4 science-backed ways to identify and stop negative self-talk

4 science-backed ways to identify and stop negative self-talk

via Fast Company by Aisha Beau-Shine

The road to self-love is a winding one, with self-talk as the navigation system.

It’s no secret that the way we communicate with ourselves plays a major role in the way we see and experience the world around us. That’s why being mindful of these very delicate words we use on a regular basis is extremely important.

Yet there are times when negative self-talk can get the best of us, and that’s completely normal.

Unfortunately, there’s no switch to completely turn off our negative self-talk, but the most important thing we can do in these instances is to get mindful. “Usually negative self-talk is so automatic that it happens outside of conscious awareness,” LaToya Gaines, PsyD, tells Shine. “The first step is to practice being mindful of these thoughts as they happen at the moment.”

Gaines says once you get better at noticing your self-talk, you unlock greater flexibility to deal with and change those thoughts.

The tricky thing about negative self-talk is that it can come in many forms. According to Mayo Clinic, there are four main ones to be exact: personalizing, filtering, catastrophizing, and polarizing.

Here, we break down each one and share some tips on how to overcome it.


Personalizing is basically when “It’s not you, it’s me” becomes your mantra. If something bad occurs, you automatically blame yourself.

For instance: If you text the group chat and everyone takes much longer to reply than normal, you start thinking to yourself, “Everyone is probably mad at me” or “they clearly don’t want to be friends with me anymore.” When, in fact, they all could just be having a very busy day.

“The first step is to do some reality testing,” Gaines says. She recommends challenging the thought by asking yourself:

  • Is there any evidence to support this thought?
  • Is the thought factual or just my interpretation?

“Next, think of an alternative explanation to counteract the negative thought,” she says.

The next time you’re feeling as though you’re to blame if something goes wrong or seems different than normal—take a step back. Breathe deeply and look at the situation from the outside. You know your friends care about you—what are some other, more realistic reasons you haven’t heard from them?

… keep reading the full & original article HERE