By Dr. Pamula Mills - Published Monday, March, 20, 2017
Some time ago, I was asked by a curious student if it is fine to talk to oneself. I told her that I did not know a better way to stay in touch with self. I informed her that not only do I talk to myself, but I answer myself and I even role play with myself.
It is a fact that it does not matter who we are, there are time in our lives we experience feelings of fear, doubt, loneliness and grief. These feelings are usually associated with pain and anguish. Sometimes the pain can become so overwhelming, that it may require some strong refocusing to get back on the path. The most vulnerable times tend to occur when we are alone. This is the time when self-talk is most beneficial.
Self-talk is that personal conversation that you have with yourself. The paragraphs can be rehearsed, structured and recited; or they can be impulsive, pure and extemporaneous. Ideally, self-talks are motivational, inspiring, uplifting, confirming and positive. Conversely, self-talks can be deflating, destructive, guilt ridden and negative. Some people learn to self-talk in a formal manner, while others learn through experience. Whatever talks one has with self, strengthens the belief system and are greatly related to the action (s) that follow.
Self-talk is particularly significant when one experiences difficult times in his/her life. In reality, no matter how much others are concerned with our well-being, no one is around us every minute of our lives; there are many hours that we spend alone. It is usually during these times that self-doubt, anxiety and fear are pervasive. No human being can define or experience our despair, often resulting in panic. In the natural, we are with ourselves, by ourselves and this can be a scary time.
Hence, we have to do for ourselves, what no one else can; we have to believe in our strength and abilities. We should be able to bring ourselves to a place of peace, calm and hope using self-talk. The aim therefore, is to make self-talks so encouraging, that we are able to believe our words. Here are seven ways to perfect self-talks:
1. Never forget that we can only do some things from self, but all things through God
2. Develop a self-talk strategy, before there is crisis
3. Make your self-talk with positive, believable words
4. Talk to yourself daily. Listen to yourself, as well
5. Practice your self-talk in the mirror
6. Study motivational quotes
7. Begin and end all talks with gratitude.
In case you are wondering what role playing is and how it works, it is a higher form of self-talk, where you can become completely transparent with self and you are able to walk in the shoes of another. These types of self-talk usually culminate in forgiveness.
POINT TO PONDER: The more I talk to myself, the better I am able to understand me. Askdoctorpam is a column that appears in this journal every week. Your letters and comments are encouraged. You may email your letters or comments to askdoctorpam, or write to Askdoctorpam P.O. Box F43736. Dr. Pam is a Clinical Psychologist trained in all areas of mental health.
Published Monday, March, 20, 2017