Taming the Inner Voice: Practice these Simple Things. Have you ever noticed that little voice inside your head, constantly narrating your life? That inner voice can be both your best friend and your worst enemy.
Ethan Kross, a psychologist and professor at the University of Michigan once said: “The inner voice is a multipurpose tool, like a Swiss Army knife of life,” The problem is it doesn’t come with a user manual, and that monologue with yourself can become harsh, self-critical and unhelpful, he added.
It’s important to recognize that our inner voice is a reflection of our past experiences, fears, and society’s expectations. But here’s the catch: it doesn’t have to define us.
By adopting a practice of self-awareness and positive self-talk, we can begin to transform that inner critic into our biggest cheerleader.
“If you have the awareness that you have this very debilitating, toxic negative self-talk and you have the intention to change it and you’re diligent and disciplined to tackle it, it will change,” said Ph.D. Melinda Fouts, author of “Cognitive Enlightenment: A Disciplining of Your Mind.”
Taming the Inner Voice: Practice these Simple Things.
Getting to know and challenge this “voice” is one of the most essential psychological hurdles we can overcome in striving to live our version of our best life. For our real self to win out over our anti-self, we have to understand how our inner voices operate. Where do they come from? What’s their purpose? How can we tap into our real, positive sense of self, while quieting our critical inner voice?
We can start by understanding one major concept: we are, in many ways, ruled by our past. From the moment we’re born, we absorb the world around us. The early attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors we were exposed to can become an inner dialogue, affecting how we see ourselves and others. For example, the positive behavior and qualities of our parents or early caretakers helped us form a positive sense of self as well as many of our values. If we felt love, acceptance, or compassion directed toward us, this nurtured our real selves and the positive feelings we have about who we are in the world.
However, the critical attitudes and negative experiences we withstood formed and fueled our anti-self. Early rejections and harmful ways of relating affect a child’s budding self-perception, not to mention their point of view toward other people and relationships in general. These impressions become the voices in our heads.
Before we jump into the practice, let’s take a moment to understand why taming our inner voice is so important. Our inner voice is the culmination of our past experiences, memories, and beliefs. It often manifests as self-criticism, doubt, and negative self-talk. When left unattended, this voice can become a constant source of anxiety, stress, and self-doubt, hindering our personal growth and overall happiness.
So, how can we begin the journey of taming our inner voice? Well, my friends, it starts with awareness. Awareness is the key to understanding and managing our thoughts and emotions.
So, let’s begin with a simple exercise called “Mindful Breathing”.Find a quiet place where you can sit comfortably. Close your eyes, take a deep breath in, and exhale slowly. Notice the sensation of your breath as it enters and exits your body.
Pay attention to the rise and fall of your belly. Each time your thoughts wander, gently bring your focus back to your breath. Practice this for just a few minutes every day, and you’ll notice a significant reduction in the noise of your inner voice.
Now that we’ve built some awareness through mindful breathing, let’s move on to the next exercise – “Thought Labeling”. This practice helps us to detach from our thoughts and observe them without judgment.
During your day, whenever you notice your inner voice popping up, try to put a label on it. For example, if you notice self-criticism, label it as “self-judgment.” If you catch yourself worrying about something, label it as “anxiety.” This simple act of labeling helps create distance between us and our thoughts, preventing them from overwhelming us.
Taming the Inner Voice: Practice these Simple Things.
Moving forward on our journey to tame the inner voice, let’s dive into “Cultivating Self-Compassion”. One of the most powerful practices we can employ is treating ourselves with kindness and compassion, just as we would do for a close friend. Me: When the inner voice becomes harsh and critical, take a moment to pause, take a deep breath, and remind yourself that you are only human. Treat yourself with the same gentleness and understanding you would show to someone you love. This shift in perspective can do wonders in quieting that inner critic and fostering self-acceptance.
Finally, to round up our practice, let’s talk about the benefits of incorporating a “Gratitude Practice” into our daily routine. Practicing gratitude helps shift our focus from what’s going wrong to what’s going right. By consciously acknowledging and appreciating the positive aspects of our lives, we can calm our inner voice and bring more joy into our days.
Every evening, before bed, take a few minutes to write down three things you are grateful for that day.
Seek out the small moments of joy, the acts of kindness, and the blessings in disguise. Watch how a simple shift in perspective positively impacts your inner dialogue and overall well-being.
To conclude, Remember, taming the inner voice is an ongoing journey, so be patient, kind, and persistent with yourself. By incorporating these practices into your daily routine, you’ll be able to cultivate a positive mindset, enhance your self-confidence, and ultimately manifest the life you truly deserve. Together, we can conquer our inner obstacles and thrive!
Thanks for reading…