Positive Self-Talk

What is self talk?

Self-talk is your internal monologue—it’s the little voice in your head, your private thoughts, it’s all the things you don’t say aloud. Most of us chatter along to ourselves all day, but have you ever stopped and thought about what it is that you’re telling yourself? Your self-talk can have a big impact on how you think about yourself, your self-esteem and how you feel about yourself.

Negative self-talk

Negative self-talk is when you focus on the negative side of things, and it can really make you feel bad. It’s thinking things like “I’ll never be able to do that”, “I’m so fat/ugly/stupid” or “Everything sucks”. If your self-talk is mainly negative it might start to affect your self-esteem and how you feel about yourself, but there are ways you can change your self-talk so it’s more positive.

Switch it up

Positive self-talk looks on the brighter side of things, it’s thinking the glass is half full not half empty. It’s thinking things like “I can give it a try”, “I look great in these jeans”, “I’m actually really good a maths” or “Things aren’t great right now but they will get better”. By changing your self-talk to being more positive you can really change the way you relate to yourself and improve your self-esteem and self-confidence. Changing the way you think about yourself might sound impossible, but if you start small you’ll be able to switch it up.

Here are some ways to start some positive self-talk:
  • Think about your self-talk – What are you really saying to yourself? Try to work out if you are being negative or positive.
  • Question yourself – If you do notice your self-talk is negative, really think about it, is it based on any truth? Would you say that to someone else? Can you think of the situation in a more positive way? You might find you can think of things from a different perspective if you start to question them.
  • Change it – It might be difficult but when you catch yourself being negative try to change your thoughts to be more positive. Instead of thinking “I can’t handle this” think “What can I do that will help me handle it” or “It might be hard but I can do it”.
  • Remind yourself – It can be hard to change a habit, so give yourself some help. Leave yourself notes, or wear a piece of jewellery that will remind you to be positive when you look at it.

It might be tricky but the sooner you start, the easier it will be to start feeling great about yourself! You can read more about positive self-talk at ReachOut.

If you’re struggling with negative thoughts, try talking about it to someone you trust like a friend, parent, teacher or school counsellor. They might have some great advice to help you be more positive. You can also call Kids Helpline or get online counselling at eheadspace.

Click here for a list of Support Services.