Anything and everything you need to know about your self-talk

What is Self-talk?

Self-Talk is the running commentary in your head. It's what you tell yourself inside your head. If you close your eyes right now and look internally, what is the thought you can hear or the visual you can see? This is your self-talk.

What are the alternative terms people use to refer to self-talk?

Inner Voice, Inner Dialogue, Inner Critic, Inner Hero

Why do I hear my self-talk?

Self-Talk is your mind communicating with you, telling you things about what’s happening to you and what you should do.

Is self-talk always verbal?

No. While some of us “hear” our self-talk, others “see it” or “feel it”

How’s my self-talk created?

Our past experiences, beliefs and trauma play a huge role in our current self-talk. Self-Talk is basically our subconscious interpreting what we are going through right now and what’s good and bad for us.

What’s negative self-talk?

Negative self-talk is thoughts that trigger difficult emotions such as anger, anxiety, depression etc. Being self-critical is a type of negative self-talk.

In what ways do people indulge in negative self-talk?

All or nothing thinking, Catastrophizing, Negative Labeling, Mind Reading, Minimization of the positive and Overgeneralization are some of the ways we end up thinking negatively in any situation.

Is negative self-talk bad for my mental health?

While negative self-talk per se is not bad for your mental health, prolonged negative self-talk and hyper self-criticism are shown to create an imbalance in emotional wellbeing making you feel anxious, depressed and low in many life situations.

What’s an Automatic Negative Thought (ANT)?

When a situation or a trigger makes you think negative instantaneously, these thoughts are called ANTs. ANTs are the product of subconscious.

What’s a Repetitive Negative Thought (RNT)?

When a negative thought keeps occurring multiple times in your mind, its called RNTs. RNTs are found to be a transdiagnostic factor in mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression etc.

Can I change my self-talk whenever I want?

Your self-talk is an aggregation of your past experiences, trauma and actions. It’s a subconscious process. You can impact your self-talk through emoitonal exploration on a medium to long term time-frame.

I feel negative all the time. Is this my self-talk?

Feeling negative doesn’t necessarily mean your self-talk is overtly negative. It could also mean that you are not aware of your positive self-talk like self re-affirming and self-managing thoughts. You can use the self-talk pattern test to see how your self-talk is at any point in time.

If I say positive things to myself, will my self-talk get better?

While positive reaffirmation can have a short-term impact on your emotions, on the long-term it's effects are not proven. Your self-talk is an aggregation of your experiences and while repeating positive statments can have an effect, the effect does not become permanent without emotional exploration and self-talk reframing.

How can I change my self-talk?

Through Emotional exploration and reframing.

What is the Inner voice?

Your inner voice is your self-talk communicating to you through verbal, visual or feeling based sensory information.

How do I manage my self-talk?

1. Be aware of your self-talk 2. Explore your emotions behind your self-talk 3. Ask yourself the right questions to break unuseful self-talk and reframe your emotions

How can I impact my self-talk?

Journaling, Meditation, Mindfulness etc.are all ways you can impact your self-talk through emotional exploration

How can I become more aware of my self-talk?

By talking through the situation, you recruit additional auditory memory to be aware of your self-talk and make sense of the underlying reasons behind your emotions.

What is the science behind self-talk?

1. Psychologist Dr. Thomas Brinthaupt has identified four different dimensions to the way we talk to ourselves inside our minds. 2. Storytelling is found in research studies to be a powerful resource to process our emotions and achieve wellbeing 3. Negative self-talk is found by research studies to increase in frequency during times of stress, crisis and natural disasters 4. James W Pennebakser, a psychologist at the University of Texas at Austin, has shown that storytelling can help mend lives broken by trauma.

Why I am suddenly feeling negative after Covid-19?

Research finds that stress, crisis and natural disasters such as covid-19 pandemic can trigger elevated negative self-talk in individuals.

Why should I care about my self-talk?

Your self-talk has a direct co-relation with your mental health. Whenever your self-talk is imbalanced and becomes overtly negative, you will experience more difficult emotions such as anxiety, depression etc. By tracking and managing your self-talk, you can manage your emotional wellbeing better.

What’s my chatter pattern?

Professor Thomas Brinthaupt has identified four different dimensions to the way you talk to yourself at anypoint in time. This is the chatter or self-talk pattern and you can find your self-talk pattern by taking this test.

How does self-talk affect my emotions?

Your self-talk, which is an aggregate of your intelligence, tells you what to do, how to react, and respond in any situation. If your self-talk is imbalanced, you will think negatively and experience negative emotions a lot, there by directly impacting your quality of emotional wellbeing.