Reply
Community Concierge

Shut Down the Mean Voice Inside Your Head

When negative self-talk gets going, it’s so loud in your mind that reason and logic are drowned out. These mental exercises explore ways to shift focus from bad thoughts and appreciate your achievements and strengths. Visit AARP® Staying Sharp® and take a brain health challenge.

12,759 Views
22
Report
Contributor

I enjoyed this article and especially the comments. I've synthesized the comments. I like being the master of my own boat, so now whenever I identify a negative thought (amazing how they flit in so often!), I identify that it's negative, then I stop it by also adding "at least it IS NOT WORDS OR ACTIONS." This adds an extra awareness protection and preventativeness. Peace ☮

 

 

 

 

0 Kudos
3,637 Views
0
Report
Contributor

As a member of WW a/k/a Weight Watchers, I discovered a comment from another member that I apply to myself when I get upset over something I did (or didn't) do. It goes like this: "Okay, you broke one egg...are you going to break the remaining 11 eggs, too?" The point? You made one mistake. Don't beat yourself over the head for it--move on...Hope this helps!

Newbie

Here's my favorite -why be mean to myself (or with the one I live with) there's a whole world to be mean to me (or us).  It's me (or us) against the whole world.  I know who I am, maybe you don't, so you can say/think whatever you like.  It usually works.  When it doesn't, this does: Maybe nobody else likes me, but God knows what's in my heart and my mind, even when it may not seem like that is what's in there.

0 Kudos
2,816 Views
0
Report
Contributor

A technique I learned many years ago was developing a series of positive affirmations and repeating them at least 5 times a day.  Generally there are two sets of affirmations - 1 about ourselves and the other about our work or home situation.  Examples of the first are: I like myself, I am worthy; I never devalue myself through negative self criticism; I grow mentally and physically healthier every day.  There are others you can develop. 

 

In the second group are attitudes or abilities you wish to develop and incorporate into your daily life. Examples are: I see good things happening to me and my family; I handle challenges with discipline to create positive outcomes.  Again, there are many others. 

 

The point of all these affirmations is to reprogram your mind so that you can become more the person you would like to be. If you continue to tell yourself that you can reasonably do something, the more likely that you will achieve it. 

Newbie

I add them to a list in the notes section on my phone titled "Worries". They lose their seriousness in print. Later, when I look at them the negative thoughts seem silly.

0 Kudos
6,876 Views
0
Report
Newbie

I have been meditating in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition for 20 years. One of the first things I learned was to be friendly to myself and to others. Whenever I notice negative self talk, I remind myself to not indulge by silently saying "thinking" to myself. The negative self talk is just thought. And thoughts come and go and I don't judge them.

0 Kudos
8,072 Views
0
Report
Social Butterfly

Always blame someone else, not yourself!  This helps ward off depression.

0 Kudos
8,382 Views
2
Report
Newbie

Not when you KNOW you're lying.

0 Kudos
2,814 Views
0
Report
Newbie

There's a saying, "you can't stop vultures from flying over your head but you can stop them from laying eggs." 

You have control over negative talk. I wrote a book called, "Mephibosheph Mentality" that teaches people to ward off negative talks in their heads. It's available on Amazon, https://www.amazon.com/author/ameliagaguharris 

Newbie

One thing that I find VERY HELPFUL is massage therapy.  Christian therapeutic touch also does wonders here.  In more severe cases, you may need 3-4 short (maybe 10 minutes) massages EACH WEEK for a few weeks to get things under control.  I found that LONELINESS can exacerbate these thought patterns.  Counseling may be in order in many cases here.

 

0 Kudos
10,054 Views
0
Report
Trusted Contributor

there are no ways to avoid negative words. sometimes, without thinking some words come out before you can stop them. every so often you recognize what is about to be said & you stop, a scenario: you could be siting reading a romance novel thinking happy thoghts when all of a sudden you move your arm & knock over a cup of coffee. without thinking you say (so & so). nobody can stop that. all you can do is pray & ask forgiveness. 

0 Kudos
10,122 Views
0
Report
Contributor

Many might be taken askance at the likelihood that the "voices" are sometimes spiritual entities.  Dealing with "them" is still the same though.  Don't tolerate negative ideas.  The longer you let things go...the worse the issue.  The old saw of "walk on the sunny side of the street" still applies.  If you succumb to "depression"...you are digging a hole that you will later need to dig out of.  Some get into a sort of sarcastic mood where they think that endorsing the negative side will make them some points or whatever...but guess what...nobody cares.  You do need to stay on top of things "in the moment" though...negative "ideas" are not much affected by platitudes or insults.  Action is the key.

0 Kudos
10,262 Views
1
Report
Newbie

You know what's helping me this week--I read that despair is a sin.  And here's one that really has me trying to stop complaining-reading Proverbs 12.  My bad attitude is making me FEEL like I am evil, because I am trying to make myself feel better by being angry, and it's having the opposite effect. I know better, but do it anyway.  I understand cognitive therapy, and behavior therapy etc., but wow, when life becomes totally different than what you are used to or ever expected, coping skills can become an empty reserve one never knew was possible. It really helps to know that God knows and understands, loves me and will never forsake me, unless I don't want Him in my life and heart.  And he knows the distractions and the temptations of depression & despair, the attempts to lead us away from our faith and belief in miracles, even when we have had personal experiences of them in our own lives.

 

0 Kudos
2,793 Views
0
Report
Contributor

I have an expression I've been using for at least 20 years to redirect my thoughts from things as diverse as a family argument to an annoying commercial jingle: "For the benefit of all beings."

 

I have a simple melody for it that helps to wipe out music I'm sick of, but usually I just recite it - silently or aloud (in the car, for example).

 

For the first 2 or 3 years it was a conscious choice I had to make to change the direction of my thoughts, but ever since, it's pretty much automatic. It's a little bit prayer, a little bit mantra, a little bit mission statement, a little bit wrist-slap, a little bit dzzzzzzt! but it's never without intention.

Susan
11,052 Views
0
Report
Contributor

I say to my mind, "Thank you for that thought -  I know you're trying to be helpful.  But - it's not helpful,  so no thanks. "

Community Manager
Community Manager

I love telling my mind "no." Sometimes I even have to say it out loud.

0 Kudos
11,910 Views
0
Report
Contributor

First I have to actually realize that negative self-talk is happening.  Upon realization, I will focus on my breathing as a way of refocusing my attention away from the current negative self-talk state.  I learned how to do this many years ago reading a book entitled "Taming your Gremlins".

12,440 Views
5
Report
Community Manager
Community Manager

I'm in the same boat @rgjr979 - the first step for me is realizing the negative self-talk is happening. Thanks for the book recommendation!

0 Kudos
11,911 Views
0
Report
Contributor

SMILE!!!  It shifts your focus; you will feel it, too.  Try it and see for yourself............

Community Manager
Community Manager

😁

0 Kudos
11,911 Views
2
Report
Contributor

Thanks for all the good tips!😊

0 Kudos
7,758 Views
1
Report
Regular Contributor

I set aside time every day for devotion and Bible study.  I 

hardly ever have a negative thought or attitude.

0 Kudos
3,460 Views
0
Report
cancel
Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Users
Need to Know
More From AARP