We all talk to ourselves. Some of us mumble quietly, some of us mutter out loud. But the wheels are always turning in our minds. We all experience internal chatter. Our inner dialogue is nothing more then a reflection of our thoughts and our thoughts create our reality.
Getting a handle on our self talk is one of the most powerful things that we can do for ourselves. Our internal conversations can cheer us on or sabotage us. We constantly speak to our selves about: ourselves, others and the world around us. We are always gathering information, making assessments and using internal discourse to validate our experience and beliefs.
When it comes down to it, our internal dialogue is simply the process of forming thoughts. Our thoughts are nothing more then words and visual representations (the pictures we form in our minds). Unfortunately, many people have internal dialogue that feels out of control and unhealthy.
When we are not in charge of our self talk, our well being can suffer on all levels. Our thinking affects our mind, body and spirit. In addition, when our internal dialogue is unhealthy it “leaks” out into our interactions and relationships with others. We pass on the results of poor internal dialogue on to our children, spouses, friends, co-workers etc.
Plenty of emotional damage can be traced back to unhealthy internal dialogue…undisciplined and runaway self talk that becomes toxic.Thanks to “The Secret,” and other alternative teachings, most people have a basic understanding that our thoughts are powerful. Plenty of people know the importance of being “positive” however; we can see that most people’s understanding is pretty superficial.
What most people do not fully appreciate is that our runaway thoughts are programming our subconscious mind through their intensity and through repetition. Our subconscious mind is the very core of our being:
-it takes care of every cell in our body.
-It is the seat of our identity and it stores our memories
The subconscious is very literal; it does not question what you tell it. That is the job of the conscious mind, to analyze and reach cause and effect conclusions. The subconscious mind is a servo-mechanism, we give it a GOAL and it goes for it.
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The goal given to the subconscious mind through self talk can be a good thing or not, the subconscious mind does not make judgements. We can give it commands through our internal dialogue that have the potential to bring us great joy or make us feel physically sick.
Often clients will come to sessions hoping to still their minds and quiet the internal chatter. The internal dialogue can sometimes feel out of control. There is often an intense desire to be able to pull a switch that will just turn off the thoughts.
Often people who experience difficulties with sleep will complain about not being able to shut off their minds and still the inner chatter. People who are sick often and/or who experience feelings of being overwhelmed seem to have internal dialogue that feels out of control.
The truth is that our internal dialogue IS very powerful and it IS within the control of the majority of people. Experiential hypnosis and nlp (collaborative, hands on) can be a powerful method for coming to terms with the power of self talk. Once we begin to understand the subconscious mind and develop a respect for its power we realize that we MUST take charge of our internal dialogue. Since the subconscious mind takes care of our well being we must develop THOUGHT HABITS that are consistent with what we want.
It takes some discipline to develop new internal dialogue or thought habits, but it can be done. We do this through training, repetition, engaging the senses and when this is practiced at both the conscious and subconscious level, new thought habits can be formed. Like anything, once we have a framework or system it becomes easier.
Managing our internal dialogue is much more realistic then aiming to stop our thoughts. Interrupting unhealthy internal dialogue and replacing it makes more sense then trying to turn off our minds. Even when we are asleep our subconscious mind continues to do its thing, playing out and processing information from the day.
Here is a challenge for you…take a day or two and begin to pay attention to your inner dialogue. Don’t censor it, just become aware of it. It can be quite an eye opening experience. You may be surprise by how negative you are about yourself, others and the world around you.
Negative internal dialogue sets up to FEEL negative emotionally. The thought comes first and then the feeling! Try asking yourself what you were just thinking when you get a feeling you don’t like. Chances are that the thought wasn’t very uplifting. You can analyze it or you can just change it. Yes, change the thought. Yes, it can be that easy with a little practice. What is the alternative? Some people do choose to continue the day (or life) with the negative frame of mind. They are certainly entitled to do those as long as it is not infringing on others.