Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Five Things To Do When Negative Self-Talk Haunts Your Day

Woke up this morning with a cloud of negative self-talk settled down over my psyche. I wonder what I was dreaming about?

Rather than pulling the covers over my head and wallowing in a bed of self-loathing, I tapped into the actions that help overcome this pervasive sense of self-doubt. Some days I need them all to get a grasp back in the light. Other days, just a breathe of something positive will push me there.

1. Get Moving. The rhythm of physical activity works like moving meditation to center my spirit. Today is a gym day.. I'll aim to get 40 minutes on a cardio machine before my training session. One and half hours+ of physical activity will get cleaning oxygen flowing through my body and brain.

2. Accomplish Something. I'm writing a specific "To Do" list for today with a variety of tasks on it. The simple act of getting something concrete done erases negative thoughts.

3. Meditate. Sit with myself and try to learn what is behind this feeling today. Is it as simple as a poor night's sleep? A deeper concern? A risk I have to take that scares me? I need to meet the creator of this negative feeling face to face and get some answers.

4. Give Myself a Break. We all need rest days. Days when we stew. Stewing breaks down tough connections, blends different flavors, makes things easier to consume and digest. It might be that the work I need to accomplish just needs a little some time to stew.

5. Break things down. I'm guilty of "perfectionism" and I didn't know it until recently. If I large task before me (and I have several), often I will not move at all on them until I believe I can complete the task by myself and perfectly. Ask for help? Cheating. Start and see where it goes? Demonstrates a lack of planning and fore-thought.

What steps do you take when you feel that negative self-talk overcoming you?

Edit: I'm adding a Sixth Thing, because it's important and often overlooked. It's about 2 hours later.

6. Eat and Drink Healthy. Do not let the negative demons trick you into eating a bag of donuts, drinking a bottle of wine, ordering a fast food lunch and "what the heck" super-sizing it. That is only an invitation for MORE self-abuse later. Instead, look for gentle real foods that will support your body instead of taxing it more. Fresh fruits and veggies, some grilled fish, green tea. You know what you should eat. On a day like today, more than ever, DO IT.

I also blog at: A Stitch In Time throughout the week and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.