Mental Health

Saying No to Negative Self-Talk

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In recovery, we spend many hours in our own heads with negative self-talk. Thinking, analyzing, asking questions, and recapitulating past actions and events over and over. Throughout these hours in our own heads, our thoughts construct a mental reality different from the physical world. These thoughts control our actions.

Self-criticism and an obsession with moral integrity is a constant in my mind. These two fixations constrain my actions toward myself and others.

The mental belittlement from believing the words “cannot,” “will not,” and “should not” causes my body to block my internal and external surroundings.

I retreat into a shell of self-pity and doubt. The more I tell myself I have no patience, the more I act impatient. When I make jokes about being “stupid” or “slow,” over time I believe these words. And when I feel unable to cope with recovery, relapsing thoughts form.

By reinforcing negative thoughts, I am giving up on self-worth, giving up on chances of growth and giving in to cowardice.

This self-talk is unhealthy and detrimental to all parts of recovery.

Like fear, negatively churns inside, barricading love from entering our souls. When there is no love inwards, love cannot radiate outwards. Love comes manifold when we are at peace. It comes when we understand how accepting change fosters growth. It comes when we convince our brains to change directions even though it brings us short-term discourse. Love comes when we say yes to “I can” and “I will.” For when we say yes to empowering opportunities, we say yes to life.

With this knowledge, we realize we have the power to choose what we wish to negate from our lives.

We can resist the mistrusts, the doubts, and the lies. We can say no to living in the past and its twisted rituals. We can say no to selfishness.

We can say no to avoidance of new circumstance due to irrational fear.

When we understand why we are choosing to say yes instead of no, we act stronger to the yes and positive energy radiates past ourselves, into the present moment and into the real world. Because everyone is interconnected with each other, this positivity will reach another being’s heart and soul, generating love to all we interact with.

When we discern reality from imagination, we realize how sadness and suffering are as necessary as peace and hope.

Every day in recovery from depression, anxiety, eating disorders, or any hurdles life throws at us, we are asked to push ourselves physically and mentally. And it is not enough to just cross the finish line. We must take one step further for this final push is our gateway in becoming strong men and women.

Saying “I can’t make this final push” is equivalent to saying “I can’t accept happiness and calm.” When we train our minds to believe in our strengths and accept our worth as individuals deserving of happiness, calmness, friendship, and peace, we are accepting our role in humanity.

Through understanding and trusting our minds, we permit these beautiful feelings into our lives.

We see past our limitations by listening to our soul’s compass of knowledge, love, and peace. We allow ourselves to hold loving, committed relationships, to seek an understanding of the world, and to find these fundamental truths in ourselves and in others.

By accepting our thoughts, we accept our path. We accept all emotions without negating any of them; we let sadness and fear merge with peace and hope to create one truth. It is in this truth where we say yes to recovery.


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