You have probably heard of the power of positive thinking. To make life less stressful and more healthful at home and at work, try the power of positive self-talk.
What is self-talk? Just what it sounds like – talking to yourself. It is the hundreds of comments that we think or say to ourselves as the day goes on. For example, “How could I be so stupid?” or “I think I’m getting better at this.”
As you can see from these examples, there are two types of self-talk. The first comment shows negative self-talk. These self-defeating comments can work against you. The last comment is an example of positive self-talk.
With practice, it may become more of a habit, increasing the chances of a can-do attitude and decreasing the sense of being overwhelmed or stressed.
Positive thinking can help you in many ways. You look at a stressful situation and you may be able to deal with it more calmly. If you have less stress, you are more likely to avoid illness. Excess or sustained stress seems to decrease the effectiveness of our immune systems, leading to a greater chance of illness or a more difficult time fighting it.
How can you tap into the power of positive self-talk?
- Take some time to listen to yourself. Spend a week keeping track of the negative comments you make. Ask yourself some questions like “Was I taking that too seriously?” or “Was I expecting too much of myself?” Can you see a pattern of when you use negative self-talk? Very often, negative talk is based on some type of fear – of the unknown, of failure, etc.
- Once you are aware of your negative thoughts, begin turning them into positive ones. You may not believe yourself at first, but soon it will become second nature.
- Make a list of positive phrases to fall back on. Short “I” statements that express a positive point of view work best. For example, instead of saying “I will not be nervous” choose “I will be calm.” This will train your mind to always think in terms of the positive. The phrases you choose must feel right to you. Repeat the phrases mentally several times a day. Remember, practice makes perfect!
It may take some time to make positive self-talk part of your routine but once you do, it may give you a whole new outlook. Let the power of positive self-talk work for you!
MHN Can Help
When employees have a hard time managing stress on their own, Health Net, Inc.’s behavioral health subsidiary, MHN, offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) through which its members can receive support for stress, or access to work-life services for help with childcare, eldercare and more. In addition, MHN’s EAP member website features articles, videos and tools for members on stress management, time management and whole-person well-being. To learn more about MHN, please visit www.mhn.com, call 1-800-327-7526 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article is for informational and self-help purposes only. It should not be treated as a substitute for financial, medical, psychiatric, psychological, or behavioral health care advice, or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified professional.
Managed Health Network, LLC (MHN) is a subsidiary of Health Net, Inc. The MHN family of companies includes Managed Health Network, MHN Services and MHN Government Services. Health Net and Managed Health Network are registered service marks of Health Net, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved.