Therapy in Philadelphia : Creating positive affirmation: negative self-talk is a common underlying theme behind clinical anxiety and its symptoms. Those who suffer from anxiety often circulate destructive, negative thought patterns through their minds while they go about their daily tasks. These patterns may often go unnoticed, working on a deeper subconscious level. Anxiety triggers can stimulate the self-talk that feeds the individual’s symptoms. In order to put a stop to negative self-talk, one must learn to create positive affirmations and embed them in the subconscious as a replacement for the existing negative statements.
The phenomenon of negative self-talk is sometimes described as having a record playing in your mind that is filled with destructive statements like, “I’m not smart enough” or “I’m too fat” or “I can’t do it” or “I don’t have what it takes.” These comments are repeated over and over again as the record continues to turn, filling us with doubt and fear. They feed a poor self image and add to the anxiety triggered by external circumstances. They can be paralyzing and very convincing. In order to stop them, we must record a new record to play, one that negates the old statements with new, positive affirmations.
Recording this new record of positive affirmations is easy, but in order to effectively wipe out the old statements, we must first identify them. This can be the trickiest part, as they are often so deeply a part of our unconscious thought and mental chatter that we have come to accept them as fact, never realizing that we are the product of our own thoughts. To uncover old, destructive patterns take some time to sit quietly and list what you consider to be your flaws. What are the behaviors or traits that have haunted you throughout your life, the ones you just can’t seem to shake? Many of your negative statements began early on as a child. You will recognize the recurring issues that have plagued you as being at the core of your negative self-talk. Things like appearance, intelligence, and talent are usually common themes. Feeling ‘not enough’ of anything is also common. Another one is the ‘too much’ syndrome. “I’m too…fat…stupid…ugly…etc”.
Write these items down as they come to you. Now consider the things you want or would like to have. What stands between you and those things? If you want success, a promotion at work, a love interest, or new friends, what is holding you back? What’s keeping you from the things you want most in life? Here you will dig up more of your negative thought patterns. “I’m not capable, loveable, or likeable” are all typical examples. Make a list of 10 sentences; five beginning with ‘I’m too…’, and five beginning with ‘I’m not…’ Now fill in the blanks. What statements automatically come to mind? These are your personal, self-destruct recordings. These are the messages you have to reprogram yourself to ignore.
Take your list of ten sentences or more if you have them, and begin to write a second list. For every negative statement, write a positive rebuttal. For example, if one of your statements is ‘I’m not smart enough’, then write a positive statement that says, ‘I am smart enough’. Continue to do this for each one until they are all complete. Now read the positive list out loud to yourself several times. Make copies of it and place it in your bathroom, your purse, your car, your desk, etc. Anywhere you are likely to encounter them several times a day. Whenever you see them, repeat them out loud. If you must, simply say them silently in your mind, such as when you’re at work. Engrain them into your thinking. Draw pictures or find photographs of yourself that support these statements. You are programming these visual and auditory affirmations into your being. If you catch yourself engaging in negative self-talk, quickly put an end to it by repeating your affirmations. Even performing a ritual such as burning the old, negative statements or pinching yourself gently whenever you say something negative about yourself can be helpful in bringing your negative habits to your conscious thinking and replacing them with positive ones.
No matter your particular cues, everyone engages in some form of destructive mental chatter. Drowning out these unappealing comments is key to eliminating them from your mentality and embracing a healthier, happier image of yourself. Don’t be the instrument of your own downfall. Treat yourself to a new mental record, one that is full of affirming, constructive words and statements. When you do, you’ll see your anxiety fading with the sounds of your old self-talk.
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