Thursday, May 16, 2013

How to Fight Negative Self-Talk

Our minds are powerful things. Think about it.The human brain is single-handedly responsible for imagining some pretty incredible stuff -- things that are so ubiquitous in our present-day culture that we neglect to consider that they are the spawn of a brainstorm.

For instance, if you'll allow me to wrinkle your brain for a moment, Batman is not real and neither are unicorns (hopefully you knew that). Someone at some point imagined a in, they were literally the first person to ever think about a horn growing from a horse's head. Equally amazing: someone also conjured up in their big, beautiful brain a story of a billionaire named Bruce Wayne who is a vigilante, tights-wearing guardian of Gotham City.

Doubly amazing: someone had the foresight to realize that these two imagined beings would look great in a picture together.

The human brain is simply astounding. It can write symphonies, remember telephone numbers, feel happiness and hurt, control our cardiovascular system, tell our feet to walk when it's time to walk, process multiple stimuli in an instant, and even imagine leprechauns (also fake...I hope I'm not rocking your worldview today).

But as much as the human mind helps, it also hinders. After all, it is our brains that lead us to be the totally judgmental, self-righteous jerks that we are. 

There's no telling who this guy is judging, but you know he's judging someone.

Some judgements are good, by the way. You can judge between a toilet and a cereal bowl and determine which one you want to eat your breakfast out of. That is a good judgement.

Negative judgements are the things we think about people we hardly know based on their physical appearance, the way they talk, the family they come from, their profession, or any number of nitpicky reasons. Negative judgements are also the terrible things we tend to think about ourselves. I'm not sure what part of the brain makes us do this, but I'm sure it's the ugliest part. 

Today, for whatever reason, I got caught in a particularly bad cycle of negative self-talk. I kept subconsciously chastising myself for leaving the straightener on all day or being too lazy to eat well. These judgements were small in my mind, but by the end of today, I felt like I'd been punched in the stomach by the mighty fist of my own self-loathing. 

I hope you haven't experienced this, but I'm pretty sure you have. It just happens sometimes, and it can be like a disease. But, like any disease, the key is early detection. If you suspect you are talking crap about yourself, you probably are. So stop it! 

Again, I will say, the mind is a powerful thing.

Instead use your mind to think about something great like baby animals or waterfalls. Imagine a whole new realm of creatures comparable to a unicorn or Batman. Put them all in an arena, and see who would win in a fight.


Or better yet, use the power of your mind to think about someone other than yourself. The best way to combat self-loathing is by removing yourself from the equation altogether. Go make someone a pie or plan a dinner with that friend you've been too preoccupied to listen to. 

And in the end, use your brain to remember that you are precious and valuable. You were created above so many other creatures (seriously, what is the DEAL with snails!) and no dumb thing you do in this world will make that untrue.

I am mostly writing this as a reminder for myself, but feel free to share it with someone who you think needs to hear it. Also, I just wanted to show you pictures of sharks and unicorns, so I'm going to give myself a self-high-five now and go to bed. 


  1. What a great post, Christy!

    1. Thank you, Megan! It at least helped me go to sleep, so that's good news.


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