|Photo by Tania Franco|
People talk to themselves ALL the time, hopefully in silence of course. But seriously, have you ever stopped to listen to the way you talk to yourself? If someone could overhear your self-talk would they think you were speaking to a loved one or someone you dislike?
If you haven’t taken the time to listen to your inner dialogue, take a few minutes to eavesdrop on the thoughts that go through your mind. Write some of them down, and notice their tone; are they kind or unkind? Are they maybe a bit of both?
There is one person you will spend your whole life with and that person is you. It is a good idea to think about how you want this relationship to go. People with successful relationships usually work at it continually. Are you working on your relationship with yourself? Believe me; the ride will be much more pleasant if you have a kind and loving relationship versus being at odds with yourself.
When we are aware of our thoughts we become empowered to do something about the things that are troubling us. You can create a warmer and closer friendship with yourself by practicing the following exercises:
- Identify which thoughts are hurtful and try to say the opposite of those thoughts. What would you say to a loved one if they thought that about themselves? i.e. “I am stupid” would be a hurtful thought and you could counteract that by saying to yourself: “I am intelligent” or “I made a mistake”
- Make a list of kind and loving thoughts you think about yourself. You can write achievements you have had throughout your life or thoughts you would like to have about yourself. Sometimes writing down what people who love you like about you can be helpful. Repeat these phrases to yourself over and over again while driving, when you feel bad about yourself, while bathing or looking in the mirror.
I will admit that I find it easier to be honest about my defects than my abilities, but I continue to be warm and loving with myself. I can say I am a good friend of mine most days. Creating supportive and kind self talk takes time and continual practice. Give yourself the gift of consciously cultivating a friendship with you. I cannot stress enough that practice is the key to reaping the rewards.
- Tania Franco