Tag Archive | Self-Help

The Bavardage of My Mind

” bavardage” IE; chat, talking, gossiping, chitchat, dialog, prattle
I have had an occasion of late to have a lot of down-time. A LOT of down equated for me to be almost zero writing.
Consequently because I didn’t have the outlet and release that I typically find in writing I found instead that I was filled with self-chatter. Thoughts not shared out loud soon became a bounty of negatives and defeating self-talk. To get out of my head, away from my thoughts I started reading about the dynamics of inner dialogue.

That self chatter, self-talk, inner chatter, on-going self dialog, the inner voice,  that which echoes in our heads.

I think everyone does it. 

 From the very second of our birth we begin having interactions with our surrounding environments. and absorbing information. We learn and grow by connecting to and relating to the encounters with others and events that happen around us. In short order we become creatures of habit and we develop into the unique personalities that make us who we are.
Science has demonstrated that our brains retain every single thing we ever are exposed to. Everything we saw, heard, talked over, read, touched, tasted and smelled. Our brain like a huge data base retains it all. True that we might not always be aware or even have access to all the archived details, but this is really protective, it would be mind-blowing if not.
No matter the experience, good or bad, its recorded in our brains. These are the details that lend to our individualism and have a direct impact on our thinking, and in the ways we interact with our environment.
Learning and adapting includes developing the self talk we come to rely on. We learn early on to have theses chats with ourselves.
Eventually we learn our self-chatting becomes our normal way of processing life.
Acknowledging that we create patterns of self-chatter is realizing that literally we learn to hold conversations with ourselves and that becomes habitual. If we recognize that anything we practice on a routine basis becomes an aspect of our behaviors we can see our self-chatter is no different.
Without suggesting that all negative self-talk is toxic our internal dialog however can create irrational expectations, burdens, and stress. If we are not mindful of this dialog taking a negative spin through our mind it can have negative consequences impacting our lives.
Internally reminding ourselves of an appointment is how we stay at task., but when the self-chatter becomes judgmental and negative, it can be self-destructive.
With frequent negative chatter it begins reinforcing and feeding our self-limiting beliefs, creating deeper problems when the sub-conscious mind wants to please and protect. Our subconscious takes everything we say as truth, it cannot differentiate between facts & falsehoods. So to not create conflict within we tend to affirm all the self-chatter whether it is negative or positive.
We create a vicious cycle which I love to refer to as my squirrel cage effect. 

My Squirrel Cage equation looks like this: Negative self-talk + persistence habits = limiting self-beliefs.

We create such behaviors and the sad news is this can be self-defeating, which can result in reinforcing the very behavior which leads to more negative thoughts, and as a result creates yet more negative self-chatter. That’s the Squirrel Cage cage effect

Round and round…here we go.

Our self-talk has a rebound effect on our moods, thoughts, emotions, behaviors & actions. So… the great news is with the realization that we humans are all intelligent beings and with great reflections and brutal honesty with ourselves we all have the ability to ‘reprogram’ our thoughts for better results. We have free will and we are continually evolving as the world keeps on turning.

Our brains are intelligent and like people friendly computers, operating systems with powerful interfaces that can help us navigate and liberate our internal world.  Since our brains function 24/7 there is a constant live stream of subtle chatter feeding our emotions. 

Stop and listen purposely to that inner dialogue.

What is it telling you?

With awareness beginning to identify the inner dialogue and the self-limiting chatter we might see that the negative self-chatting can actually harm emotionally. By changing instead to that which is self-affirming and positive reinforcements we can reprogram our internal dialogue.

Learning the art to separate yourself from self-defeating thoughts is life affirming. I have been practicing yoga & meditation for more years than I will ever admit to and I know the power our minds if we become mindful of where we let our thoughts take us. So with that in mind I created a list of purposeful driven actions that with practice can get me out of that negative head space of self chatter.

Out of the Bavardage of my mind.

I share my suggested thoughts as examples of what I find works for me, this does not mean it will work for everyone, but maybe it will start some thoughts on the subject.

  • Awareness
Going to a place where I won’t be interrupted, and I can relax . Only observing what goes on within my mind without trying to rid, alter, or direct my thoughts in any way. Becoming just an observer while I allow the dialogue to run wild
  • Analyze
Taking time to analyze if there is any truth to my inner negative chatting can allow myself to become more aware.  Questioning if I actually believe what ”self” is telling me.

I am finding as I practice this that while I dissect my negative self-chat I am able to re-examine my reality, and I can see the opportunities for improving and changing my beliefs when appropriate.
  • Determination
  • Now that I have become more mindful and aware of this internal dialogue on a regular basis the next purposeful goal is to become determined to find a way to distract and stop the “tapes” from running through my thoughts. Creating a buzz word for myself has helped. I use the term “Whoa it up” but basically it is being determined to tell myself  to stop  the chatter, to say “NO” each time I catch myself.  A more dramatic and therapeutic measure I have heard others use is to wear a rubber band on the wrist which can be snapped on the skin each time there is a discovery of negative chatter. I’ve heard the term “Stinking Thinking” The point is to find what works for you.
  • Self-Affirmations

    Realize that just simply trying to turn the negative inner dialogue off as it floods our thoughts is the first step to changing the negative to positive. But by just substituting the negative self-talk with something else is only a short-term fix. Our minds tend to revert right back to the original offending thought once we let go of the attempted distraction. Instead I now let the negative chatter pass through my mind without giving it any weight of importance.

    Practice being at ready to affirm yourselves with positive statements of self-affirming internal dialogue.

{ Positive Self-Affirmation Examples )

And finally; to aid in bolstering these self-affirming thought

  • Visualization and Focus

While stating our chosen affirmation visualize being in the exact situation or circumstances in the mind’s eye. Visualize living with integrity, see the beauty in that the you are good enough just as you are. Experience the feeling of peacefulness by imagining where that is for you. Focus on that image for a few minutes. be mindful and enjoy the feelings it causes, breathe in deeply… and exhale slowly.

Our automatic nature or our auto-pilot if you will, can make it challenging to change our negative self-chatter;  but the good news is that false beliefs and cognitive distortions of our truths are learned behaviors and that very fact means we CAN learn to change our negative defeating talk. That realization for me has helped return the power of my thinking to being mindful with the results being far less of that self-defeating chatter is being discussed with my ‘Self’ 

To Jump start the process of positive self-affirmations included below is a borrowed list of affirmations. My hope is that one or more might resonate with you and give you a head start to developing your own personal list. Write them down and place them where you will see them often for reinforcement.

  • I am Successful,  Healthy and Happy.
  • I am grateful to life for all that I have received till now and for all that I will be receiving in the future.
  • I can do it.
  • I feel good about myself and about everybody around me.
  • All is well. Everything that is happening is as it is meant to be.
  • The past is gone. I live only in the present.
  • I love myself unconditionally and accept myself as I am.

I’ve been actively practicing “my process” long enough now to understand the power of words we say to ourselves.  Be kind to your Self, understand that what you tell yourself impacts your Self.