a friend at dinner this week told me she’d heard on npr (how many great dinner conversations start with ‘I heard on npr? the answer: so many) that an average of 89% of our internal monologue is negative.
i don’t know if that’s specifically negative self-talk, like ‘you’re not good enough’, ‘you’re fat’, you’re less than…, you’re dumb, you’re guilty…. you should be ashamed…. you did this to yourself…. you don’t deserve any better (clearly, i speak this language fluently).
or just negative thoughts – about your perception of others, about a situation or an experience.
i imagine it’s both, but what a number right? 90% of our convos with ourself are negative.
there’s this voice, living in our head, just constantly laying down the negs, and in turn, filtering our whole experience of life through nastiness. it’s no freaking wonder LIFE IS HARD. i have like the worst friend ever that never shuts up about how nothing is right. in my head. i would literally never choose my head friend if were manifested in another body. she’s terrible.
so I’m trying to recognize this whole thing going on. notice when the negative monologue is happening. and stop it, even just for a sec, or better yet, change it every so often. say something affirmative, something encouraging. something caring. something reasonable, and real and kind and based in facts.
it’s hard. it’s been part of my programming for decades – to talk down to myself. to try so hard to get others to love me because i’m getting a big fat zero in the self-love department — i feed my needy ego some scraps to get a little something, but caring for myself – actually developing a relationship with myself that’s loving. and healthy. and protective. all new. brand freaking new.
it does work when you can interrupt the negative voice. it just feels better. this helps me make changes –when you can’t argue with results. our brains just want to be pleased, and if you can prove to the brain it feels better to go easy on yourself rather than degrade yourself, it’s going to start pushing for that. and how nice, some help! LIFE GETS BETTER. not easier. still hard. but the work is more rewarding, less toiling.
wouldn’t it be nice to toil less this year. that would be something.
also found this nyt article an interesting read on the subject. and would love to know your thoughts and experiences with this. enjoy your weekend times!