Self-Talk – To A Healthier You
We speak to ourselves at the rate of 1300 words per minute. What are we â€˜sayingâ€™
to ourselves and why is it important?
An article I was reading in a psychology manual fascinated me. It said that people can speak out loud at a rate of about 150 to 200 words per minute, but inwardly we carry on a thought dialogue with ourselves at a rate of about 1,300 words per minute. Well, I knew I talked to myself â€“ but didnâ€™t realize I could go that fast!
The people that research these kinds of things call this self-talk. The article went on to say, however, that most of our self-talk â€“ unconscious and undirected â€“ tends to be negative and self-defeating. Looking at my own thought patterns, that part didnâ€™t surprise me. As humans we have a problem keeping our thoughts headed in a positive direction. They seem to work with gravity â€“ trying to pull our attitudes ever downward. Researchers have determined that negative self-talk is usually based on automatic, illogical and painful assumptions. It is real â€“ but not usually realistic or true. People build up assumptions about themselves and life and the unconscious self-talk overemphasizes painful events and places too much attention on what other people think and say about us (or worse yet – what we think they think and say).
This, in turn influences the way we respond to the circumstances and personal relationships in our lives.
Our own thoughts and self-talk can cause anxiety and stress â€“ and heaven knows we donâ€™t need any more of that! Weâ€™re far too busy for any more stress!
Now, I know we can all relate to this. And since this seems to be a normal part of the human condition, itâ€™s very important that we learn to deal with it. I started working on my thought-life about 17 years ago. I certainly have not finished the process â€“ and the older I get gravity and my thoughts pull harder â€“ and the results show not just on my drooping frame but also on those sagging thoughts.
Years ago I began to realize that some of my feelings and thoughts were not necessarily true. Oh, they were very real â€“ painfully real â€“ but not based on truth. Hereâ€™s the truth: God loves me unconditionally and wants me to see myself the way He sees me. As a busy (and harried) wife and homeschool mother I set out on a mind-renewal adventure which started first thing in the morning. I had to MAKE myself do this and MAKE myself get up a little earlier each morning to have the time I needed. The most important part of this special time (and it started with only 5 minutes) was to say the things to myself that God says about me (and you, by the way). This little exercise had nothing to do with whether I felt that way or not – whether I believed those thoughts or not. If God said and thought good things about me and HE believed that in Him I am His unique creation â€“ what right did I have to contradict Him? Working with Him was key. So, I started saying things like the following (out loud).
O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely. You hem me in â€“ behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Psalm 139
When you learn the habit of positive self-talk â€“ a simple act of consciously renewing your mind â€“ it will change your life â€“ little by little. It will form a positive, confident foundation for your life and revolutionize your faith and belief system. It wonâ€™t change your surroundings, spouse, your children, Uncle Charlie or that nosy neighbor but it will change the way you respond to your surroundings, people and circumstances of life. As Jesus suggested, take one day at a time – sometimes one hour or one minute at a time and concentrate on forming this habit.
Here are some good thoughts to start with â€“ Godâ€™s affirming truth about you â€“ to begin the conscious, disciplined effort of feeding your mind â€“ it will just take a few minutes a day â€“ but like any skill building exercise, it must be continued to be successful. Remember, this is speaking the TRUTH.
I am loved with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3)
I am a new creation in Christ. Old things have passed away – I have become new. (2 Cor. 5:17)
I have peace, I have joy, I have received an abundance of grace and I reign in life. (Romans 5)
Nothing can separate me from Godâ€™s love and His love is in my heart. (Romans 8: 38-39)
I walk in love – abounding in (Godâ€™s) love towards everyone. (Ephesians 5; I Thessalonians 3)
I do not fret or have anxiety about anything. I give my cares and worries to God who cares for meâ€¦ (I Peter 5: 6-7)
I have abundant life. (John 10:10)
I am free of shame and condemnation. (Romans 8:1)
I am being changed and conformed to the image of Christ. (Romans 8:28-29; Phil. 1:6)
I am holy and without blame before God (Ephesians 1:4)
I am forgiven; all my sins are washed away. (Ephesians 1:7)
I am Godâ€™s worksmanship. (Ephesians 2:10)
I can do all things through Christ. (Philippians 4:13)
I am victorious. (Revelation 21:7)
I am a capable, intelligent and virtuous woman, far more precious than jewels ; The heart of my husband trusts in me confidently and relies on and believes in me safely and
I comfort and encourage and do him only good as long as there is life in me..(Proverbs 31: 10, 11, 12)
o Some other self-talk phrases â€“ to replace those nagging negatives as soon as you are aware of them:
I keep score of the good things in my life.
I choose to forgive and move on with my life.
Iâ€™m getting the job done, one task at a time.
I am moving toward my goals.
I face up to my feelings.
I can reach the top.
I enjoy taking good care of myself.
My spouse is my best friend.
I am a lovable person.
I can enjoy healthy relationships.
God gives me strength to enact my new decisions.
Dr. Chris Thurman (Minirth Meier New Life Clinics) says:
“Your brain can both record and play back, and it has access to a personal library of thousands of tapes ready to play at a momentâ€™s notice. These are tapes which hold all the beliefs, attitudes, and expectations that you have â€˜recordedâ€™ during your life.
Some of the tapes inside your brain are truthful, such as “You canâ€™t please everybody all the time” or “Lifeâ€™s rough.”
Some of these tapes are lies, such as “Iâ€™m only as good as what I do” or “Life should be fair” or “Things have to go my way for me to be happy.”
Many lie tapes play in your mind without you even knowing it. They play unconsciously when life presses the play button. Unconscious or not, these tapes dramatically affect your feelings and actions each day. Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to these tapes. Unless they are made conscious, you are at their mercy.
Your emotional life hangs in the balance. It directly reflects whether your mind is dominated by lies or truth. If your mind has more lies than truth playing through it, youâ€™ll tend to be more emotionally unhappy and troubled. If, on the other hand, your mind has more truth than lies taped and running, youâ€™ll feel more well-being than misery.
The primary challenge, then, is not to attempt changing the circumstances surrounding us, although there is nothing wrong with improving them when we can. The primary challenge is to make our mental tapes as truthful as we can so that we will be able to handle successfully whatever circumstances come our way.” ( Reference: The Complete Life Encyclopedia, copyright 1995, Thomas Nelson, Inc., pp 503)
Start today, pass it on.
If you have any comments, contact me online at our internet site: http://www.homeeducator.com/HSN – Homeschool Support Network – an online homeschool support organization. Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org