21-07-2012 03:23 PM - edited 21-07-2012 03:25 PM
I just wanted to do a little post about self talk and self awareness. Managing my self talk in particular is something that I tend to have a bit of trouble with so I thought it would be cool to hear other people's perspectives on it. For those who don't know, self talk refers to the little voice in your head that determines how you perceive situations. This voice can be positive/ realistic (I tried my best in that test and studied hard so I should do fine) or negative/ unrealistic (I probably did terrible in that test and am going to fail), The best example of self talk I can think of in pop culture is Nina Proudman's inner voice in the TV series 'Offspring' (check out the link below, in particular the first 30 odd seconds).
I think above link showcases self talk really well. In the first part of the clip you have an example of negative self talk, and in the next part you have an example of positive self talk. Nina's inner voice reminds me a lot of my own I have to say!
On the other hand, I actually think I am pretty good at self awareness. I often think about why I react to things in a certain way, or how I can play to my strengths in different situations (figuring out my learning style has helped a lot at uni!). Being self aware can help you to figure out what your strengths are and what is important to you. One strategy that I've used to improve my self awareness is by writing reflections or using thought challenging questions. These strategies force my to consider my thought or reaction, whether it is realistic (and if not why not) and why I might be having that thought or reaction. I've found improving self awareness is actually a good way to deal with negative self talk because I've got the insight to figure out whether my self talk is realistic or not.
Do any of you guys have difficulties controlling your self talk, or is it not really an issue? If so, what strategies do you use? I would love to hear them!
Do you think you are very self aware? What other strategies do you think could be used to boost selfawareness?
If you want to read more about self talk and self awareness there are some great links under Wellbeing > Mental Fitness > Self talk and self awareness on the main Reach Out test site. I particularly liked this one: http://test.au.reachout.com/What-is-self-awareness
I'm keen to hear (or read haha) your thoughts
21-07-2012 03:30 PM
You've summed it up well. My inner voice goes crazy sometimes and I over think EVERYTHING! More so when I'm stressed/angry/upset.
Music seems to help me drown out my negative thoughts. Reading a book, watching TV, Twitter- just a distraction stops me from overthinking.
When I was younger writing a diary helped too. It helped me get out everything onto paper and reflect on it. Now I brain implode on my sister, mum or boyfriend if my previous methods don't work.
21-07-2012 10:13 PM - edited 21-07-2012 10:14 PM
I like how you mentioned that your negative inner voice gets stronger when your stressed/ upset etc snowflake-19, I'm the same. The fact that you can pick up on that is a good example of self awareness actually . I agree about distractions, they really help me break the cycle if I'm getting into a pattern of negative self talk. I love reading - such an awesome distraction because you really have to focus on it. I'd forgotten about writing in a diary! I still do this at the end of everyday if I'm feeling stressed, it's a huge help . Haha, brain implode, I love that! I'm going to have to start using it. Having someone to vent/ brain impode on definitely helps
01-08-2012 03:08 PM
I find that when I'm thinking more negative thoughts I often start to create an 'everything pot' where I think that everything is bad. I also tend to over-dramatise things - for example I might be having a bad day and not make much progress with uni work and then think "I'm going to fail" - luckily I'm more self-aware now so I can counter that with more realistic self-talk (after all, failing isn't very realistic from just one bad day!) Sometimes I do find myself getting worked up though, and at these times I find relaxing is the best thing for me - taking some deep breaths, having a chamomile tea, having some time out - possibly even having a hot bath - all helps.
01-08-2012 08:59 PM
I do the same JustThatGirl! It's great that you are getting more self aware and are able to contact that with positive self talk. had one of those days on Monday but I was able to notice that my self talk was making my mood worse so I did some quick thought-challenging exercises to counteract it which was really helpful. Those relaxation techniques are awesome. Sometimes you just need a break from your thoughts. I had a chamomile tea and hot bath this arvo - so good!
For those wondering what thought challenging exercises I did, I used "Turning negatives into positives" from the old forum, and some strategies from this fact sheet: http://au.reachout.com/find/articles/challenging-n
08-08-2012 01:26 PM
This is definietly something I need to work on because I can get rather negative about myself sometimes and have been told by others not to use negative words about myself. I'm trying to change this though by working out who I am. It's good hearing other peoples' experiences though. I might check out your suggestions of the fact sheet Delicatedreamer.
@Delicatedreamer: perhaps you'd like to start a new Turning negatives to Positives thread in these forums?
@JustThatGirl: I drink caramel chai lattes to help me relax a bit. Hot drinks are great for helping to improve your mood, aren't they?
08-08-2012 03:13 PM
@Lightuptheworld: Great idea! I've just started one in the 'Something's Not Right' subforum. That's great that you have the self awareness to know that you need to work on being kinder to yourself. I think working out who you are will definitely help with that . People tell me to not be negative towards myself too but I'm finding it a really hard habit to break.
Does anyone else have any strategies they use to counter negative self talk?
09-08-2012 01:30 PM
@Lightuptheworld: People tell me to not be negative towards myself too but I'm finding it a really hard habit to break.
Yeah, I can definitely agree with that. I'm sure you'll get there eventually. I think it's awesome that you're working on it though.
28-09-2012 11:32 PM
I tend to do the same,sometimes it gets that bad it consumes me, i know exactly what drives the thoughts but find it near on impossible to change my negative thought patterns, and its terrible cos it makes me quiet and not myself, any suggestions from anyone as I have practiced changing the way I look at things and disytracting myself and saying good things or affirmations but it keeps coming back all the time! I am determined to change it just dont think i have found the best way yet
02-10-2012 08:42 PM
I am very much in training when it comes to managing self talk.
When it comes to negative self talk, I am currently attempting not to act on it immediately... giving myself a couple of days, just to see what is said... After that I feel free to eat all the amounts of chocolate necessary to drown it it out. Currently my head is my worst enemy and strawberry-chocolate fondue is my best defense
Positive self talk is improving... Still feels very artificial.
I'll try to point it out to myself when it comes naturally.