February is the month we celebrate love and the special relationships in our lives.
But what about your relationship with yourself?
Most of us are in constant communication with ourselves. Unfortunately, how we talk to ourselves is often negative.
The bottom line is this: our actions are inspired by our thoughts. If we can change the way we think, we can begin to change the actions we take. Practicing positive self talk can help us set in motion actions that will bring us greater rewards.
To have more positive and real relationships you need to start with having one with yourself.
How can you break yourself from negative thinking patterns? Here are seven strategies to get you started.
1. Be aware. It’s hard to change something we don’t know we do. Listen to your inner chatter. What do you find your self thinking? Do you say to yourself “I can’t”, “It’ too hard”, or other negative responses?
2. Pause. When you hear yourself thinking and talking negatively, take a breath and do something calming and positive. Go for a short walk, listen to music, or something else that make you happy and relaxed.
3. Keep a gratitude journal. Write down all the positive things you have and all that you are grateful for daily.
4. Reverse or cancel negative thoughts. Try to explain things to yourself differently. For example, rather than beat yourself up when someone says you did something wrong, tell yourself “I am a good person who just made a mistake, that’s all.”
5. Hang out with people who think positively. Positive people can be a big support system if you let them.
7. Give yourself positive affirmations. Read positive messages aloud to yourself with enthusiasm daily. Your mind takes repeated messages and files them away as important. Make the messages positive ones.
Be patient with yourself. A lifetime of negative self talk won’t go away over night. Take some baby steps by using these strategies and watch the improvement in the quality of your relationships!
Betty Lochner is the Owner of Cornerstone Coaching & Training. She specializes in personal and organizational transformation and is the author of Dancing with Strangers: Communication skills for transforming your life at work and at home. Find more information on communication skills training for your work group here.