Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Improving Self-Talk
Jul 23, 2020
How do you talk to yourself? Are you too hard on yourself or overly critical? What does being too critical even sound like with self-talk? There are many layers and components to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, but one of the most powerful aspects centers on improving self-talk. Consider the CBT self-talk tools described below.
The word "should" and the statement "should not" is often involved with negative self-talk. The word "should" tends to focus too much on the past, or is used as a mental/cognitive tool to put the self down. The word suggests neglect or abandonment in some way, that something essential was not done, or is not being done.
While it's important to recognize past mistakes, the word "should" often creates a loop in the mind where the self is blamed rather than taking another course of action. The words "should not" can also create a loop of blame, and they imply that the bad or questionable behavior is going to continue.
Action words are much better. Consider using the phrase moving forward, or stating that you will do something in the future, rather than you should not. The mind needs to communicate with the heart that there's potential for doing things differently in the future, so that both the mind and the heart work together to create changes that involve action.
What-if the sky fell? You can what-if yourself to death and come no closer to understanding anything, while also stressing yourself out and creating hosts of negative outcomes in your mind that may emerge later.
What-ifs are good for philosophical questions, but when it comes to more personal questions, those two little words have a way of distracting from life in a very destructive way. What-ifs are rarely positive things, like what-if my dream job fell in my lap tomorrow?
Yet, even when what-ifs are more positive, they still distract from the present moment and place the mind either back in the past, or somewhere in the future. One of the best overall tools for healthier, more balanced communication within involves self-talk that focuses on what's happening now.
For more information on positive self-talk and CBT, contact us today!