The negative self-talk habit — or any habit for that matter — can never be eliminated. It will always be hiding someplace in our brain, ready to jump into action when triggered by an old cue; just as you don’t forget how to ride a bicycle. Even when we’ve established a solid replacement habit, for example realistic thinking, problem-solving thinking, detachment, the old, lurking NST habit can outshout the new self-talk habit.
What to do when that happens, as it will? Quickly and briefly divert yourself with reading, writing, a walk, music, a difficult work task or fun-for-you home task. Gardening, cooking, shopping online for a new duvet, playing cards with your kids? Let the NST go as fast as you can. No reason to revisit the thoughts. It’s bound to happen so just do what you can to make it a short glitch.
Jeremy Dean’s book on habits, Making Habits, Breaking Habits, which I’ve blogged about previously, told me something about the brain and patterns that I didn’t know when I started this blog and developed the subject of “Eliminate Negative Self-Talk.” I’ll have to review that category — and maybe eliminate the eliminate negative self-talk posts or find a different way to categorize them!