Have you ever noticed you talking to yourself in your head? Ever heard yourself telling things like "Stop thinking like this!" Or "You are so stupid!" to yourself? This is called 'Self Talk.' Self talk is referred to the conversations we have to ourselves either aloud or in our minds. We engage in self talk all the time. Whether we do it consciously or unconsciously, we are constantly talking to ourselves.
What is the big deal about having conversations with ourselves you may ask? Well, it is a big deal! Especially because a lot of our emotional states, our moods, our self confidence and self esteem is based on these simple conversations we have in our heads. Imagine you are going to speak in front of a room full of people and you are prepping for the event. Now notice what your self talk at such occasions is generally. Do you catch yourself saying, "You have to be perfect! You always goof up and make mistakes. This time you have to be amazing!" Or do you catch yourself saying, "The last time you were better and this time you can do better than before. You know your work and you can do well. Just believe in yourself. "
The former statements could lead to anxiety and low self confidence, the later statements could bring about confidence and trust in your own ability. Do you see a connection? How just saying simple statements to yourself can change the game for you!
An experiment conducted by Japanese researcher Masaru Emoto where he studied the effect of language on water was one of the biggest breakthroughs in the field of language and emotions. He suggested that the molecular structure of water changes as we associate words to it. More positive words changed the structure into a clear and beautiful pattern where as more negative words changed it into messy, disproportionate patterns.
So how does a word effect the molecular structure of water you may ask? It so happens, that every word triggers a feeling within us. Based on the meaning of the words we feel certain emotions. Example, Love generally creates a positive feeling within us, where as Hate creates a more negative feeling within us. So using these simple single words or a string of them place in a way to make coherent meaning out of them affects water.
Considering that humans are made from 70% water, you can imagine the impact language has on our bodies. Brain studies have shown a significant improvement in cognitive functions like memory, attention and problem solving when more positive words are used for a longer period of time.
Our words are so important in making or breaking us. We don't think much about it, but when we begin observing how these words are making us feel about ourselves, we understand their importance in our life. You can be built or broken by other people's words, but you can also be built or broken by your own words.
So the next time you notice yourself having a conversation in your mind, remember, you have a choice to build yourself or break yourself. It all boils down to exercising your own power of choosing for yourself the language that will get you what you desire.
Here are 3 quick and easy tips to begin changing your conversations with yourself.
1. Become mindful of what you tell yourself when you are in a stressful situation. This will help you observe your language and modify it as needed.
2. Note down some of the words you think might motivate/encourage you to do better at a task. Practice using these words every time you are prepping for the task. Just like you would like your parent or friend to motivate you, you would use these words to motivate yourself.
3. Keep pocket sized cards with positive and encouraging words handy. When you feel the need to get some encouragement, read these words. It will be an immediate boost to your mood and help you feel confident.
In conclusion, I would like to say that words and language have a greater impact on us than we think. Using more positive language while talking to ourselves in our mind can make us more confident, improve our performance and become happier individuals. And guess what? We can do this all by ourselves. We may use some support from others but we don't need to depend on external encouragement or motivation. Thus we can transition from just surviving to thriving!