Are You Listening?

It dawned on me some years ago, that all the communication courses I had ever been on,  were how to communicate more effectively with others, not me. We know effective communication is needed to have meaningful relationships with others and yet the one person we are with the whole time, the relationship we have no escape from is sort of ignored as if not really important.

We know that much of how we feel at any given time is created by our thoughts, our internal chat. Research also suggests that if we are being mean or self-critical, our threat system doesn’t distinguish from it being us or another, and will activate our stress response.

Equally, if we talk to ourselves in a soothing tone, we activate our safe and being system and feel calmer.   In other words, or in your own words, the first step in leading a happier, calmer and healthier life, is becoming aware of how you are with you.

“Talk to Yourself, like you would someone you Love” Brene Brown”

So, do you know how and what you are communicating with yourself? How do you talk to yourself? Do you know? Are you aware that you do, talk to yourself and yes, for those of you who just told yourself that you don’t talk to yourself, you just did!

The first step is noticing and paying attention to your to your self talk. Are you aware of the impact that your self-talk has on how you feel in any given moment of your life? Do you know that the volume, the tone, the speed and the timbre of the voice is as responsible for how you feel as the words, arguably even more so?

What would it be like, if just for today, you listened, really listened to the conversation in your head. Paying attention to how you talk to yourself when you make a mistake, trip over, drop something, get dressed, look at yourself in the mirror? Is it how you would talk to someone you love? Would you say what you say to yourself, to someone else? If someone else said what you said to you, how would you feel?

So:

  • Pay attention to what you are saying to yourself.
  • Notice how and what you are saying leaves you feeling
  • Would you talk that way to your best friend, is it helpful?
  • If not, then say what you would say to your best friend, to you and notice what you notice when you do.

and be curious and have some fun with it:

  • note down some of what you say to yourself, paying attention to how you have said it.
  • Take one sentence and be curious about what changes when you change how you say it.
  • For instance… Say it in a very slow and boring tone, a very excited tone, a soothing tone or a sleepy tone

You probably notice, that how you feel changes, and yet the words have stayed the same.  When you realise now, that you have a sort of magic wand, that you can choose the way you talk to yourself and change how you feel in the heart beat.

What would it be like, if you chose today, to pay attention and talk to yourself as if you were talking to a best friend, and be curious about what you notice.

Be kind always,

Helen

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