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7 ways to turn your mind into your best ally

Updated: Jun 28


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Did you know that this article was going to be all about procrastination? But a few weeks ago I woke up as if I had been brainstorming with ideas throughout my sleep.


The fact that I had been preparing to write about procrastination seemed to not matter at all, it seemed like my mind was determined to let me know that my first blog article would be about the power of the words we say to ourselves.


I learned to trust my instinct and to listen to my subconscious messages, so here it goes: A journey into our own inner voice, thoughts or what is called "self-talk".




What exactly is self-talk?


Self-talk is the ever-present voice in our head, the words we say to ourselves, all the thoughts and the stories we create about us, about others, and about the world and all the things that happen around us. Conscious of it or not, out loud or internal, it is the monologue in our heads that accompanies us constantly throughout the day.


Those words, stories, beliefs and thoughts have nothing to do with reality. We might believe they are the reality when in fact, the meanings we put on things and the stories we tell ourselves are just that; stories. Those stories are distortions of reality. They are created by each of us through a filter or lens that we unconsciously build in the first seven or eight years of our lives. It becomes a blueprint of life and of ourselves, a tendency and a habit of thinking that is based on the experiences we had, and on the subjective conditioning we experienced as children.


The cheerleader and the inner critic:


Now lets call the words we say ourselves that are positive, compassionate, encouraging and uplifting, the cheerleader; and on the other hand the words that are self-defeating, negative, hurtful and judgemental, the inner critic.


Of course we have all used both at some point in our lives, it's not like we only use one or the other. But I invite you now to ask yourself: Which one does your mind have the habit or tendency to use on a daily basis if left unchecked?


Unfortunately many of us go through life without ever noticing that self-talk, or being aware of our own thoughts until later in life, if ever. They don't teach us emotional health in schools or the tools of self-awareness which is rather unfortunate.



Our self-talk


Why is your self-talk so important?


Negative self-talk can wreak havoc on our self-esteem, keep us trapped in negativity, and close our minds from seeing things from a wider range of possibilities and solutions. It is widely associated with anxiety, stress and depression and therefore can lead to mental illness.

When chronic stress remains elevated over time due to negative self-talk, it can also have negative consequences on the physical body. It may result in an inability for the body to fight disease since it affects the immune system, it can contribute to digestive problems, sleep disturbances and even cardiovascular disease since it raises blood pressure.


If you could look at your body and see what high levels of cortisol over large periods of time do to your body, the inflammation it's created, you would understand how negative thoughts have a very physical result in our bodies.


Negative thoughts can affect all areas of our lives, including our relationships with others.


Everything starts with a single thought. Thoughts lead to feelings, feelings lead to behaviors and behaviors lead to our outcomes in life.


Thought cycle
Thought cycle

So the next time you think of achievements and goals or even achieving health and wellbeing, or any result you desire for your life, observe yourself closely and control the only thing you can ever control in life: your thoughts.  


Those will lead you to feel how you want to feel, to behave and make choices that are aligned with your life goals, and ultimately attract those outcomes you desire in your life.


Even though negative thoughts can have a devastating effect in our lives and make us feel powerless, we can actually mindfully turn them around by challenging our inner critic as those thoughts emerge.





7 ways to turn your mind into your best ally:


1. Recognize there is a problem


As in anything in life, the first step for positive change and to remove unhealthy patterns from our life is to acknowledge them. It's the awareness and recognition that we may be giving too much energy and power to negative, detrimental thoughts and behaviors that affect us and those around us.


We are all works in progress in life. So without shame, and adding to the acknowldgement and awareness necessary to start your healing journey, make sure you give a good dose of compassion and kindness towards yourself throughout the whole process.


2. Desire and commitment


It's not enough to know you may have a problem. You need to have the desire to be better, to feel better, to grow into a better person, to have better relationships. It doesn't work if it's someone else seeing it and telling you to change because of this or that. You need to want it. Therefore desire and commitment to improve is an essential step.


3. Knowing the types of Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs)


One of the best ways to turn your mind into your best ally and cheerleader is to be aware of your inner critic or ANTs as they arise. As the name indicates, they are automatic, meaning they will come up in our minds when we least expect it, without any warning.


Our ANTs are often related to a distortion in the way we think (cognitive distortion) that we may or may not be aware of.


The more you practice recognizing your ANTs, the easier it is to challenge them and your inner critic, and flip those thoughts around into more beneficial thoughts. You'll become more aware of yourself and slowly your cheerleader will start showing up more and more.


This list will help you recognize some of them. Take a moment to see if you have a tendency toward any of them.


  • All-or-Nothing Thinking Seeing things as black or white and using absolutes. Ex: "I always mess everything up." or "I can never do anything right."

  • Overgeneralizing Drawing global conclusions from single facts. Ex: "She left me. Everyone will end up leaving me, I'm so boring."

  • Discounting the Positive Not giving positive events the same importance or weight as the negative ones. Ex: "They were just being nice so they look good. They don't really care."

  • Jumping to Conclusions You come to negative conclusions without any evidence to support it. - Mind reading- You assume people are reacting negatively to you. Ex: "He thinks I'm an idiot". - Fortune Telling- You predict that things will turn out badly. Ex: "This will never work"

  • Magnification (Catastrophizing) and Minimizing Blowing bad things out of proportion or minimizing the good things. Ex: "What if the meeting with my boss doesn't go well? I'll end up fired and losing my house" or "That doesn't count. I was just lucky."

  • Emotional Reasoning You reason from your emotions as if they were reality. Ex: "I feel unlovable, therefore I must be unlovable"

  • Should Statements You criticize yourself (and others) with "shoulds", "shouldn'ts", "ought tos" and musts" Ex: "You should be perfect because mistakes are unacceptable"

  • Labeling and Mislabeling You label yourself (and others) based one a single event. Ex: "I'm stupid because I failed the Math test"

  • Personalization You attribute the entire blame for an event or situation on yourself or others, even when there is little to no justification to do so. Ex: Someone is struggling and you say to yourself: "I should have tried harder and done better".





4. Challenge and replace your negative thoughts


Our self-talk is one of the most powerful self-care tools that exist. We can and should be using it to our advantage and wellbeing.


As you see a negative thought arise in your mind, question it. Analyze if it makes any sense or how useful it is to think those thoughts. Do those words help you or serve you in any way? Then replace those negative thoughts by changing the words and the meaning with a more rational, neutral or positive opposite.


The best way to counteract negativity and your inner critic is to reverse those thoughts into their opposite. This will not only neutralize the negative thought more effectively, but it starts getting your mind into the habit of powerfully questioning your automatic thoughts, which will lead you to positive thinking.


It is important to understand that this does not mean a denial of feelings or emotions. Those still need to be acknowledged and felt, and should never be suppressed through toxic positivity, which doesn't allow us to honor and validate our emotions. They need to be felt and processed as a wave that passes through us, comes and goes.


So do that exercise now. Think of a negative though that you have observed yourself thinking in the past. Or something negative you constantly tell yourself. Now think of what is the exact opposite of that and tell it to yourself over and over again until you feel better and more encouraged.


5. Practice Gratitude

Whether it is through journaling or thoughts, the practice of gratitute is extremely powerful. It has shown to have healing properties in the body and reduce stress levels and anxiety.


You simply cannot feel stressed while you feel grateful, they do not co-exist at the same time in the brain. The chemistry of gratitude has the capacity to completely remove the feelings and chemistry of stress in our bodies.


Gratitude sooths and calms your body and mind, activating the parasympathetic nervous system, the one responsible for "rest and digest". That's the part of the nervous system that allows us to be calm, to relax and to feel safe.


After normal daily peaks of stress, a healthy nervous system always comes back to safety. Practicing gratitude is a great way to trigger the parasympathetic, so we can easily come back into conherence and calm again.


Gratitude also allows you to get to the habit to scan your environment to see the good and the positive. Our human minds very easily fall into noticing the bad and negative so we have to purposely and mindfully remind ourselves to look: the good is everywhere around us. There's just so much for us to be grateful for.



"Spheres" by fine artist Treena Rowan
"Spheres" by fine artist Treena Rowan


6. Be patient and consistent on your practice


Change like this doesn't happen over night, it is a work in progress. Be kind to yourself and understand that it's not about being perfect, it's about improving every day. The process of challenging your thoughts should be non-judgemental and patient. towards oneself. No self-blaming, shaming or putting down.


The idea is to talk to yourself as your cheerleader, as your best friend. The most important words you'll ever hear in your whole life and with the most impact on your health, wellbeing, and feelings, behaviors and outcomes in life, will be the words you tell yourself.


7. Ask for help


Very often it becomes extremely challenging to change our habit of thinking on a conscious level alone. That is why we tend to so easily fall into the same type of patterns. So don't be disheartened if that happens.


There are effective methods like Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT) hypnosis that can tap into your subconscious to challenge core life beliefs about yourself, others and life.


You can change once in for all those feelings of anxiety, desperation and the belief that you don't have the power to change things. You certainly do and there are professionals that can help you make that change happen faster.


Some beliefs we have about ourselves are so powerfully ingrained in our subconscious since childhood that only consciously being aware of our negative thoughts and trying to talk ourselves out of it may simply not be enough.


That awareness practice is still essential but in some cases it would definitely benefit from deep subconscious hypnotic work, where the root cause of that belief can be found, reframed and replaced with ideas and thoughts that better serve the person's life goals.



Holistic Transformation Center

 

I hope you enjoyed these 7 ways to turn your mind into your best ally. And remember, that in the end, this is an ongoing practice to improve our lives, whether we use it in conjunction with therapy or not.


The words we say to ourselves are incredibly important in how we feel and if you don't like how you feel, change the words you say and think. Mindfully choose to make the cheerleader inside of you grow, while you slowly watch your inner critic wither.


Marisa Peer, World renowned celebrity hypnotherapist, the one I had the pleasure to study directly with, creator of the RTT method (Rapid Transformational Therapy), says:


"We can either rationalize our problems, or we can talk ourselves out of it (...) Every thought is a blueprint that your mind and body is working to make real.(...) You can choose to be positive or negative, but you cannot choose what it does to your mind and body."


Below is a video in which Marisa Peer explores the concept of self talk, that I recommend everyone to watch.




I also created some useful tools for you to download and use on your daily quest to improve your self-talk. All you need to do is to subscribe on this link while adding the offer code "Self-talk", and you'll be sent a link to the following free downlads:


  • Automatic negative though worksheet

  • Daily checklist to improve self-talk




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1件のコメント


ゲスト
6月17日

What an amazing and inspirational post! Lots of great reminders here and I love the way you challenge the reader to examine their self in the moment of reading and practice replacing negative thoughts that one may be thinking lately. I did that and instantly felt better! Thank you also for using my art, it is quite an honor! Best wishes to you in your endeavors.

- Vincent Fink

いいね!

Our blog articles can also be watched or listened to through our "Mind Untangling" podcast on Spotify!

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