Where’s the off switch?

There it is again, the negative voice inside your head is rattling on and on and it’s forgotten to make even one tiny nice comment. This persistent and often repetitive chatterbox is a fabulous liar and at some unknown moment it hid its off switch from you so that it could talk drivel to you uninterrupted and make you feel as special as stale bread.

Here are some effective tips from our community:

1. Don’t indulge in debates with your chatterbox, the trick is to ask yourself deep down if it’s telling the truth or a lie and smile. There’s no law that says the chattering has to be listened to so let it prattle on and smile, that’ll confuse it and relax you at the same time.

2. Trying to drown your chatterbox out can make it seem louder so don’t consciously do anything, just work around it.
Remind yourself that if someone told you that you were a ten foot tall polka dotted monster you’d call it nonsense. Treat negative thoughts in the same way and the volume should go down naturally.

3. Negativity forgets to be grateful. Depression and anxiety often mean living in the unwelcome land of self criticism, denial and a lack of hope. To combat this why not make a list of 5-10 things that you are grateful for? Dig deep, and it doesn’t have to be anything gargantuan like being in a peaceful country. You may have point number one as a loving family or friend and point ten as a sweet juicy strawberry that you enjoyed.

4. The chatterbox has a habit of trying to convince you that you’re a victim with no hope and no future. Remember, the chatterbox provided free with most mental illnesses is a big fat liar.

5. No one is perfect. That would make us a higher power, we are fallible humans. We learn by our mistakes and that makes us stronger. Not giving up is strength.

6. Unfortunately, if you measure success in terms of property, job titles, salaries, holidays, cars and designer labels then this is called the “worth thinking error” and one that you can override by looking at life from a different angle. Happiness should come from within you and not from external factors.

7. Our negative chatterbox often uses absolute language, also known as all or nothing thinking, plus mind reading and our brains are intelligent enough to respond with a proportionate response.

e.g. Everyone thinks I’m stupid. Everyone is over 6.5 billion people, the world’s population, as your brain understands it. Also, are you a mind reader? How do you know what people are thinking? They’re probably mulling over what to have for dinner or T.V. choices.

Pin up positive quotes and reminders about how to think and surround yourself with positive people as much as you can. Thoughts become words, words become actions and remember that your chatterbox can be quietened down with positivity, despite what it tells you.

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