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Light On Anxiety Expert Perspectives: LOA in the News

The Power of Positive Self-Talk

By Debra Kissen

How are you talking to yourself? Are you even aware of the messages you are telling yourself on a daily basis, as well as the implications of these messages? Are you aware of how these messages you constantly tell yourself help and/or hinder your feelings of self-worth, confidence, etc.?

The ways in which we talk to ourselves is developed over time and is influenced by factors such as relationships, experiences, and our self-concept (i.e. self-esteem). Who is to say that YOU are not the biggest influence in how you talk to yourself? (I also say that at the risk of sounding obvious, but it’s easy to lose sight of this amidst our chaotic and complex lives!)

When I introduce positive self-talk to clients, common feedback that I get is that, sometimes, trying positive self-talk feels a bit forced and not genuine because of how a client feels about themselves (another post on core beliefs and self esteem to come….). My response is always this: you have a mind and a brain and your mind can train your brain through positive self talk (whatever message it is that you are trying to believe, convey, etc.). It is likely that it feels forced and not something you believe because you are not used to communicating to yourself in a kind and/or productive manner.

It is like going to the gym for the first time; it is an activity that feels uncomfortable, it takes intention and courage to go to the gym and stick with the routine of going. Eventually, when you get in better physical shape and you see results, it is likely that you want to keep going to the gym, and further, it feels good! 

As I always say, be patient and kind when cultivating these new skills and trying new things, especially when your mind is asking your brain to try something foreign and completely new!

Dr. Debra Kissen is CEO of Light On Anxiety CBT Treatment Center. Dr. Kissen specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)...

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