negative things that you think about yourself, eg., "I'll never get this HTML code". Take 28 index cards (one for each day of the next four weeks) and write a positive version of the negative phrase on each card (eg., "I can ask my son to help me this HTML code".)
3.- Put each day's card where you will see it often. Whenever you see it, read it (aloud, if possible) 5 times
4.-At the end of the 4 weeks, repeat Step #1-- are there fewer markers in the negative marker jar?
With gratitude, I base this blog on the book "Learn to be an Optimist: A Practical Guide to Achieving Happiness" by Lucy MacDonald, a Quebec-based motivational speaker with an academic background in psychology and counseling.