The Language of Self-Love
A client of mine recently had a lightbulb or ‘aha’ experience in one of our sessions, that was so profound, I couldn’t wait to share it.
We were discussing self-talk, and specifically how consuming negative self-talk can be, while positive self-talk feels more like a foreign language. That’s when it dawned on my client that learning positive self-talk is on many levels like learning a new language. We explored this for a while together and discussed some of the best ways to learn a new language. The most supportive method for learning a new language is often said to be to travel to a country where that is the native language and immerse yourself in the culture.
Imagine for a moment how lovely it would be to travel to such a country where positive self-talk is the native language. Unfortunately, it is not that always that easy in our modern society.
So how do we immerse ourselves in the culture of positive self-talk? How do we create this country of self-love inside of ourselves?
First, let’s dive deeper into some of the why behind what even matters about self-talk? In my ADAPT Functional Health Coach Training I am learning all about human psychology and how the brain works. And what is interesting is how changing something as simple as the way we talk to ourselves changes our reality. Positive self-talk prompts higher feelings of motivation, higher overall health scores, higher reported states of being, and lower rates of stress, fatigue, and overwhelm. And did you know that current research show that stress is one of the most important predictors of overall health and avoiding chronic disease?
Okay, so how do we learn this language?
Here are a few ideas I have, and then I’d love to hear from you if you have any other thoughts.
Make a game of it. Studies show that in healthy relationships, you should aim for saying 3 positive things for every 1 negative thing. For a thriving relationship, the ratio is more like 5 to 1. Why not take this approach with your own inner dialogue? Start stacking the kind statements you speak to yourself and make a game out of trying to keep that number higher than the number of negative statements. While this isn’t sustainable for the long-term, it can be a fun way to learn the language and build up the habit.
Kind actions beget kind words and vice versa. Increasing the intentionality behind your self-care, and taking notice of the kind actions you make for yourself will prompt more awareness and kind language. Things like taking a few extra moments in the shower, making yourself a nice meal or cup of tea, listening to soothing music, or taking time for some deep breaths. Also consider something nice you could surprise yourself with or do for yourself, the way you would for a friend. Then remember to take time to express gratitude to yourself for all of the self-care.
Practice mindfulness. Creating space in your day to set aside time for an intentional mindfulness practice can support you in connecting with your true self and your inner most needs and feelings. To amplify this, consider experimenting with a formal compassion mindfulness practice – something like Tara Brach R.A.I.N. or Loving Kindness can be a good place to start for resources.
Okay, these are my top three go-to’s when I need to add some positivity to my every day. Making time for this regularly and consistently is a sure way to feel immersed and begin to develop and build on your own language of self-love.
What ideas do you have?