Many of us go through the day with an internal dialogue or voice narrating or play calling our life. When our mood takes a negative turn the narrative in our minds often follows. I’ve often told my clients that the upper cognitive part of the brain and the lower emotional brain want to be in sync. So when one takes the lead the other follows. Chicken and egg aside, if we are feeling down and depressed our thoughts begin to match that feeling.
Challenging negative thoughts can be extremely difficult yet highly effective. One of the biggest hurdles is our negativity bias. We are all wired to see negative elements of the world before positive ones. This isn’t an accident. There is a very clear function to having a solid negativity bias. If you think about it in terms of evolution, our ancestors who were more concerned with what could go wrong than what’s good in life, were probably more likely to anticipate danger and survive.
Therefore negative thoughts are all the more normal and common than we realize. Challenging those negative thoughts and negative self-talk is extremely important.
There are several different types of self-talk:
Putting it in Perspective
Goal Directed Activity