HOW TO STOP NEGATIVE SELF TALK (with a free workbook!)

It is truly amazing how much time I spend {in my head} somewhere other than right here….. in the now.

Can you relate?

When I am feeling anxious, I am typically living in the future rather than the present.

When I am angry, I’m most certainly spending way too much time in the past.

Whether it was ten minutes ago in the past or two hours from now in the future, it is stealing my joy and not improving my disposition or health, and it’s 100% keeping me from being aware of the right here and right now.

So why would I want to remain there? Well, if I’m honest, it’s probably because there’s something about the right now that I’m avoiding or it could be that I have become just so comfortable living in this space of negativity that it’s just my go-to and a big old ugly habit that I need to do some hard work with in order for it to change.

In either case, I can do something about it, and that begins with making some intentional choices about what type of conversation I am going to allow to go on in my head.

Even if it’s uncomfortable, even if it feels weird, even if it doesn’t come naturally, I do have the power to take my thoughts captive and set them on a different course…and so do YOU!

If, in the moment, you are able to stop and consciously choose how you want to think (positively), then you can make a positive difference or better handle situations and people…. including whether or not you allow negative self-talk to take over.

HOW TO STOP NEGATIVE SELF-TALK (with a free workbook!)

Think of a recent situation that caused you to be anxious…. maybe you’re even anxious right now. Consider for a moment what you could do right now to relieve some of your anxiety. If you can do something, do it! Even if that means you put this article away and take care of that task, pray, or take action… do it!

However, if you can’t do anything about the situation, circumstance or person you’re anxious about, you can intentionally let it go until you can act, reflect, or change your situation. Forget your knee-jerk (habitual) response of getting worried. Consider breaking the habit so you can reduce or get rid of your negative emotions. A great place to start to change these habits is to pay attention to the conversations you have in your head.

Listen to the chatter that others can’t hear going on in your mind…but you can. Think about the last time you got anxious. I’m sure that if you tuned into the running dialogue in your head, you would hear fear-based comments. I know these comments start flying around in my head when I am overwhelmed with work. If I let you listen in, you’d hear comments like:

“Meg, you’ll never get this all done. You’re going to end up disappointing your clients. Or, you’ll be so focused on this that your family is going to be mad that you don’t have time for them and you’ll be cranky with them.”

You get the idea.

I have learned that I HAVE TO stop the negative chatter or I end up in a nervous spiral that’s almost impossible to stop. If you can relate, you are most certainly also aware that identifying self-talk can sometimes be tricky because it’s so automatic, you might not even be aware of what’s going on in your  own mind.


Intentionally working on your self-talk is so important in being full of joy and living a balanced life. When staying in the present, it is so much easier to say positive, supportive and proactive chatter to yourself, which can help you focus on what is right in front of you and give it all you’ve got! If you find yourself going too far backward or forwards, come back to the present and decide what you can do and what you want to say to yourself, so you do not feel like a victim or someone who is out of control. It is important to learn from the past and plan for the future. However, it is unproductive to stay out of the present for too long and miss what is right in front of you.

How do YOU combat negative self-talk? What helps you stay in the present? Let’s continue this conversation in the comments below…

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