It is possible that any type of negative talk about yourself, or just negative thinking in general can affect not only your mood but your overall self image of yourself. An example is sometimes people get down on themselves about their weight and it can have a ripple effect that boosts serious health risks.
A recent study showed that when participants were negative about how much they weighed – often the result of hearing body-shaming messages from celebrities and on social media channels – they showed a greater chance of developing metabolic syndrome, heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes, and obesity-related health problems.
It can change your brain’s chemistry. It can increase cortisol levels – the hormone responsible for stress response. When this spikes, it lowers other hormones related to calmness and joy, like dopamine and serotonin, increased stress brings its own health problems, including weight gain, insomnia, anxiety and systemic inflammation.
The good news is there are ways to help fight this negative, toxic thinking. These are 5 tips to help do this:
1. Get Objective
Notice the kinds of thoughts that are firing through your brain. It can get into patterns or habits, and it can take some effort to shift those from negative to positive, but the first step is to hear yourself and acknowledge what is going on in your brain. It also may help by writing it down what you are thinking when you notice the negative self-talk.
2. Follow Inspiring People
Sometimes you get frazzled with life, everyone goes through this problem. There’s a group of people that are most likely facing the same issues that you are. Connect with these people, but also pinpoint the ones that actually life you up with what they say and how they live. You shouldn’t feel envy to this, but instead it should be inspiration and motivation to better what’s going on with you. There are many different places that you can connect to others like this.
3. Be Specific
If you are too vague like just saying “be more positive”, it is too vague to be useful. You need to specify what areas you want to be more positive in or areas you want to improve in. Being specific about your goals or positive and specific about yourself helps battle negative self-talk.
4. Get Reflective
You look at the mirror a few times a day. Just depends on the person. When doing this, choose something that makes you feel happier, like flexing in the mirror, winking at yourself, or even something silly like sticking out your tongue. Repeating a positive, calming thought, like “I’m crushing it today”.
5. Make a Mantra
A mantra at one point in history were designed to help people reach deep mediation. Now they have evolved to mean a statement or motto that’s repeated frequently. These are positive, short statements that uplift and bring a positive, calming effect when repeated. It can be anything, just make sure it’s positive, like “I am amazing and I look amazing” or even something quick, like “Go team me”. Find one that empowers you the fastest when you say it.
These are just some ways to help you battle negative self-talk and toxic thoughts. Not only do these types of thoughts and self-talk hurt you mentally, the can hurt you physically as well.