What is Positive Self-Talk? Benefits and Examples

Everyone engages in self-talk. It’s simply the dialogue that we have with ourselves. Whenever you talk to yourself, whether silently or out loud, you are engaging in self-talk.

What is important to keep in mind is that self-talk can be negative or positive? The type you engage in will impact your life in very different ways.

Note saying life is your creation

Negative Self-Talk

Negative self-talk is the dialogue that makes you feel bad about yourself. It involves thinking about the things that you have done wrong.

We engage in negative self-talk all too often, and this can cause damage to our overall mental state. When negativity is the main form of conversation we engage in with ourselves, it can lead to sadness, fear, difficulty coping, poor self-esteem, and numerous other bad outcomes. Examples of negative self-talk include:

  • “I should have worked harder,”
  • “I’ll never be good enough,”
  • “I will never get my life together.”

Positive Self-Talk

In contrast, positive self-talk involves thinking of your life and yourself in a good light. Seeing everything as an opportunity for growth. You could also think of positive self-talk as talking to yourself like you would a loved one or a best friend.

This doesn’t mean that your thoughts are always positive, but it does mean trying to see the bright side in every situation. It can make you feel good and instill excitement for the road ahead. Examples of positive self-talk include:

  • “I’m doing the best that I can.”
  • “I am where I need to be right now.”
  • “I may have made a mistake, but I will do better next time.”

Positive self-talk has many benefits, both mentally and physically. Here are few to make you consider starting this practice today.

1. Increased Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem

When you keep a positive mindset and talk kindly to yourself, it can help you be more confident and view yourself more positively. One study proved that to be the case. Believe in the science and see how speaking positively can impact your self-esteem in a good way.

2. Cope With Stress Better

Stress may lead us to engage in negative self-talk, but when we flip the script and think about things from a positive point of view, stress becomes a lot easier to handle. Mayo Clinic noted a study that proved positive thinking helps with stress management.

3. Better Physical Lifestyle

While I don’t have a study for you, I do have a logical theory. If you feel better about yourself, you’re probably likely to think about taking care of yourself. It wouldn’t be surprising if those who think positively tended to be in better shape.

4. Better Relationships

In addition to treating ourselves better, self-talk that’s positive helps us be in a mindset to treat others better. When we feel and talk negatively towards ourselves, it’s more likely we might reflect that towards others. People are attracted to positive people, and if you utilize positive words, you can radiate optimism.

How to Practice Self-Talk

It is clear that positive self-talk leads to significant life improvements. So, how do we begin implementing it into our lives?

1. Examine the Self-Talk You Engage In

The first step is understanding which type of self-talk you naturally engage in. We all use a combination of positive and negative self-talk, but people tend to lean more one way than the other. Acknowledging the way that you already talk to yourself allows you to see where you can improve.

2. Start With One Area of Your Life

Trying to improve self-talk in all areas of your life can be overwhelming. When starting to change the way that you talk to yourself, choose one area to focus on first.

A good place to start is in an area where you engage in the most negative self-talk. Maybe you talk negatively to yourself about your body, your skill in a certain field, the way your house looks, etc. Find one area that you most want to improve, and work on changing those thoughts first.

3. Practice Affirmations

Affirmations are positive statements that you repeat to yourself to help challenge negative self-talk. There are several ways to practice affirmations including writing them down in a journal, putting them on sticky notes and attaching them to a mirror, and speaking them out loud. Some examples of positive affirmations include the following:

4. Question Your Negative Thoughts

Another way to practice positive self-talk is to question your negative thoughts. We have negative thoughts all of the time that promote unrealistic expectations we have for ourselves.

When a negative thought comes to mind, question it. Ask yourself, “Is this actually true?” You can learn more helpful insight about challenging your negative thoughts.

Final Thoughts

Everyone engages in negative self-talk, some more than others; however, this form of self-talk is dangerous and can take a negative toll on your well-being. Positive self-talk is an easy way to combat negative self-talk and live a more confident and fulfilling life.

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