Self-Talk: Create-Your-Own Anxious, Depressed or Happy Moods
Take this quiz to better understand how your self-talk is influencing your moods
Posted May 14, 2015
As I often explain to clients in my Colorado therapy practice, how you talk to yourself impacts the emotions that you feel.
Reality factors in your life of course also play a huge role. At the same time, try the Self-Talk Quiz below to become aware of how your semi-conscious internal voices may be influencing your moods.
Your Self-Talk Quiz
Rate the frequency from 0 (never) to 5 (very often) that your inner thoughts include the following sentence starters:
1. Good job! Well-done! or an equivalently positive self-evaluation.
2. I'd like to ... (and then you do it)
3. Why did I do that?! That was dumb (or a similarly deprecating word).
4. I should .... (followed by something that you don't want to do but feel you have to)...
5. I shouldn't have ... (followed by something you did)
6. What if ...(followed by a possible bad thing that could happen)?
7. He/she/they probably think I'm ...(followed by a negative description of yourself)
How to score:
Well-being: Add together your scores on 1 and 2. If they add up to 6 or higher you probably enjoy frequent feelings of well-being.
Appreciating good that you have done is uplifting. Being able to identify what you want to do and then doing it also sustains well-being.
Depression: Add together your scores on 3, 4 and 5. If they add up to higher than 3, the odds are that your thinking habits put you at risk for depression.
Name-calling with negative labels for yourself will knock you down.
Seeing the world as having many shoulds invites caving in to what you really don't want to do.
Criticizing yourself after the fact with arbitrary shoulds and shouldn't haves similarly sets you up for feel down. Better to switch the sh to a c: I could, or I could have...
Anxiety: Add together your scores on 6 and 7. If they add up to higher than 2, odds are you may be prone to anxiety. Thinking ahead and envisioning negative scenarios that you then begin to believe will really happen creates worry and anxiety. So does thinking about what other people think about you.
Better to keep your thoughts in the present. Focus ahead to make actual plans of action for dealing with an up-coming potentially problematic situation. Otherwise, better to focus on what you are doing now rather than on how future events might go wrong.
In general, the higher your scores for each category, the more likely it is that you subconsciously invite that mood in your life.
------------------------(c) Susan Heitler, PhD------------------------------------------------------
Want to learn more about the causes and cures for negative emotions? Dr. Heitler has written Prescriptions Without Pills, a guide to preventing and relieving depression, anger, and anxiety—and to inviting and sustaining feelings of well-being.