by Joy Loverde
Over the past six weeks I have been seriously challenged with numerous, stressful family and eldercare situations - coming at me from all sides and at a rapid pace. At the same time I have been observing a new behavior - talking to myself out loud anywhere, anytime. Whoa!!
Funny thing is, hearing my inner thoughts spoken out loud and in my own voice has somehow made me feel better and more in control. I’m not sure how and why this is happening; but I am glad about it. It’s as though I have found a new stress-reliever tool available to me at all times.
Here’s what I have learned about talking to myself over the past six weeks:
NO NEGATIVE, SELF-SABATAGING SELF-TALK.
There’s already enough negativity in this world and the last person who needs to get down on me is me. Instead of saying, “Why me?” and “I can’t do this” I boost my confidence and reassure myself with thoughts like, “I have been here before and I can get through this again.” I carefully use words that motivate and give me energy. I push aside negative self-talk immediately.
I AM WHAT I THINK.
I have become fully aware of the fact that what I think has a way of becoming a real self-fulfilling prophecy. All thoughts are fleeting, and if what I am thinking (and saying aloud) in the moment is not what is wanted I stop the conversation in my head right then and there; then switch gears and verbalize a completely different thought just as long as it is positive and wanted. This is powerful new behavior. I instantly feel better.
I TRUST ME.
Everybody means well; but in the end it is me who gets me through every situation. I trust my gut. I trust that I will keep my promises. I trust that I will be able to handle any and all issues. I trust that above all I will be there for me. Saying these words out loud no matter where I am offers comfort. My self-talk strategy is logical and accurate and works like a charm during crazy caregiving situations especially when others are behaving irrationally. I trust me to do the right thing.
I AM NOT PERFECT.
I have no need for perfection. My best is good enough. I make mistakes. I screw up a lot. When I fail others, I apologize and move on. I rehearse saying “I am sorry” out loud; then I say I am sorry to those I have offended ASAP. Life is too short not to mend relationships as quickly as I can. If the person I offended holds a grudge, so be it. Not my problem.
If you see me walking down the street, talking to myself… please be sure to stop me in my tracks and say hello. No doubt we can engage in an enlightening three-way conversation then and there.
Until next time…