Reduce Stress By Banishing Negative Self Talk

Stress occurs whenever we feel that too much is being asked of us and we have no control over the situation, such as tackling a complex project with tight deadlines just as your colleague goes on vacation, or possibly juggling a dental appointment with the school Nativity play and the Christmas food shop all in the same afternoon. But what about the stress we all put ourselves under every day?

Why, when I KNOW it’s what I really want to do, do I NOT settle down to finishing my ebook?  Somedays it seems I will do anything NOT to write.  I know I’ll be really happy when I finish it. Why, when we are in control do we still make excuses not to do something that we actually DO want to do?

Why do we stress our already stressful lives with such self sabotage?

Perhaps the biggest stressor in the developed world today is time pressure. We never seem to have enough time. And yet we all seem to make time to watch our favorite soaps on the TV, or go to a ball game or daydream listening to the songs we just downloaded. So maybe using lack of time as an excuse is simply a way of talking ourselves out of something we actually did not want to do in the first place. Or maybe there is another issue.

Whilst you MAY have a valid reason for not doing something right NOW, there is no reason to suppose we will not have time at some point in the future. More often than not, our excuses are just negative self talk rooted in some other deep insecurity. And it is this insecurity which causes us everyday stress. Maybe you have poor self esteem and do not truly believe you are worthy of success?  Or something else?

Whatever the reason, constant negative self talk can drag us into a downward spiral of inactivity and under achievement. We start to believe in our own excuses, accepting them as true. They can make us miss opportunities and may even make us lead smaller lives than we really want to.

If you find yourself making excuses for why you are not doing something you actually DO want to do, then you are using negative self talk to increase your own stress levels. Stop excuses from destroying your life. If you would rather live life to the max, laugh lots and meet challenges with excited anticipation, then look inside yourself and figure out why you are using negative self talk – and address this issue. Counseling, self hypnosis and positive affirmations can all help with this, which makes these all very good stress relief techniques . But YOU have to do them

When repeated often enough, self talk becomes real. So make sure your self talk is positive. Do not let your excuses hold you hostage. Use positive affirmations to help change your mindset and you will become empowered, achieve more and feel less stressed.

I use affirmations a lot but they need to be used daily to be most effective.  I am thinking of writing something on this topic as I believe a great many people would like to know more but believe that positive affirmations belongs out there with the tree huggers.  What do you think?  Please leave a comment and let me know.

Do You Quit When It’s Easy?

Have you ever noticed just how much a little thing can affect you?  It has to be a very specific little thing, probably something no-one else would even notice.  And yet, it gets to you.  Gets deep inside you and starts gnawing away.  And if you’re not careful, it can leave you feeling flat at best, or worse make you angry.

Language is very powerful as I explained in “The Mind Altering Power of a Word”.  The right words can whip a crowd into a baying frenzy of excitement, make individuals achieve more than they ever thought possible, invigorate or they can chastise, belittle and demean perceived subordinates.  And words can de-motivate. 

I believe that most people say what comes into their heads at a moment’s notice without giving much or even ANY thought to what it is like on the receiving end.  I often lock proverbial horns with my other half about a careless, even totally inaccurate word or phrase he’s used.  He has never needed to learn the subtleties of language for his career in the City and is certainly no loss to the Diplomatic Corps.

Nontheless, I don’t think I would have been so badly affected had I not felt tired this morning.

The porridge packet simply said “Easy to Open Tab – Just Pull Here”.  After I’d narrowly missed stabbing myself with scissors trying to lift the permanently glued tab, ripped a gaping hole in the side of the box and scattered handfuls of oats all over the counter top, I had to disagree somewhat with the manufacturer’s assessment of the box opening ease.

And this really is my point.  Just because YOU find something easy, doesn’t mean it IS easy.  It simply means YOU have the necessary skills to make you confident that you will be able to do that something easily.  But we all have different skills.  What I find easy, you may not.  Turning cartwheels is easy for an acrobat.  Speaking French is easy for a French National.  Riding a bike is easy.  LEARNING to ride a bike most definitely is not.

If you take the time to learn the necessary skill you will become more confident in more areas and over time, find more things easy. But don’t be fooled by thinking learning is ever easy.  It isn’t.

For everyone online, the words “easy”, “simple” and “just” appear everywhere. These words CAN be very destructive to maintaining a positive mental attitude if you don’t happen to have the precise skills needed to make the task simple. Be aware that whatever is said, YOU may need to LEARN new skills to complete the “easy” task.

So bear that in mind next time you see “So simple to use – my eight year old was up and running in just 5 minutes”.  Consider whether you actually have the same skills and today’s average eight year old before you take the plunge!  Don’t get downhearted.  Decide to keep your positive attitude.  You will need it to get over the learning curve!