Holidays are not a happy time for many people. Use your mind this year to make them a little better. Eliminating negative self-talk by encouraging positive self-talk will ensure that your holiday season isn’t filled with unwarranted sadness, depression, and anxiety. Follow this advice and make your holidays a happy time of the year.
- know your triggers
- practice and practice some more
- have your own words and sayings
- remember that you can control it
- un-invite the negative voices
- beat up on yourself
- be unprepared
- think those negative voices are all you have
- let your stories predict your future
- give up
For negative self-talk to start, we are triggered somehow. It could be holiday music, something someone says, a picture we see, etc. We recognize something and react to it. A first step is in knowing your triggers — what sets off the negative self-talk that leads to the blues for you? When you notice yourself getting triggered, write it down on a piece of paper or journal.
Negative self-talk is a habit you’ve acquired just like any other habit. It’s taken you years to perfect it, and it will take you lots of practice to acquire a new positive self-talk habit. Keep at it. The more you practice a positive approach, the more natural it will become.
Be ready. Prepare your positive self-talk in advance. If you know you are triggered in the mall listening to holiday music, before you enter the mall, have a mantra you will say, like “Music is just music. I don’t have to make anything out of it. I can focus on something else.” Whatever your mantra is to help you overcome the negative self-talk, practice saying it over and over so that it stays fresh in your mind.
It’s important to recognize that you can change your self-talk. Sometimes it becomes so familiar you might think it is just the way that it is. You are in control of the talking you do inside your head — it might not feel like it all of the time, so start to recognize and believe this as true.
When you notice they are there, just say “bye-bye.” You don’t need negative visitors telling you a story about how awful things are right now — or are going to be. See the negative messages as unwanted visitors that you un-invite whenever they come to visit.
Recognizing you talk to yourself negatively does not give you license to punish yourself for doing it. It’s just another form of negativity to tell yourself how terrible it is that you do this. Don’t give in to it.
Taking the time to write out positive statements and having a plan for where and how you will use them is critical. You probably know what part of the holidays is most difficult for you, so have a plan — don’t go into them unprepared this year.
The stories we tell ourselves and the way we talk to ourselves is often so much more negative than anything we’d ever say to anyone else! The negativity that brings us down seems like it’s part of us. But it’s not all you have — there is a positive voice waiting to come through, too.
The negative self-talk often tells us what’s coming next – and it’s never very good for us. Do your best to come back to the present moment and just focus on your positive messages in the now.
Learning any new skill takes practice and commitment. We’d all like things to come more easily — especially when it’s something we desire. Keep at this. The more you recognize the negative and turn it to positive, the more natural the latter will be!
Negative self-talk is a habit you’ve acquired. The better you get at it, the more it wears you down. You can make a different choice by recognizing what triggers you, and then changing that internal voice from negative to more positive and powerful. You have the control but it takes practice. Make a commitment this holiday season to practice until it starts to become a natural part of what you do.