You may have heard of the practice of mindfulness. This simple concept can deliver powerful results. Mindfulness is really just being aware of yourself and your emotions in the present moment. It involves bringing your thoughts back to the present when they begin to wander, or when they are swirling with worry or confusion, much like meditation.
Mindfulness is knowing where your attention lies. You can use this concept when you discover that your inner voice is sending you negative messages. You’ve learned some strategies for recognizing this inner critic in previous posts. One other way to overcome it is to use mindfulness to manage these thoughts once you recognize them.
Countering your own negative self-talk immediately in the moment with mindfulness is an effective way to deal with it. Read on to discover some ways to use mindfulness.
Visualization is a way of helping to make your positive thoughts a reality. When you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts, counter them with a vision of things going well. Try to include details in that vision, such as what you’re wearing, your surroundings, and even how you feel. Doing this practice routinely has been shown to actually rewire your brain to act as though your vision were actually happening. Over time, you’ll begin to gain the self-confidence you have in your vision.
I like to imagine what I call my future self. She is the person I am becoming who has already achieved the goals I have set for myself. She thinks differently. In order to become her I need to think like her, do the things she does, read the books she does, etc. Spending time thinking about who she is helps me to become the person that achieves the goal.
Examine Your Thoughts
Actually taking time in the moment to examine your negative thoughts is a powerful act of mindfulness. Ask yourself questions about the negative self-talk you just heard. Analyze it. Try to discover its roots or meanings. Question if any of it is true. Getting to the bottom of these messages and their resulting feelings as they’re happening can help you to decide whether they are thoughts you want to keep or if you want to replace them with kinder thoughts.
Being mindful can also mean being proactive in your actions. Deciding in the moment to try something new or push past your fear to take a risk is a fantastic way to feel more secure in your abilities. You’ll gain lots of strides the more you practice taking risks, so give it a shot today. Feel free to start small and increase your reach over time.
Acknowledge What You’re Doing Right
Counter your thoughts about what an awful person you are or what you’re doing wrong with an acknowledgement of what you’re doing right. There’s always something good about yourself you can note if you dig deep. This will get easier with time, so don’t feel like you have to immediately heap tons of praise upon yourself. Try just taking note of one small thing you’ve done right today to offset the self-critical thought you’re having. Then, see how much lighter your mood feels.
Give these practices a try when you find yourself succumbing to your inner “Negative Nancy.” Using mindfulness practices can be a very effective way to overcome your inner naysayer and feel better about yourself.
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