Your inner dialogues have a snowball effect. The more you conduct them, the more you become chained to them, unable to stop them.
Words and thoughts have their own energy, including self-talk. Everything you think and say affects your personal vibration and the way you feel. Gratitude is the best attitude. Now that we are over 60, it’s time to stop the negative self-talk habits and say only nice things to yourself.
There is a voice in your head that nobody hears, yet it is screaming at you and it’s usually not pleasant. You know, it’s that voice in your head that never seems to stop. As much as 95% of our self-talk is negative. You repeat the negative mantras, “I’m too ‘this’ or not enough ‘that.’ Can I keep my terrible secret that I am not good enough?”
If you aren’t sure what I mean, ask yourself, what is that conversation like in the dressing room mirror when you are trying on a bathing suit – especially in January?
My first deep realization that my happiness came from within, not outside myself, was early in my yoga practice. As we were approaching a challenging balance that was very difficult for me, that inner voice grew very loud. “You are not good enough. You are fat. You are incapable. You are so lame.” Sound familiar?
Then my teacher spoke these words: “You are just fine. You are enough. Don’t listen to that ego voice that doesn’t support you.” How did she know? I then realized that my inner voice was not something only I experienced. We all have these cruel and demeaning voices. Not only are they mean, they are meaningless!
And the conversation in your head doesn’t seem to ever stop. One way to break the chain of the constant chatter is to step back. When you view that inner voice objectively, as a witness instead of a participant, you can see it is just chatter.
There is nothing more important to true growth than realizing that you are NOT the voice of your mind, you are just the one who hears it! Worry, regret, rehashing has no effect on anyone but you.
At some point, you will realize that the real cause of the many issues is not our very lives; it’s the commotion our minds make about our lives. As has been said, “Don’t believe everything you think!”
I have introduced my own habit of saying something nice to myself as often as I can because that other unkind voice is always waiting in the wings. Since you can only have one thought in your mind at a time, make it a positive one.
Dr. Lisa Rankin, author of Mind Over Medicine says that “Loads of data proves that the mind can believe itself well and we call it the placebo effect. Patients treated with placebos don’t just feel better, they are often healed.”
Saying nice things to yourself can result in greater vitality and pizzazz. Remember, the mind can think itself sick, and then you will be, which researchers call “the no-cebo effect.”
You, and only you, can shift that inner conversation. For every negative thought you have about your magnificent self, remind yourself to say three positive things. It’s a habit, and it works! My habit is to say three things I am grateful for when my head is on the pillow at night and again first thing in the morning. Saying things I am grateful for sets the tone for my days and my dreams in a positive and joyful way.
Often, what you hear from others confirms your now negative self-talk. How many times have you heard someone utter – or have said yourself – one of these phrases: “Oh, my aching back,” “Age is a b**tch,” “Youth is wasted on the young,” “Oh, to be 21 again,” or “Those were the days.” Perhaps you’ve even heard yourself say, “At my age, it’s too late to [fill in the blank].”
Here’s the truth: it is your beliefs, and the behavior that stems from those beliefs, that largely determine your experiences in your life. Your biography becomes your biology!
Attention is important. As Deepak Chopra says so beautifully, “Where attention goes, energy flows.” If you focus on your job, your relationship, or a favorite hobby, your attention nourishes that feedback loop. The brain strengthens or weakens in specific areas depending on the input it receives, and paying attention provides concentrated input.
Contentment can become your state of mind when self-talk switches from anxiety, self-doubt, and complaining to joy and appreciation. Look in the mirror and say, “Thank You!”
Sheena is running a contest for a free copy of her book GROWING YOUNGER GRACEFULLY: Your Guide To Aging with Vitality, Resilience, and Pizzazz.” Register if interested.
Is your mindset more positive or negative? Are you ready to step back and take a look at yourself from a more positive perspective? What nice things are you prepared to say to yourself this year?