Negative Self-Hypnosis

Negative Self-Hypnosis
Notice your Negative Self-Hypnosis

(From The Pegasus NLP Newsletter – 4 April 2000)

I don’t know what he did wrong but he’d certainly annoyed his mother. ‘Don’t you ever, ever, do that again. You stupid, stupid little boy. Do you hear me? I won’t stand for it. Never, ever again!’ Each phrase was emphasised with a smack on the bottom. The three year old was in tears. The woman was beside herself with anger.

No doubt she was well-intentioned and wanted to teach him an important life-lesson. I am sure that her intention wasn’t to set him up for a life-time of low self confidence and self esteem.

The constantly repeated messages we receive as children help form our self esteem and self confidence. These messages have added power if received when we are in a highly emotional state. So the little boy’s scared and tearful state made him very susceptible to the repetition of ‘stupid, stupid’ message. Such messages have all the impact of powerful hypnosis.

Happily most of our un-useful childhood impressions or beliefs are weakened by later experiences and by the passing of time – unless we unwittingly continue the process of negatively hypnotising ourselves…

Listen to your self-talk – the on-going silent chatter in your head. Is this building you up or undermining you?

Whenever you make a mistake do you say ‘you stupid, stupid boy/girl’. When someone criticises you do you silently agree with them as if it’s yet more proof of your low self worth? Are you carrying on the negative hypnosis of overworked and impatient teachers or loving but scared and incompetent parents?

Our self talk messages have a very powerful hypnotising affect on us. Just like hypnosis they are so repetitious that we rarely challenge them.

They are relentless – so we stop consciously ‘hearing’ them. And they are either so monotonous that we are lulled into a passively accepting them or are very emotionally charged and impactful.

Many people recognise this and try to stop this negative self-hypnosis. But most of them go about it the wrong way – by trying to not talk to themselves.

So let’s get one thing clear – you will never stop your self talk. Accept that and you are half-way to ending the self-undermining. What’s more your self talk is a valuable part of your thinking. It is what you say to yourself that needs attention.

The solution is powerful but is deceptively simple. Spend a few minutes every day noticing the undermining messages you give yourself. Just pay attention to this negative self hypnosis and think to yourself ‘There I go – repeating the old, redundant stuff again.’

That’s all. Keep it simple and you’re more likely to do it. Incidentally, this is a lot more effective than trying to stop the negative self talk because the more you try to NOT think of something the more fixated on it you become.

Do it for a few minutes every day and start benefiting from positive self observation. And, each time you notice that you are undermining your self esteem and self confidence, remind yourself of how you are a different person now than you were way back then.

Self Talk How to Start Creating Positive Self Talk

Career Services

10 tips to creating powerful positive self-talk affirmations

Rapua te ara tika mou ake / Seek the path that is right for youWe all have access to a powerful tool, which, when used regularly, will enhance our self esteem, break through limiting self-imposed beliefs, and raise the thermostat of our comfort zones.

1. Know your outcome –
Have a clear vision of the end result and avoid dwelling on the question, how will I get there? Our subconscious minds are very creative and once the thought is programmed, you will be pleasantly surprised at how the creative mind guides you to make the vision a reality. For example, let’s take a shy person who is uncomfortable speaking to a group of people. The desired end result is to be confident, dynamic and captivating when speaking before large groups of people. (Get the idea?)

2. Personal –
Begin your affirmations with “I”…. Okay, we would all probably like to change the behaviour of some of the people around us, but we can only affirm for ourselves. However, as you begin to make changes in your own behaviour, others will notice and begin to ask what is your secret? So, as you share your new techniques you are indirectly making a positive impact on those around you.

3. Positive – Use a positive spin when saying and writing affirmations as opposed to the negative approach. An example of the difference is stating: “I am confident when speaking before groups of people”, as opposed to the negative approach of saying: “I am not as nervous or scared as I used to feel when speaking to groups of people.”

4. Present Tense – You want to keep the statement in the NOW, so that your subconscious mind fully comprehends that the change is for today, NOT someday. Avoid using words like CAN, WILL, SHOULD, COULD, and instead use the empowering word AM….”I am a confident, dynamic and powerful speaker when addressing large groups of people.”

5. K.I.S. – Use short, powerful sentences for programming new behaviour in your subconscious mind, no long dissertations or rambling paragraphs for your affirmations, just short sentences that reprogram your thought process. Keep it simple!

6. Believable – The affirmation needs to be believable and attainable by you and for your own good. It doesn’t matter what others say, only that YOU believe…so become your own dream master!!

7. Emotions – Use words that trigger emotions when you say your affirmations out loud. For example: “I am a loving nurturing parent and look for ways to build Matt’s self esteem”…or…”I look forward to my energizing work outs three times each week.”

8. Write – Take out 3 x 5 index cards and write each affirmation separately on an index card. If you are working on a couple of different areas at once, you may try pink for family and relationships, yellow for health and nutrition and perhaps green for financial.

9. Repeat – Here’s the work – for 21 consecutive days, read your affirmations each morning when you wake up and each night just before falling asleep, this is when your brain is most receptive to change. Take about 45 seconds for each affirmation, read it, close your eyes and picture the end result. SEE the picture come to life and enjoy all the vibrant colours in your mind. Now, FEEL the emotion associated with the affirmation. Breathe deeply, and enjoy the moment and then go to the next affirmation and repeat the steps.

10. Believe – Open your heart and mind to the possibilities and expect to make positive changes in your life using this technique. Break out of the negative self talk pattern and get into the POSITIVE self-talk habit.

Self-Talk & Self-Health. ERIC Digest.

Self-Talk & Self-Health. ERIC Digest.

Self-Talk & Self-Health. ERIC Digest.

This digest examines the ways in which self-talk, or inner-speech, can help change people’s health states. Communication and medical professionals have researched the psychophysiological components of self-talk, to conclude that what people say to themselves does affect their ability to combat and ward off illnesses. Individuals can tap into the power of their own self-talk by recognizing it for what it is, reducing harmful negativity, and increasing the number of positive internal messages.
To determine “where” and “how” self-talk fits into the scheme of intrapersonal communication, and communication as a whole, some definitions must be derived. The reality of emotional choice–that people have definite control over their emotional state–is known in various circles as self-talk, intrapersonal communication (IAPC), imaging, and visualization (Weaver and Cottrell, 1987). Self-talk is part of IAPC, but the part cannot be equal to the whole.

Having concluded that self-talk and IAPC are separate but related, what is IAPC? Shedletsky (1989) places it into the traditional model of communication, but all elements of “sender,” “receiver,” and “transmitter” are carried out within individual people. Pearson and Nelson (1985) expand that definition as follows: Intrapersonal communication is not restricted to “talking to ourselves”; it also includes such activities as internal problem solving, resolution of internal conflict, planning for the future, emotional catharsis, evaluation of ourselves and others.

Fletcher (1989) adds the physiological dimension to IAPC. Fletcher defines, “Intrapersonal communication…is the process interior to the individual by which reality evolves and is maintained.” It is a process which involves other parts of the body including the nervous system, organs, muscles, hormones, and neurotransmitters. IAPC, as well as the internal thoughts and language associated with it, serve as another “control” system in the body, on much the same level as the body’s other systems. This is the beginning of the mind-body, or psychophysiological, connection.

Medical professionals are beginning to take note of mind-body interrelationships in their treatment of patients. The basis of this is the recognition of the functions of inner speech. These functions are to:

* coordinate other connective sensory and motor functions within the brain

* to integrate and link the individual to the social order

* to regulate human behavior through spoken language

* to provide for human mentation as reflected in mental processes and activities (Korba, 1989).

Self-talk is a health behavior that has potentially far-reaching effects. Although it will most likely be used by those who have a high internal locus of control and place a high value on health, it can also help relatively healthy people in health “maintenance” programs. Self-talk is categorized as being positive or negative. As its label implies, positive self-talk has good implications for people’s mental and physical well-being. However, the negative is not all bad. The key to using self-talk is to strive for an appropriate balance (which is a tenet of holistic medicine itself) between the two.

The use of positive self-talk has been linked to the reduction of stress. Less stress, in turn, can effect other positive health changes. Self-talk, like thoughts, is not neutral because it triggers behavior in either a positive or negative direction. Both thoughts and self-talk are based on beliefs–which “can exist with or without evidence that they are accurate” (Grainger, 1989)–which are formed early in life. Beliefs shape our self-talk, which in turn affects our self-esteem.

However, negative thinking as the “thinking of choice,” may not be so bad, because it heightens people’s sensitivity to the situation they are facing. They are likely to think more clearly. Grainger says, “Negative thinking, then, is the most productive, the most useful, and the healthiest thinking to adopt “when risk is high.”

Instead of categorizing negative self-talk as “negative,” it might be better to call it “logical and accurate” self-talk. Braiker (1989) emphasizes the “responsible” use of self-talk. She warns against confusing positive inner dialogue with positive thinking, happy affirmations, or self-delusions. Logical, accurate self-talk recognizes personal short-comings, but also modifies them to help people define a plan of correction.
A positive mental attitude as a basis for self-talk does not require self-delusion. The development of optimistic thought patterns requires essentially three things: recognizing self-talk for what it is, dealing with negative messages, and harnessing the positive for the greater good of individual persons. By using inner speech, people can influence their health states, but the benefits potentially reach beyond that. To make self-talk positive, people must change what goes into their subconscious. All this hinges on recognition of inner messages.

Levine (1991) expands on the idea of noticing thought patterns. Regardless of the thought type (positive or negative), she suggests people reflect upon the antecedents to and the feelings about the particular thought. When people determine which thoughts improve their sense of well-being, they can make those thoughts occur more frequently.

Again, this does not imply that people who practice positive self-talk will be a group of “happy campers.” Negative inner speech can and does play a constructive role in helping people create better realities for themselves. As was previously stated, negative thoughts can trigger warning signals in high-risk situations. The object is to deal with the underlying message, and then move to correct the situation. Negative self-talk, like its label implies, has a downside as well.

McGonicle (1988) categorizes “harmful” negativity as being “awfulistic” (everything is catastrophic), “absolutistic” (using “must,” “always,” “never”), or should-have self-talk (“I ‘should have’ done this”). These also are found on what Braiker lists as “cognitive traps.” Other elements include: all-or-nothing thinking; discounting the positive; emotional reasoning; and personalization and blame. Levine suggests examining “seedthoughts,” sometimes mindlessly-used cliches, for negative elements–either emotion or health related. For example, thinking “I’m a nervous wreck,” “I’m eaten up with anger,” “That disease runs in my family,” and “Only the good die young” can undermine any positive thinking people try to achieve. Therefore, individuals must replace these thoughts with something more constructive.

In a society where people (especially females) are taught to downplay their good points, developing positive self-talk might be difficult at first. It necessitates a “reality-check.” Most of the time, people are a lot “better” (performance/ health-wise) than they previously concluded. The development of positive personal speech requires that people take active roles in shaping events in their lives, not to let life just “happen” to them. Keeping a journal, using your name as you talk to yourself, and releasing pent-up feelings are some of the ways Levine recommends becoming aware of and constructively using thoughts.

Relaxation is also conducive to positive thinking. The flipside of that is to reduce stress. Stress cannot be eliminated, but it can be managed. This can be done by sharing feelings with another and confronting any conflict early on, before the situation gets out of hand. Relaxation and less stress clarify and change inner dialogues for the better which can effect like changes in health states.
Self-talk has been shown, in research by medical and communication professionals, to have psychophysiological underpinnings. Thought patterns generated by self-talk affect health-states. What studies have shown has been supported by doctors and patients alike. People can begin to harness the power in their minds by taking an active role in deciding what to think, enhancing the positive messages they send themselves. It also involves being realistic, identifying the causes for any negativity, realizing it is a signal to act. By doing so, people can face challenges–health related or otherwise–with the knowledge they can succeed if they literally “put their minds to it.”

Parenting Tip of the Week

Parenting Tip of the Week

Teaching Children to Use Positive Self-Talk

by Shari Steelsmith

Tip—One of the best methods for teaching children positive self-talk is to model it yourself.

Our kids are often frustrated. The subject of homework instantly comes to my mind when I think of my kids getting frustrated—but there are a myriad of other causes: learning a new task, dealing with siblings, etc. Both of my kids, now 11 and 8, are easily frustrated when doing math homework. My son, particularly, grouses when he gets stuck and makes dramatic statements like, “This is horrible! I’ll never figure this out!” Or, “I hate math! I’m no good at it.”
Link to book description

I get concerned when I hear him make comments like this because I know that how we talk to ourselves makes a real difference in how quickly or easily we accomplish tasks. Parent educator Elizabeth Crary, author of the Self-Calming Cards, notes that “Self-talk strongly colors the mind. It impacts what we feel, see, and do.” I tell my children that their brains believe what they say, whether it’s true or not. I will usually prompt them to repeat a better statement, such as, “This is hard, but I can do it.” Although I do intervene in this way, I still wonder if there’s another way I could teach them to use positive self-talk. It turns out, there are more things I can do.

Tools—Crary recommends, first, monitoring your own self-talk, both out loud and mentally. If you find yourself making negative comments, she says to think about the following points: 1) You’re loveable, even though you’re not perfect, 2) You’re capable, even though things are not going well at present, 3) You are growing and getting better, and 4) You sometimes do (whatever it is you’re currently struggling with) just fine. For example, “I’m getting better at being on time. I had the kids to school on time every day last week.”

As for teaching your children positive self-talk, Crary recommends the following tools:


Model using positive self-talk. Do this out-loud for your kids to hear. For example, if someone is rude to you, you could say, “I am in charge of my feelings. I will take a deep breath and then decide what to do.”

Give affirming messages. You can say to your children things like, “It’s okay to be angry” or “You can be upset and still think of what to do.”

Model changing negative self-talk. When you say something negative, change it to something more constructive. For example, “I can’t believe how stupid I am. Oops. I meant to say, ‘Sometimes I make mistakes, but I’m learning from them and I can do better next time.’ ”

This material has been adapted from Self-Calming Cards by Elizabeth Crary, M.S.

Self Talk – To A Healthier you

Home Educator’s Family Times – Self Talk – To A Healthier you

Self-Talk – To A Healthier You

Jane Boswell

We speak to ourselves at the rate of 1300 words per minute. What are we ‘saying’
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 – but didn’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 – unconscious and undirected – tends to be negative and self-defeating. Looking at my own thought patterns, that part didn’t surprise me. As humans we have a problem keeping our thoughts headed in a positive direction. They seem to work with gravity – 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 – 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 – and heaven knows we don’t need any more of that! We’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, it’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 – and the older I get gravity and my thoughts pull harder – 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 – painfully real – but not based on truth. Here’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 – 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 – 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 – a simple act of consciously renewing your mind – it will change your life – little by little. It will form a positive, confident foundation for your life and revolutionize your faith and belief system. It won’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 – God’s affirming truth about you – to begin the conscious, disciplined effort of feeding your mind – it will just take a few minutes a day – 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 God’s love and His love is in my heart. (Romans 8: 38-39)

I walk in love – abounding in (God’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 me… (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 God’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 – 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.

I’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 moment’s notice. These are tapes which hold all the beliefs, attitudes, and expectations that you have ‘recorded’ during your life.

Some of the tapes inside your brain are truthful, such as “You can’t please everybody all the time” or “Life’s rough.”

Some of these tapes are lies, such as “I’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, you’ll tend to be more emotionally unhappy and troubled. If, on the other hand, your mind has more truth than lies taped and running, you’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.

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