The Power of Positive Self Talk

“You may be the only person left who believes in you, but it’s enough. It takes just one star to pierce a universe of darkness. Never give up.”
~ Richelle E. Goodrich

 

Sometimes I have to pull out everything in my bag of tricks in order to rise above my current circumstances. Like right now, flat on my back in bed right when I’d been planning a million other things…

One thing I have found invaluable in that bag of tricks is simply talking out loud to myself.

I know. That’s what crazy people do. Right?

That may well be, but research shows that talking to yourself can have a profound positive impact on your motivation and coping skills.

You might have read my blog post earlier this year about being in resistance to choosing my One Big Thing for 2016, where I asked myself Nicole, what’s really going on? You’ll notice that I talk to myself and call myself by name.

I have talked to myself out loud for many years through my illness and despair. Almost always, the words I have used are as a coach, encouraging myself…

Nicole, you can do this. Nicole, you are stronger than this. Come on, Nic, get up and keep going. Nic, you’ll find a way. Nic, you’ll heal this. You’ll get past this.

Talking to yourself is also known as self-talk. All of us run a continuous dialogue with ourselves, but it’s usually in our heads. And often, we aren’t very supportive or kind to ourselves. But when we do start to harness the power of speaking with kindness and encouragement to ourselves, things can really change.

Image by serg_dibrova

Image by serg_dibrova

Studies show that speaking out loud and shifting from using the pronoun ‘I’ to addressing as ‘you’ has a powerful impact on our self-regulatory behaviours, beliefs and actions. To amplify the effect further, call yourself by your name.

Talking out loud to ourselves is the same as having someone else talk to us. It engages a different part of our brain. We listen and consume the message in a completely different way to the way we pay attention to a thought. Talking out loud cuts through our mental chatter and gets the message noticed. And addressing ourselves in the third person (*you) rather than the first ( *I ) moves us away from fear, which clouds our judgement and prevents us from thinking clearly.

Research has proven that talking out loud to yourself can:

  1. Reduce pain scores
  2. Increase coping skills
  3. Improve state of mind
  4. Increase emotional and physical resilience
  5. Improve focus and attention
  6. Heighten the learning state
  7. Strengthen determination
  8. Speed healing
  9. Create and maintain a positive outlook
  10. Build self-acceptance and self-esteem
  11. Better manage stress
  12. Improve physical and emotional health

The way we talk to ourselves matters. It is a simple way that we can help and support ourselves.

We can tell ourselves a different story – one that overwrites the narrative of not-good-enough or never-changing that we (or others) may have been telling ourselves for years.

Speak your name out loud, and give yourself the words that can help you change your life. Talk yourself through the difficulties, the decisions, the hard times. Be your own wise coach and cheer squad. I promise it will make a positive difference in your day.

All my love, Nicole ❤ xx

 

21 thoughts on “The Power of Positive Self Talk

  1. Thank you dear Nicole I will try this for sure. After always being a very positive person, I have allowed my recent & ongoing health issues of late to start an avalanche of negative hopeless self talk. I will do all you’ve recommended I know it will help with everything else I’m doing to get in my preferred space of gratitude & positivity!
    You’re an inspiration thank you soooo much.
    I know you will start feeling better soon – I know the set backs are really hard especially after having periods of relief & remembering what it’s like to be well enough to be a part of the world again & have fun & adventure! But you’re a part of my world & so many others. We can do this!!!
    Many blessings, Stefi xxxxxxx

  2. Beautiful. I am still working on talking nicer to myself. Your words are a lovely reminder. Thank you Nicole 💜🙏🏻

  3. Dear Nicole, so sorry for this time of pain, have you ever tried EFT for helping with that? I would be happy to do that with you on FaceTime. I live in Washington State USA. Just let me know, and the cool thing is once you learn how you can do it for yourself, easy Peasie!

  4. Sounds like a plan !!! I still sometimes do the negative self talk thingy, but am progressing upward, which is a good thing. Every day I read you posts and hope you have turned the corner to wellness. It will happen. Expect a bit of cheering from me and everyone else. Much love xxxx

  5. Lyme day
    .Chills fever nausea headache. But I talked to me and got me up and am now sitting in beautiful eumundi humdrum cafe. Still feel shit but but I am here. Thanks Natalie.
    Self talk is awsome. xxx

  6. I have used self talk since i was a very little child. It first started as if I was talking to my imaginary friend who was a second me. I would use a wise voice to lecture or convince myself of something and a more playful voice to convince myself to take it easy. I still talk to myself all the time, but I wish I could be nicer to myself these days. Love you

  7. Thanks for this post today, I really appreciate it.
    The many blessings of actual crap situations are there, sometimes we just need to dig a bit deeper, scratch the surface a little more, and get out of our heads and start expressing it. BE well Nicole X

  8. Hi again Nicole. Funny you should post this since over the weekend when I was spending a great deal of time writing a script and recording a message of love and support for myself using the ‘you’ idea too!) I am doing it so that I can play it whenever I need to.in fact I was even thinking of playing it each night as I fall asleep so that I really absorb the positive messages into my subconscious. (I did this when my children were little so that they easily learnt their phone number and address, and it worked a treat). Sounds like a solid plan right? And imagine what the world could be like if we were all that bit happier within ourselves and thus were able to give out more love. Sounds to me like we could create a real Shangri La if we put our minds to it. Anyway, it is good to hear that you are on the way up again.. Looking forward to your next post. Blessed Be Amberstar.

  9. Thanks for this Nicole. What a great synchronicity. I have been reading Maxwell Maltz’s classic Psycho Cybernetics over the past couple of days. All about building self-esteem. When this sort of synchronicity comes up , I take the meaning to be that I really need to pay attention and take the action suggested.
    Thanks again, Vincent

  10. I read a Chicken Soup for the Soul story this week that struck a nerve. I would have divorced any man that talked to me the way I talk to myself! I would have “eventually” left anyone who treated me the way I treat myself. I do talk to myself out loud but the words have not been kind. Ok, attitude adjustment in order. Thanks. Please get well.

    • Powerful story! I am feeling about 50% better, which is wonderful. It is 5am here and I just finished my meditation. Still dark outside and the house is quiet because even the dogs are still asleep. Sending lots of love your way xoxo

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