‘‘Brain wave tests prove that when we use positive words, our ‘feel good’ hormones flow. Positive self-talk releases endorphins and serotonin in our brain, which then flow throughout our body, making us feel good. These neurotransmitters stop flowing when we use negative words.’ ~ Ruth Fishel
During a conversation I had the other day, I listened to a woman say awful things about herself, her inability to reach her goals and her hatred of her failures. In a few short sentences, it was as if she had unleashed every insult she could remember, every painful phrase she has ever thought and every hurtful statement she could make, about herself. She thought this attitude was going to propel her to reach her goals.
If you listen to conversations around you, you might hear things like: ‘I hate my job’, ‘Nothing ever goes my way’, ‘I can’t stand being overweight’, ‘There must be something wrong with me’, ‘Why do I always get the short end of the stick’, ‘It will never work out for me’. These self-defeating statements are not serving us. We end up feeling eroded and this negative self-talk actually works against us.
In some work I have been doing on myself, with regards to some health concerns, it was pointed out to me how I have been sabotaging my own progress with my constant reiteration of the phrase, ‘I am so frustrated with how my body is failing me’. Although I have the knowledge that these types of statements are not helpful, I have simply been stating how I feel. I feel exhausted at times, I feel frustrated at times, and I feel helpless at times.
I was reminded that setting my mind in the right direction, first thing in the morning and being grateful for what is going right, at the end of the day, is essential. I know this. I tell other people this; however, it was something that I didn’t realize I was doing. I was caught up in the constant negativity by stating the obvious, instead of stating what I wanted. I want to feel healthy. I want more energy. I want to be able to keep up with my ambitions.
If we want to make long-lasting, positive change, we must treat our body and our lives as if we love and care about ourselves. Instead, we put ourselves down and bash ourselves and our body, thinking that it will move us to action. It may move us to action, temporarily, but in the long-run, if we are not nurturing ourselves and doing things out of care, concern and love, it will only erode us further.
I always say to talk to ourselves the way we would talk to a sweet, six-year old little boy or girl. Would we insult, bash, say horrible things or put down an innocent child? Would we call them names, treat them badly or erode their self-value or self-worth? Would we hate them, bully them or terrorize them with harmful words? Of course we wouldn’t, as long as we are healthy. So, why do we talk to ourselves this way?
This only creates human beings who walk around thinking they are not good enough, not valuable enough, not worthy enough. Maybe that is why many of us have low self-esteem. Maybe this is how we were treated or how our loved ones talked to us. Maybe we were the product of individuals who were not healthy themselves and took it out on us. Maybe people didn’t realize that they were hurting us, in any way, but thought that saying hurtful things would make us change, for the better.
Despite why we have felt not good enough, isn’t it time that we stopped feeling this way? Isn’t it time that we halted the negative conversations, words, events and memories in our head and moved to a place of inner peace, self-acceptance and self-love. It will only be in this space that we will move forward, to reach our goals.
In the same way that a young child will not feel good about himself or herself, if we put them down or make them feel bad about themselves, we will not feel good about ourselves if we put ourselves down. Our words can continue to harm our mental, physical and emotional health. Are we continuing the cycle of unhealthy and toxic behaviour from our past by doing the same damage to ourselves now, as an adult?
If we are no longer in the clutches of the people who purposely or accidently erode our worth and opinion of ourselves, then are we willing to continue to erode our worth or opinion of ourselves, simply because it has been a pattern in our past? Do you realize that you are hurting yourself and damaging your relationships, with your history of trapped toxins?
You will need to care about, nurture and be gentle with yourself, in order to repair any damage that has been done, so that you can become the best version of yourself. Figuratively we can take that old cassette tape out of our brain, with those harmful words and conversations and replace it with a new, more advanced device that will feed you positive messages and encouragement.
No one else can do this for you. You must do it yourself. Are you an empowering coach or are you a dreaded cynic? Are you a cheerleader or are you a critic? Are your words and thoughts toxic or are they healthy? What will you do about it? Will you change or will you perpetuate this cycle into the next generation of your family? If you are not sure, pretend that all of your thoughts and words are recorded, for one day. What will you hear?
It’s up to you, what you want to create. Joy or pain? It is your choice.