Hello, old voice. I know you well, whispering in my ear negative thoughts to dwell on, hurling insult after insult and maintaining that it’s truth. No matter how I prove you wrong, you still return, insisting I am worthless and ugly.
This voice might sound familiar to everybody, but for some it can become overwhelming, causing divergence from one’s path to happiness and success.
It’s true that happy people achieve more, which means there’s value in learning how to deal with these dangerous voices that drag us down.
Here are some tricks to lift your spirits.
Recognize the voice. This may seem small, this may seem silly, but simply recognizing that your thoughts are just that… thoughts… and not reality, is the first step in changing your tune. People tend to automatically label their thoughts as truth, but they aren’t.
When you start to feel down, analyze the real reason why- it’s typically not an event, but the way you feel about the event, which all comes down to the thoughts you have. When you learn how to recognize when your negative thoughts are taking over, you can dismantle them instead of letting them ruin your entire day, month or year.
Realize the voice is there to help. Sure, the negative voices in your head might try to destroy you, but if you ever take the time to dig deeper you’ll find that it’s just your brain trying to protect you.
For instance, we feel fear of failure, which makes us doubt ourselves. Our minds will belittle us; tell us that we’re incapable of achieving our dreams and goals. In reality, our bodies are intentionally scaring us because our instincts are to survive, and to survive we mustn’t take risks because taking risks isn’t the safest option.
Once you realize that, your negative thoughts become… kind of cute?
Say hello to the voice. The goal isn’t to get rid of the voices completely because, as mentioned above, they actually serve a purpose. If you make that your goal, then when the voices inevitably come creeping back, it’s just another thing you can punish yourself for failing at.
Instead, hear it out and let it go. Maybe laugh at it a little, at the absurdity of its proposals. Question it, definitely.
But remember, no matter how real it feels, no matter how good it becomes at claiming it’s the truth, the only power the voice possesses is the power you give it.