27 Dec What is negative self-talk and what consequences does it have
A proverb says “ Take care of your thoughts, because they will become your words. Take care of your words, because they will become your actions. Take care of your actions, because they will become your habits. Take care of your habits, because they will become your destiny ”. Negative self-talk or self-talk causes us to drown in our problems, making them bigger than they are. That is why we must learn to manage this inner conversation, constructively directing our emotions and actions towards the achievement of our goals.
I’m going to ask you to reflect, how many times have you acted according to what you feared would happen? Would you be able to bring to mind some of those situations where you were already sad before you lost something that you expected to lose? And even more common … How many times have you gotten angry just by attributing the other’s behavior to their bad intentions? Surely not just one, but several answers to each of these questions comes to your mind. This is because our mind has a high power over our behavior and emotions.
With the term ‘cognitive content ‘ we refer to our thoughts, interpretations, expectations, and internal self-talk. All of this can appear in the form of verbalizations or sentences, as well as in images. When these thoughts or internal dialogue are negative, dramatic, and irrefutable (they cannot be contrasted), the interpretation we make of reality can be distorted, giving rise to emotions and ways of coping out of adjustment to the real situation that triggers them.
Consequences of negative self-talk
Having negative self-talk would only be a matter of opinion, if it weren’t for the fact that it can have a significant negative impact on our lives, especially on the emotions we experience and the behaviors we engage in. This is because there is a high relationship between how we think (or speak to ourselves), how we feel, and how we behave.
There is a close relationship between our thoughts and emotions. So much so, that cognitive psychology considers that our thoughts, self-talk, and expectations determine our emotional states. In turn, emotions are what drive our behavior. Therefore, an inappropriate thought about the situation we have experienced can elicit intense emotional reactions that will lead to inappropriate behaviors for the situation that must be faced.
In turn, ineffective behavior makes our negative thoughts accentuate, giving rise to various negative emotions derived from negative self-talk. Examples of this are anxiety (associated with a threatening or danger-focused self-talk), sadness (associated with self-talk focused on loss or what I could have), guilt (associated with self-talk related to everything that came out bad due to a bad intervention on my part, or the absence of it), anger (associated with self-talk focused on everything that blocks my goals or violates my personal rights), and shame (associated with self-talk focused on my inability to do something that I should know how to do).
It is not surprising, therefore, that the association between negative internal self-talk and emotional disturbances such as anxiety disorders, depression, and problems in social relationships, have a significant impact on the individual’s daily life, and therefore The achievement of positive or constructive internal self-dialogue is essential to be able to face the world in an effective way.