What Is Self-Talk?

Are you aware of your inner voice—the one that provides a running monologue? Cheerful and supportive or negative and self-defeating, this internal chatter is referred to as “self-talk.” Your self-talk combines your conscious thoughts with your unconscious beliefs and biases. It’s an effective way for your brain to interpret and process your daily experience. However, human nature is prone to negative self-talk, making sweeping assertions like “I can’t do anything right!” or “I’m a complete failure!” We know this negativity can be unrealistic or even harmful, but we do it anyway. The good news is that you can learn to challenge that negative self-talk, and the first step is becoming more aware of it.

Recent posts on Self-Talk

Shut Down the Bully In Your Mind With Positive Self-Talk

By John-Manuel Andriote on January 09, 2018 in Stonewall Strong
Even bullies' barbs and stones can't bring you down when you heed your own positive self-talk.

Worry Less Now: The Three P's of Anxiety

Beat anxiety once and for all by learning how to live with life's many uncertainties.

Has Mindfulness Become the New Kale?

Is mindfulness just a fad? Research shows that we need it and it works.

One Powerful Way to Feel Better About Your Body in 2018

By Jessica Alleva Ph.D. on January 04, 2018 in Mind Your Body
Ready to feel more positively about your body in 2018? Here's one powerful change that you can make now.
John-Manuel Andriote/photo

Resolved for 2018: Choose Your Words Well

By John-Manuel Andriote on December 29, 2017 in Stonewall Strong
The language we use to tell our personal stories, especially to ourselves, contributes to our resilience--or undermines us.

Letting Go of Victimization

By Grant Hilary Brenner M.D. on December 19, 2017 in ExperiMentations
Tired of living in blame? Enjoy responsibility, without taking it out on yourself and others.
VIA Institute/Deposit Photos

How to Find Happiness in Today's World

By Ryan M. Niemiec Psy.D. on December 07, 2017 in What Matters Most?
If less than 20 percent of people are flourishing, what can we do to build more well-being? Check out the latest research and several practical strategies.

Negative Self-Talk: Don't Let It Overwhelm You

By Fran Simone Ph.D. on December 04, 2017 in A Family Affair
Is negative self-talk wearing you down? You have the power to change it.
Source: Free-Photos/Pixabay CCO Creative Commons

Do You Talk to Yourself?

Had any good conversations with yourself lately? Does your self-talk push your emotional buttons?
Eugenio Marongiu/Shutterstock

Forgiveness Is a Gift of Clarity to Yourself

By Tara Well Ph.D. on November 26, 2017 in The Clarity
If you're having trouble forgiving, remember it's a gift to yourself.

A Six Stage Tool to Stop Self-Pressuring

By Grant Hilary Brenner M.D. on November 24, 2017 in ExperiMentations
Learning to self-govern and achieve goals by easing up on oneself rather than cracking the whip takes hard work and concerted effort. But faster fixes fail.

How to Put a Stop to Catastrophic Thinking

By Toni Bernhard J.D. on November 21, 2017 in Turning Straw Into Gold
Catastrophizing is also called “magnifying.” This is a good way to think of it, because it emphasizes how often we magnify unpleasant experiences way out of proportion.

Don't Let Anxiety Ruin Your Day

By Barbara Markway Ph.D. on November 19, 2017 in Shyness Is Nice
Do you feel anxious before you even get out of bed? A few simple strategies can help you cope.
image courtesy of Pixabay

How to Flip the Switch on Stress

Is stress wearing you down? Here is a simple practice that might make a difference.

Expressing the Inner Voice May Bring Benefits

By Robert T Muller Ph.D. on November 16, 2017 in Talking About Trauma
Research reveals more about the promise of positive self-talk.

How to Quiet the Little Voice in Your Head

Tired of your inner narrator? How to press the mute button.

How You Can Use Self-Talk to Step Forward

By Reid Wilson Ph.D. on July 27, 2017 in All about Anxiety
“Whatever it takes, I’m going to finish this.” When you face a daunting task, that message doesn’t instruct you; it encourages you to push through resistance and continue on.

Gutsy Third Person Self-Talk Utilizes Your Vagus Nerve

Excessive first person "self-talk" can increase egocentric bias. That said, using "non-first-person" pronouns and your own name has been found to promote healthy self-distancing.

The Power of Positive Self-Talk

By Gregory L. Jantz Ph.D. on May 16, 2016 in Hope for Relationships
One of the ways to recognize, promote, and sustain optimism, hope, and joy is to intentionally fill our thoughts with positive self-talk.

4 Ways to Stop Beating Yourself Up, Once and For All

By Jennice Vilhauer Ph.D. on March 18, 2016 in Living Forward
Negative self-talk can seriously damage your self-esteem and impair your quality of life. Learn how to free yourself of the inner critic.

Talking Back to Yourself

Talk back to the negative voices in your head.

Self-Talk: Create-Your-Own Anxious, Depressed or Happy Moods

Your self-talk can keep you feeling good—or can make you prone to depression, anger, or anxiety. Take this quiz to clarify if your self-talk habits are helping or hurting you.

Why You Should Start Talking to Yourself

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on May 29, 2014 in The Squeaky Wheel
Many of us use self-talk to manage anxiety provoking situations--but are we doing it correctly?

Make Your Self-Talk Work for You

We all talk to ourselves, but only some of this internal conversation can actually guide us toward being happier and more effective.