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Live A Positive Life
living a positive life, pratice an optimistic lifestyle

How to silence negative self-talk

We all have streams of thoughts continuously going through our mind – it’s natural and it makes us human. However, is that self-talk positive or negative? Here is one way to tell – which thought sounds more like you? “I can’t believe that it is happening to me, I always have such bad luck,” or, “Wow, that’s a challenge, but I’m sure I’m up for it.” One needs to reduce the negative self-talk and practice living an optimistic lifestyle.

If you relate more to the first thought than the second you may need to work on your self-talk and change your negative mindset in order to live a more positive – and healthier – life. Living a positive life starts with how you wake up in the morning, do you have a daily mantra? .


What exactly is negative self-talk?

Negative self-talk impacts our mental well-being negatively, and can lead to high levels of anxiety and even depression.


There are many types of negative self-talk . Some of the most common include:

Personalising: This means telling yourself that it’s your fault when something bad happens. In this negative self-talk you automatically blame yourself even if there is no evidence. You interpret people’s attitude in a personal way. For example, if someone is upset, you immediately think they are upset with you even though there is nothing factual to support this.

Polarising: This means that you see events and actions as either all good or all bad. You feel that if you are not perfect then you are a complete failure. For example, if you break your diet, instead of forgiving yourself for the slip, you tell yourself that you are a failure, disgusting, and useless.

Catastrophising: This means that you always think that the worst has happened, and you automatically expect the worst. For example, if you make a mistake at work, you immediately think that you will be fired as a result. You don’t let yourself stand back and think about the situation rationally.

Filtering: This means looking only at the negative and filtering out anything positive. You tend to exaggerate and focus on the negative to the extent that there is no room for the positive.


How to turn negative self-talk into positive self-talk

It takes time, practice and commitment to create the habit of living an optimistic lifestyle, and to see the proverbial glass as half full rather than half empty.

Take one step at a time. Start by focusing on one area of your life at a time and start where your negativity is highest. Consciously try to work on making that area – whether it be work, or a relationship – more positive.

Be aware of your thoughts. Stop what you are doing at points times during the day and reflect on what you are thinking. If you find your thoughts are negative, think of an alternative, more positive scenario.

Spend time with positive people: Negative people will make you feel even more stressed while those who are positive will be able to offer you feedback that allows you to see more options and alter your self-talk accordingly.

Practice positive self-talk. Practice being kind to yourself. Don’t say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to someone you love. When you find yourself filled with negative thoughts, work on coming up with less critical options. You will find that you are able to handle stress more easily thus leading to an optimistic lifestyle.

If you are struggling with negative self-talk or thoughts, reach out to a counsellor, Woolies has partnered with Company Wellness Solutions (CWS), an independent service provider, to offer you help and support. Click here to access Our Wellness Helplines.

You also have the option to speak to a CWS expert via a chat box. Click on the ‘chat now’ option and to speak to a Mental Health Specialist, Legal Advisor, Debt Counsellor or Personal Trainer/Dietitian