Be Kind to Your Mind: The Importance of Healthy Self-Dialogue
PaulineB
May 26, 2024

“The most important conversations you’ll ever have are the ones you’ll have with yourself.” — David Goggins

The importance of healthy self-talk has been broadcast by scientific publications, from state to media websites, and by various professionals, from psychologists to endurance athletes.

But what is self-talk and why does having a healthy one matter?

Exploring self-dialogue

Self-talk refers to your internal dialogue, comprising the thoughts you entertain. It is influenced by your subconscious and reflects your ideas, questions, doubts, and beliefs. 

There are two types of self-dialogue, positive and negative. Positive self-talk makes a person good about themself as it elicits affirming and encouraging feelings. 

Negative self-talk or rumination, on the other hand, happens when your mind replays (or imagines) embarrassing or upsetting experiences and events. While doing so to work through a problem can be helpful, spending a lot of time ruminating can make Everests out of molehills. 

Negative self-talk can make you feel discouraged, detached, and even powerless at times. Making a habit out of negative self-talk may lead to anxiety and depression.

The benefits of positive self-dialogue

There’s a reason why a variety of professionals find positive self-dialogue beneficial — it serves as a free, constant source of inspiration and motivation. In the case of athletes and bodybuilders, research shows that it aids them to endure in races better or power through lifting heavy weights, respectively. 

The benefits of positive self-dialogue, however, aren’t all psychological; it extends to physiological benefits as well. Research shows that optimists who conduct constant positive self-talk reported decreased pain, stress, and death risks. They also exhibit an improvement in:

  • Immune function
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Physical well-being
  • Greater satisfaction in life

Experts aren’t exactly certain as to why optimists and individuals who engage regularly in positive internal dialogue experience the said benefits. However, research points out that people with a positive outlook in life may have mental skills that enable them to view and attack a problem differently. They may also cope better and more efficiently with challenges and difficulties, reducing the myriad effects of stress or anxiety. 

How to have a healthy self-dialogue

There’s a reason why a variety of professionals find positive self-dialogue beneficial; it serves as a constant source of inspiration and motivation to keep going — and it’s free. 

But how do you know if you have healthy self-dialogue? It starts by sitting down, listening to, and reflecting on how your inner dialogue sounds. Are you always blaming or critiquing yourself? Are the thoughts you tell yourself the same that you would advise to your loved ones and friends?

Especially if your self-talk has been negative for a long time, switching from a negative to a positive conversation with yourself may be difficult, but certainly far from impossible. 

After identifying which thoughts bring you down, it may be helpful to list them down and to use the third person. Research shows that referring to yourself in the third person or by name proves helpful in turning negative thoughts into positive ones. 

Then, try to rephrase them into positive self-talk; think of it as if you’re saying these things to a friend. For example:

  • Current: That was a blunder. My boss will think less of me. 

Rephrased: Well, that’s that. But I can do better next time. 

  • Current: It was so embarrassing. Why did I react that way?

Rephrased: That was unexpected. But I’ll try to be more objective about it. I’ll be more careful next time. 

It’s also helpful to find the humor in the situation — laugh about it, life happens, it’s okay. Surround yourself with good, positive people. You’re worth it. You deserve it. You rock. 

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Commentator
January 1, 2022
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Commentator
January 1, 2022
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Commentator
January 1, 2022
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Commentator
January 1, 2022
Nunc sed faucibus bibendum feugiat sed interdum. Ipsum egestas condimentum mi massa. In tincidunt pharetra consectetur sed duis facilisis metus. Etiam egestas in nec sed et. Quis lobortis at sit dictum eget nibh tortor commodo cursus.
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