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Talk to yourself like you would a stranger for better mental health.

A stranger? How can I do that when I know myself so well? Well, it's better to mentally treat yourself like a stranger than to punish yourself when things don't go just right. If someone asked you for directions, would you tell them they are stupid for getting lost or would you remain calm and help them find their way? Why is it easier to be kind to strangers than it is to be kind to ourselves?

Yep, we are consciously and subconsciously harder on ourselves than we probably should be and one of the easiest ways to do is to this is to use negative self talk. Luckily for you, once you be come more aware of that sneaky negative self talk, you can start to rephrase your thoughts and be more kind to yourself using positive self talk. But how do you do that?

First take notice of when you use negative self talk. Listen to what you tell yourself. If you hear yourself thinking "I'm an idiot, I messed up again", "I can't do this.", or "I can never get my house clean." you are using negative self talk. You can bash that negative self talk by, most importantly, recognizing that you do it. Okay, then what?

After you hear yourself using negative self talk, immediately try to rephrase your thoughts by using positive phrases like "I can fix this.", " I can do this." or "I'll start today and do a small section at a time." If words like that don't come to you quick enough start with "I'm okay" or "It will be okay'" and say it every time those negative thoughts come. When that gets easy, then start rephrasing with positive thoughts. It takes work, but eventually you will start to hear less and less negative thoughts.

If those negative thoughts start to creep back in, ask yourself "Would I say that to a friend, loved one or even a stranger?". Be your own "friend" or "loved one" and be kind to yourself.

If you find that there are too many negative thoughts, please reach out to a mental health provider, because you are worth it!

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