Welcome back everyone! I hope that you’ve all had a great week and that you have found time to be kind to yourselves. Valentine’s Day is coming up this week, and I know that I personally, am not looking forward to it. This will be my first solo V-Day in a number of years… and that doesn’t feel super good.
Something that I am really mindful of right now, is the way that I talk to myself in times when I know I might be feeling a little extra vulnerable. When I asked around Instagram for people’s thoughts on self-talk, something I found a number of people talked about, was the idea that negative self-talk is more prevalent in times of heightened stress/anxiety/low mood/vulnerability.
That being said, I have two more strategies to combat negative self-talk to share with you guys this week! I hope that anyone who is feeling uneasy about Valentine’s Day, and the way that they might be talking to themselves about it can find some value in these next two strategies!
I cannot tell you how many times I have been feeling uneasy about something, whether it is something approaching or something past, and have spent countless minutes (or hours…) stewing over it. I find that when people spend an excessive amount of time thinking about one thing in this way, it often tends to cause us to lose sight of what we were initially thinking about. Our thoughts wander and they go places they may not have ever gone if we had taken the time to really consider the level of reality of our thinking.
Let’s relate this to Valentine’s Day! I recently came out of a fairly long term relationship, and with the approaching holiday have found myself thinking things along the lines of “I’ll never get my happy ending, I won’t find anyone.” I find that the more I say these things to myself, the more I believe them. Here are some questions to ask yourself when you find yourself engaging in some negative self-talk that may not be completely factual.
- What is the evidence against my thinking? I have no way of knowing that I will never find another partner, there are SO many people out there, I’ll find someone someday.
- Are my thoughts factual, or are they emotion based? My relationship ended fairly recently, and I’m still processing a lot of the feelings associated with it, my emotions are guiding my self-talk.
- Am I jumping to negative conclusions? YES.
- How can I find out if my thoughts are actually true? I reached out to some friends and shared with them the thoughts and self-talk I’ve been engaging in, and was able to find some support and assurance that what I was telling them was not factual.
This is a strategy that I find really helpful. I live with depression and anxiety, and I find often that my thoughts and self-talk can get the best of me. I find that digging into whether or not they are true is a very calming and reassuring feeling.
Looking for alternative explanations
I find that with self-talk, we often are only looking at things from one initial point of view. When it comes to dealing with some uneasy feelings, and negative self-talk surrounding Valentine’s Day, I was struggling to see any point of view other than my initial reaction. When people put their metaphoric horse blinders on, and don’t seek outside opinions on things, negative self-talk can run rampant.
Here are some steps to finding alternate explanations for self-talk we engage in:
- Are there other ways that I could look at this situation? I wasn’t happy in my relationship, and I stood up for myself and now I have an opportunity to start fresh.
- If I were being positive, how would I perceive this situation? I have a new opportunity to really and truly get to know myself, it might be scary at times, but it’s also exciting!
Alright everyone, that’s it for this week! Stay tuned next week for my final two strategies on how to combat negative self-talk!