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Reflection in the mirror: a brief guide to overcoming negative self talk


We all have an internal voice inside our head that determines how we view situations and ourselves. This inner voice is what psychologists call “self talk”: conscious, as well as unconscious assumptions and beliefs.

Self talk can be reasonable and rational, but it can also be negative and downright mean!


Here are some ideas for overcoming negative self talk about your appearance:

QUESTIONING NEGATIVE BELIEFS: Ask yourself: what is the evidence and reality behind my thoughts about my body? As you start to say something negative in your head, say aloud, “STOP.” Saying it aloud will make you more aware of it.

FINDING ALTERNATIVE EXPLANATIONS: If I were in a good mood, what might I say about my appearance today? We all have good days and bad days. Don’t let a bad mood get in the way of your self-worth.

PUTTING IT ALL IN PERSPECTIVE: I am my own worst critic when it comes to my appearance. One goal is to experience my body as a whole, not in separate parts, i.e. my thighs, arms, legs, etc. Perfection does not exist in real life; why am I holding myself up to that standard then?

REDIRECTING MY NEGATIVE THINKING: How would I like to feel about my body and appearance? What can I do today to compliment myself? Instead of focusing on what I don’t like or would like to change about myself, what aspects about myself am I proud of? Write that down on a piece of paper and put on the mirror as a reminder of how unique and beautiful you are!

We grow so accustomed to our negative beliefs about ourselves that we are unable to see the beauty we possess. Go ahead, challenge yourself. Question your beliefs, find alternative explanations for your thoughts, put it all in perspective, and make goals so that redirecting your thinking will become second nature. You are on your way to a healthier, more confident you.