Another slightly altered post from May 17, 2010 to help new readers catch up with the theme, ideas, philosophy of http://intelligentwomenonly.com I'm enjoying this retrospective and hope you are too!
The title of my new book-to-be is Handbook #1 for Intelligent Women: Break the Negative Self-Talk Habit, rather than Cure the Negative Self-talk Neurosis, for a reason. Self-talk, NST or PST, is learned behavior. Normal, average, negative self-talk is no more a neurosis than positive self-talk — unless it grows into an obsession or a delusion, which is not the average outcome for self-talkers of any kind. The book is focused on everyday intelligent negative self-talkers, not those at the tail end of the bell-shaped curve.
If you label your thinking behavior as neurotic, there’s a tendency to feel screwed up, a loser who needs a lot of therapy. If you think instead that NST is a habit that you'd like to get rid of like any other habit such as biting your fingernails, eating ice cream every night, or tweeting 24 times a day, you might not feel bad about yourself. You might make a plan and take action, which would help you to feel even better.
The change in perspective is good practice in reframing, a technique of cognitive restructuring — looking at the same picture/facts/ information with a different frame attached to it. Changing the frame, changes the perception. Recognizing that your negative thinking is only a habit that you want to dump is a reframe. It's realistic. Then consciously making a plan, and implementing it a little at a time, while reminding yourself, "I'm moving slowly in the right direction," can help.
For new readers, check out the red box on the blog that's titled Techniques for a variety of helpful steps for moving forward and away from the habit.
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