We often hear how our words can hurt others, to be mindful of what we say, and so on. However, the focus is almost always on harming someone else. We sometimes forget the same is true for ourselves. The way we think and speak to ourselves can dictate how we live our lives.
It is something we rarely think about but can have a tremendous effect on our self-esteem and outlook on life. We interpret everything we go through and see, and when we negatively do that, we start to feel differently. There are two ways to look at life: negatively or positively, and ultimately, that choice is yours.
A technique used in therapy involves you rewriting your feelings and thoughts on a piece of paper. You can try to do this process on your own as well. It is called the ABC model with five main parts:
A: Activating Events
E: New Effect
First, think about a situation that hurt you in the past. Write down your belief from that event and how you felt. Relive the consequences that resulted because of that belief. The second half is rewriting the experience in a positive matter. Try thinking positively about the situation and change your mindset from negative to positive. Finally, enjoy the effect of your new belief.
Another method that works is mirror talk. Simply write a few self-affirmation sentences. Look at yourself and say them in front of the mirror. I typically state them twice a day, saying: “I am beautiful. I am smart. I can do this. I am a good mom.” repeated three times or until these words lifted my spirit.
It may not seem to help right away, but day after day, it will change how you feel and think about yourself and your life. Changing how we talk to ourselves and think about our flaws and qualities is a challenging task that will take time and effort. However, as you move forward, day by day, it will be more comfortable and ultimately become a natural reflex.
It started with a lot of effort at the beginning. I made a lot of mistakes but kept trying to move forward. Eventually, I got to the point where I would sometimes say a negative thought and then quickly replace it with a positive one. As I have been working on it for a couple of months now, I am at the point where I catch myself before I say something adverse and potentially detrimental to my well-being.
If you do not see the results you want, it might be time to go and talk to someone. Doing these activities can certainly help you become happier and enjoy life, but they are not a cure for all mental health concerns. If you are struggling with clinical depression or any significant condition, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional who can help guide you through becoming the best version of yourself.