Anyone active in wellbeing circles has probably heard of the concept of a positive affirmation or positive self-talk. This refers to the use of helpful, positive, and confident phrases or mantras to internalize their messages. It’s beneficial for those who tend to be pessimistic, or even just for those trying to manifest some good in your life.
But is there any truth to the idea that these kinds of affirmations even work? Doesn’t it feel silly to talk to yourself and give yourself mini motivational speeches? Well, according to science, it’s good for you on all counts and is worth a little initial awkwardness.
Why Positive Self-Talk Boosts Your Mental Health
Here are 12 reasons why positive self-talk is good for your mental wellbeing.
Positive self-talk is a fantastic way to boost your feelings of happiness. While it isn’t a cure-all for every single negative emotion out there, regular usage of this technique is likely to increase your overall experiences of positive thinking and emotions, according to studies.
When you perform positive self-talk, you’re repeatedly giving yourself reasons to feel optimistic. That good energy equips you with the fuel you need to be happier in your everyday behavior and life. Again, it’s not a magic sadness-reverser, but it certainly helps!
2. It Reduces Your Stress Levels
Positive self-talk has been known to promote resilience to stressful environments. Stress can wreak havoc on your body, as many studies have shown, leading to problems like:
- A weaker immune system
- Worsened levels of inflammation
- A higher risk of developing the disease
- A higher risk of developing mental health disorders
Positive self-talk, therefore, has physical benefits as well as mental ones. It brings you to a more optimistic place, leaving behind unwarranted pessimism so you can see the little silver linings in dark clouds in your life.
Optimists often automatically focus on problem-solving as opposed to rumination and wallowing, which is an additional bonus. On the other hand, pessimists tend to give up, assuming everything is out of their control, thus missing out on opportunities to learn and grow.
Regular usage of self-talk techniques can help you to cope with setbacks and seek ways to handle and overcome them more quickly as you become a more positive person overall.
3. It Reduces Toxic Thought Patterns
Many toxic thought patterns in life can lead to long-term negative thinking. These patterns form cycles that are hard to break, especially if you don’t practice any positivity on the side at all. Examples of toxic thought patterns include the following possible outcomes:
This term refers to the act of constantly expecting the worst extreme outcome of any given situation, even when it’s not logical.
This behavior means focusing too much on the negative aspects of a situation, leading to its magnification; all you can see is bad, so you ignore any speckles of good.
If you personalize, that means you tend to assign blame to yourself for all situations that don’t go to plan, typically with a lot of guilt and pain. You may also feel like everything is out to get you.
This means that you see the world in complete binary or right-or-wrong thinking, ignoring the large expanse of middle ground and a balanced gray area in between. To you, everything is either bad or good – so even minor problems become worse.
When you practice positive self-talk, you break free from these patterns and begin to see the world in an improved light. You learn that these patterns don’t fit the new internal narrative that your self-talk provides, and your mindset changes in turn.
4. It Makes You Feel More Confident
High confidence and self-esteem aren’t possible in someone who thinks all the time negatively. A tendency to be critical of yourself means you probably aren’t as confident in your abilities, thoughts, and even identity.
When you practice positive self-talk, you allow yourself to acknowledge the good parts of yourself. That doesn’t mean you ignore the bad, but it does let you become more aware of all the beautiful things you have to offer in the world instead of only the very worst of perceived flaws. Your strengths deserve to be celebrated and used!
5. It Helps You Concentrate
Anxiety, stress, and a negative mental state can prevent you from fully concentrating on specific tasks or endeavors. If you’ve ever tried to focus on something while your mind is full of turmoil, you’ll know just how tough it can get when you’re unable to put bad thoughts out of your mind.
Positive self-talk disrupts this destructive cycle by:
- Encouraging you to see the good things in your situation
- Reminding you that you are capable of overcoming your setbacks
- Focusing on the lessons, you can learn from the situation.
- Channeling your energy towards more productive endeavors
- Stops any spiraling, unproductive, or circular thoughts
The disruption allows you to return to being more concentrated on the task at hand. Even though it doesn’t altogether remove all negativity, it helps you to get through things one step at a time.
6. It Can Reduce The Severity Of Anxiety
Anxiety is a severe problem and often requires professional treatment and therapy. But there are ways to reduce its severity, impact, and symptoms on your own, and one of those ways is positive self-talk.
Studies indicate that using positive ideation can decrease the worst feelings of stress, worry, and anxiety. Healthy, good inner dialogue can enrich you and effectively counter those bad feelings.
Another study has found that the positive thinking gained from self-talk training can lead to:
- Higher self-efficacy
- Improved confidence and self-esteem
- Better self-optimization
- Improved overall athletic performance
When your internal monologue is a constant stream of negativity, that perspective of stress and bad experiences can lead to a stilted perspective. Introducing positive self-talk to your life can grant you new ways of looking at the world.
Self-talk doesn’t automatically make all the bad things you see turn good. Instead, it shows you a more realistic, nuanced take on the world around you. Life is rough, sure, but have you noticed the things you can be grateful for? Self-talk will ensure that your experiences are balanced, giving you the necessary paradigm shift for a happier and better mental wellbeing.
8. It Makes You Perform Healthier Habits
Have you been trying to make healthier choices, stop bad habits, or build better routines? Positive self-talk can help! Here’s how:
· It Motivates You
It’s tough to make good changes in your life, especially away from enjoyable but negative things. Self-talk can help give you the necessary motivation required to stick to your decisions to improve and grow.
· It Makes You Want To Be Better
If you constantly talk down to yourself, you’ll also continue to maltreat yourself and your body. But with positive self-talk, you’ll begin to respect yourself and naturally want to care for yourself more.
· It Manages Setbacks Well
Progress towards healthier habits is not linear. When stumbling blocks pop up, self-talk will keep you going, preventing discouragement and helping you learn from your errors.
9. It Motivates You
Have you ever heard someone whisper to themselves, “I got this” or “You can do this” when they’re about to do something difficult? That’s because the effects of positive self-talk on motivation are so clear and obvious that it’s hard not to use them to your benefit!