The pandemic continues to drag on, and experts tell us that, in all likelihood, we won’t be back to “normal” for another nine to 12 months. Even though it is tough to think about that, there is a way for us to fight anxiety and depression every day.
First of all, we have a choice. Each day we can choose to be positive. That may sound like a flip remark, but it is actually true. More importantly, we can choose to talk to ourselves positively, making it a daily habit.
Let me explain. While we may never focus on the self-talk in our heads every day, it is essential to focus on it now. And one way to check to see if you talk positively or negatively to yourself is simple. Ask yourself, “Would you ever talk to anyone else the way you talk to yourself?”
For the many years I suffered from anxiety and depression, I had a running dialogue in my head that always reminded me that I was “too fat” or “not good enough” or worse.
And it is a habit I had to break. The first step was to become aware of how much negative self-talk was going on in my head every day. Step two was to immediately substitute positive self-talk each time I became aware of beating myself up.
I believe our souls don’t know the difference between positive and negative but take whatever we feed it. For instance, if I thought to myself, “You can’t do this!” I would immediately substitute something positive about myself, such as “You’re a good daughter” or “You’re smart.” even if I didn’t truly believe it.
After a while, it became a new habit I used every day. And it doesn’t matter if you don’t fully believe it, keep telling yourself, and you may begin to hear positive repetition in your thoughts. The content is unimportant as long as it is positive, and it is about you.
With winter coming and the holidays, we may not be able to celebrate with loved ones the way we have in the past, which may create added stress, loneliness, and sadness. So, if you start a new habit today, that practice may help make the pandemic seem less cruel as it could be during these times.