Sea fog over the Bay of Fundy and Campobello Island: Duck Cove Photography, Brian Comeau

one of the things I hadn’t anticipated after I hit the twelve months sober mark is that as the months of the year rolled around again I would keep re-learning the lessons I had discovered with such surprise the first time around.

one of these is learning how to deal with the spiral of negative thought patterns. I’ve blogged about this previously – for example here’s a post from May 2014, be careful how you talk to yourself because you are listening, which tells you what camels have to do with negative thinking 😉

a thought that bears repeating, I think, from that post is that for me negative thought patterns are a sort of warning signal that I am shifting off kilter. so if they are drifting in, like the sea-fog in the image above, then I now know it is a signal that I need to up my self-care.

I found a fab website a little while ago – WANT – Women Against Negative Talk. Katie writes about the premise that negative self-talk is incredibly damaging to us and provides tools to move away from those patterns. I’m finding it thought provoking and interesting.

some WANT posts that you might enjoy:

Casual Negativity : how the way we talk about ourselves traps us sub-consciously

Gini Yogini on self-respect, dress size, and being unstoppable :

‘My body is: brilliant and I am so grateful for all it does.’

and lastly Talk Purdy to Me : making how we talk to others more positive, enabling us to talk more positively to ourselves.

‘The language we use to talk to ourselves is usually the same language we use to talk out in the world. And the way we talk is like exercising a muscle: we get to choose if we build it up to be positively or negatively strong.

Take a look at the way we talk to people on a day-to-day basis: Sure, we’re cordial to the people we love, we’re appropriate, but most of the time we’re just “nothing to” them. Our relationships with them are already established, so we assume they don’t need the cheering up, encouragement, compliments, or even care to hear good things from us. It’s implied that all those kind thoughts and good feelings already exist, simply because we’re already their friend. We don’t have to say a word.

And then, when we do connect, we’ll often bond over what we don’t like or what annoys us, because they’re the people we love, and we “can” vent to them. We can talk about the things we don’t like because they’re emotionally charged, and it’s easy to bond over things that both parties involved are emotionally charged about.

In the same vein – go with me here – we’re unconsciously “nothing” to ourselves because we’ve already got an established relationship with our Self: our body, our potential, our mind, our capabilities. So we don’t give ourselves the credit or the kudos we deserve, or notice all the good stuff.

[NB – this fits in really well with what I’ve been working on to internalise my achievements…]

Moreover, we’ll bond with the voice in our head over the negative things that comes up, what we don’t like and what annoys us. The easier and more natural it becomes to bond over the negative, the more difficult and “weird” it becomes to bond over the positive.

This week, shelf the advice to “Talk to yourself like you would talk to someone you love.” It’s time to start treating ourselves the way we actually want to treat others, simultaneously training ourselves to speak in a way that’s supportive and kind.

Those positive talk muscles are just waiting to be strengthened. Stretch ’em out.’

sing it, Bing 🙂