OMG! What did I just say? I can’t believe I said that? That’s me I’m talking to.
I don’t usually pay much attention to it, but when I stop the noise in my head, I realize I am the only one I hear. Sure, there are lots of people I talk to all day, but the loudest voice is my own.
My thoughts are what I hear the most. “I’m worried that my daughter won’t find a job, OUCH! what did I just say to my husband, Ewww, that wasn’t nice,” – just to name a few of my negative thoughts. Funny, isn’t it, how the negative thoughts are so much louder than the positive thoughts? They also stick around much longer. Who needs them? I’m sick of them.
No, I am not hearing “voices” in my head… it’s just me in there. So many nights I’ve been in a deep sleep and BAM! out of nowhere, a random thought comes at me- jolting me awake feeling as if somebody poured a quad espresso down my throat. After a few yoga stretches on the bathroom floor or attempts to lie still without squirming, I listen to the breathing exercises on my iPod. Slowly my thoughts calm down, my pulse returns to normal and I fall back to sleep.
Not to worry! It’s natural; it’s our thought process- it’s our God given gift – AKA free will. It allows us to make smart choices and good decisions and sometimes bad ones. It can end a fight, help us to apologize, kiss and make-up or it can take our hand and lead us down a dark path where it ends up choking us, leaving us gasping for air.
A friend of mine told me she was going on vacation with her three best friends. I asked the obvious question, “Who’s going?” She answered, “Me, myself and I.” I lol’d and thought, Wow- that’s so cool. She really enjoys being with herself. She must have a good self-talk system in place. She’s lucky. The dialogue I have with myself isn’t always so pleasant. I fight with myself a lot. Sometimes I feel as if there’s a ping-pong match going on inside my head, or maybe it feels more like playing tether ball. When the goal is to punch the tethered ball around the pole until there is no rope left. The conversations in my head sometimes feel like that too; going around and around until they are at the end of the rope. It’s strange, because I’m really good at telling other people what they should be thinking.
When I’m in a good headspace, my little chats are pleasant. It’s like me, myself and I are sailing around the under the moonlight on calm water. Those are the ones that I’m trying to have more often. I know I can do it. But just like any other behavior that needs to change- like organizing my cluttered kitchen- I need a good system in place, a new habit to form, an erase and replace action plan. This is the system I use to have those happy talks with myself more often.
5 things to practice daily (that means everyday or it doesn’t work) to keep your self-talk system sailing smoothly:
1) Listen to your thoughts. Be aware of what you say to yourself. Do you sound like your best friend (You’re doing a great job, hang in there, things will get better soon, believe in miracles, pray) or do you sound like the high school bully (You’re such a jerk, loser, stop being a baby, grow up already)?
2) Be on guard! Notice the negative words you tell yourself. As soon as you hear them, put up a STOP sign or chase them away. Scream at them. Get out of here! Go! Do whatever you can (no drinking or drugs allowed) to stop them. Talk back to them. Tell them to leave you alone. They aren’t welcome inside your head. Leave now! Bye-bye.
3) Say something nice to yourself. Be your best friend, husband, (or wife), favorite teacher or therapist. Tell yourself something you want to hear. Be your own cheerleader and coach. What would you want someone to say to you? Then say it to yourself, really say it- out loud or write it down.
4) Pray. A little bit of spiritual assistance goes a long way. Life is too hard to go it alone inside your head without a Divine Presence to guide you through the rough spots, to talk to, and to cry to. Who else can you do that with- who doesn’t answer back and loves you unconditionally, no matter what?
5) Do something you love doing. Everybody has something that makes them happy. Some people find joy getting those endorphins going at the gym or by chilling out on a yoga mat. Some find quiet at the beach or while taking a walk. Sometimes there’s nothing better than vegging out with your favorite old movie, having a good cry with your puppy in lap, and not feeling guilty about it. Do what you love to do.
Hope this helps you become your own best friend- so you can go anywhere, do anything, and never feel alone- because you’re not… you’ve got YOU.
Keep your headspace a happy place to be in.
Please comment or subscibe to my list. I believe we can learn from each other.
What do you do to stop your negative thinking?
Wishing you a happy thought day.