Developing Resilience Through Positive Self-Talk


  Developing Resilience Through Positive Self-Talk

If you are feeling anxious, overwhelmed, or stressed - you're not alone. Stress is a common and normal reaction to difficult events. But that doesn't mean you have to let it take over your life! Recent research shows that practicing positive self-talk can help in developing resilience and alleviating stress.

What is positive self-talk? Positive self-talk involves engaging in conversation with yourself about yourself in a supportive way. It's important to be specific so as not to be vague when providing positive feedback for oneself because general feedback is less powerful than specifics . This blog post will include specific examples of what could be considered "positive feedback".

How do I practice positive self-talk? First, start out by reminding yourself that it is not the end of the world. That is, it's not going to kill you or make you go crazy if something doesn't go as you planned. Second, remind yourself that this is only one step in a longer journey and that you will get through this. Third, congratulate yourself for making choices that were best for your wellbeing in the present moment . Next, help build your confidence by thinking about how you can turn this situation into a great one. And finally, congratulate yourself on managing such a difficult situation with ease .

These are the basics of positive self-talk. As you practice positive self-talk, be sure to use a supportive and genuine voice. This will allow you to use positive feedback in a meaningful way and build upon past experiences. Positive feedback is difficult for most people because we fear we can't live up to someone else's expectations or that our actions or words may hurt someone else's feelings . If your objective is to feel better about yourself, you may not need to worry about other people's reactions so much.

However, if your goal is to help yourself do better on a physical/emotional level, it is important that you consider how what you say may affect other people. Here are two additional ideas to help you become more confident in yourself:

Use the "three-minute rule" to allow others to make mistakes while you learn from them. That is, if it takes three minutes for a grown-up to correct a mistake, imagine if it took only three seconds for you to say something that would prevent a mistake from being prevented. This means that you need to both be proactive and receptive. Being proactive means performing tasks (such as cleaning) when they are not currently required, accepting disagreements in constructive ways, and practicing for conversational choices. Being receptive means recognizing when conversations are going wrong and how we have contributed to those situations .

Practice saying yes to other people's requests. Instead of saying "I don't have time," remind yourself that there may be time in the future for you to fulfill other people's requests . This will allow you to show that you value others' opinions and that you're willing to go out of your way in order to help others .

For more information on positive self-talk, please refer to my previous blog post: " How do I develop better communication skills?" . And another day devoted almost exclusively towards positive self-talk is below. These two days are thought-provoking and may have meaning for those who are trying to improve their own well-being.

1. This is a website that provides links to research papers on subjects such as positive self-talk. It also has information on how to practice positive self-talk. 2. The American Psychological Association (APA): "Positive Self-Talk." Thinking Positively . [These are the guidelines for "Affirmations", which is what many people think of when they hear the word "positive self-talk". I do not agree with them and have found that it tends to not be as beneficial as people think.] 3. Silver, R., & Sandler, P. (2012). How Does Positive Self Talk Work? Find Out Here! . Psychology Today . 4. Marlowe, D. B., Luoma, J. B., & Hayes, S. C. (2008). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Anxiety Disorders: A Practitioner's Treatment Guide to Using Mindfulness, Acceptance, and Values-Based Behavior Change Strategies . Oakland: New Harbinger Publications, Inc . 5. Marks, I. M., & Mathews, A. M. (2002). Positive self-talk in anxiety disorders: Development of a novel cognitive-behavioural intervention . Clinical Psychology Review , 22(7), 835–858. 6. "Positive Self-Talk." University of Wisconsin Health Center - UW Health News (University of Wisconsin Health Center) . 7. Associated Press (2006). Positive Thinking Helps Students Survive in 9/11's Wake. University of Wisconsin Health Center - UW Health News (University of Wisconsin Health Center) . 8. Allen, D. A., & Winzeler, E. C. (2014). Positive Self-Talk: An Observational Study and Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial of an Adolescent Self-Help Program for Depression . Journal of Clinical Psychology , 70(10), 1053–1061. 9. Noddings, N. (2003). Caring . New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc . 10. Lyubomirsky, S., King, L., & Diener, E. (2006). The Benefits of Frequent Positive Affect: Does Happiness Lead to Success? Psychological Bulletin , 132(6), 803–855.
11. Lyubomirsky, S., Sheldon, K. M., & Schkade, D. (2005). Pursuing happiness: The architecture of sustainable change . Review of General Psychology , 9(2), 111–131. 12. Ricard, M. (2007). Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill . New York: Little, Brown and Company (Canada) . 13. Streeter, C., & McLeod, B. A. (2010). Exploring the Relationship Between Positive Self-Statements and Mental Health in Individuals with Diabetes . The Diabetes Educator , 36(5), 488–492. 14. "Positive Self-Talk (continued)." [This is a web link that goes to a blog post by me about beneficial ways to think positive.]
15. "Positive Self-Talk …" (University of Washington) 16. "The Positive Power of Positive Thinking." Society for a Science of Enjoyment and Benefit . 17. Streeter, C., McLeod, B., & Grant, A. (2014). Which self-statements are most deserving? An investigation into the role of positive self-statements in both physical and mental health . PLoS ONE , 9(11), 1–10. 18. Stroop, J.

Conclusion :
Here's a list of things that you can try to say positively to yourself (or to others) instead of saying negative things:
~You're doing fine and making good progress.
~I forgive myself for making mistakes, because it's just part of the human experience.
~I can always repay myself later if I need to. (April 12, 2017 update: It is not a good idea to use this one very much in case it becomes a habit for you.) ~I deserve this. ~I'm comfortable with myself and my life right now. ~I will be okay, whatever happens .

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