What do you say to yourself when you look in the mirror? Are you nice to yourself? Or do you immediately pick yourself apart and think of all the things you would change? Believe it or not, what you say to yourself everyday can have a huge impact on your health and well-being, not to mention a lot of other aspects of your life. Having a negative internal dialogue has been linked to increased incidence of depression, anxiety, stress, and loneliness. Not only can this negativity affect your mental health, but it can have an impact on your physical health too. Studies have shown that those with loss self esteem have a higher incidence of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. Your relationships with others, your performance at work or school, and how you react in different situations throughout the day are all affected by the way you speak to yourself as well. The first step to changing this habit is to recognize that it’s there. Pay attention to your thoughts throughout the day… do you automatically blame yourself when something doesn’t go right, compare yourself to your friends or celebrities, or pick a part your perceived flaws every time you look in the mirror? Once you start recognizing when these negative thoughts are popping into your brain, you can do something to stop it. Instead of dwelling on your negative thoughts, choose to reframe them in a positive light. For example, instead of thinking, “I can’t do this” before walking into a big interview, think “I am nervous for this because it’s important to me, but I have worked hard to prepare for this and I am ready”. By choosing to interrupt your thoughts in this way as soon as you notice them, you create a habit of this behavior. Whenever I catch myself thinking something negative, I make it a point to ask myself, “would you say the same thing to your friends?” because chances are, I would never say those things to them in a million years, so why should I be saying them to myself? I shouldn’t, and neither should you! Remember that YOU are the one who gets to choose how you think about yourself… and changing your thoughts can have a huge impact on every aspect of your life!
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