Stop Negative Self-Talk Using Hypnotherapy
Definition of Negative Self-Talk
Once upon a time, people were thought “crazy” if they talked to themselves out loud. Perhaps it was thought to be a sign of schizophrenia, which remains a mental illness of great complexity and mystery, for both clinicians and the public at large.
Because of this, many hid (and perhaps still do) the fact that they talk to themselves out loud (publically or privately) at least on occasion, as if they were addressing another person. Sometimes, it’s an outburst expressing frustration or displeasure with one’s actions; sometimes to give oneself encouragement, congratulations, or praise. In either case, such self-talk is acceptable and no real cause for concern.
Talking to oneself silently or “in one’s head,” occurs much more frequently, sometimes as an ongoing, day-to-day chatter. When it is positive, providing encouragement and reinforcement, it serves a worthwhile purpose, contributing to self-reliance, self-esteem and a healthy self-image. In contrast, frequent or chronic negative self-talk, tends to be hurtful, damaging, and difficult to control. It is both a symptom and a contributing cause of low self-esteem and a poor self-image.
Causes of Negative Self-Talk
Negative self-talk typically begins early in a child’s life when parental instruction predominantly involves criticizing and punishing negative behavior in a way that is harsh, angry, and sometimes abusive. In dysfunctional families, parents who suffered emotional abuse as children themselves will often use name calling such as “Fatty” or “Stupid” or put downs such as “No one would ever want a girl like you” or “What did I do to deserve such an ungrateful son?”.
Since youngsters tend to model their parents’ behavior, it is not surprising that these children become highly critical, negative self-talkers. That many adults report that their internal negative self-talk has the voice of one of their parents tends to corroborate this theory.
Not every person afflicted by negative self-talk grew up with negative parents. The behavior can develop in response to the severely negative comments of a teacher or coach, the abuse of a playground bully, or a sibling’s verbal attack.
For many, the negative self-talk subsides during periods of accomplishment, celebration, or good fortune, but resumes when triggered by an occurrence or a series of setbacks in career, finances, or relationships.
Symptoms of Negative Self-Talk
The following list includes common behavior that involves negative self-talk. If you exhibit some, many, or all of these, you would likely benefit from hypnotherapy to stop negative self-talk.
- Using derogatory labels to refer to yourself
- Telling yourself you deserve to be punished, unloved, or rejected
- Accusing yourself of being responsible for everything that goes wrong
- Explaining away any success you have as just a fluke
- Putting yourself down for making a mistake
- Convincing yourself that you are incapable of getting what you want
- Comparing yourself unfavorably to others
- Voicing to yourself expectations of failure or disappointment
- Exaggerating the occurrence of your negative behavior (“You always…” or “you never…”)
Negative Effects of Negative Self-Talk
The following list includes common negative effects of negative self-talk. If you exhibit some, many, or all of these, damaging negative self-talk could well be the cause. Hypnotherapy to stop the negative self-talk and replace it with positive, supportive internal dialogue is worth considering.
- Poor self-image
- Low self-esteem
- Lack of confidence
- Loss of initiative, energy, and will
- Attacks of anxiety, panic, or nerves
- Difficulty achieving goals
- Feeling defeated and inferior
- Loss of sexual desire and function
- Self-medicating with drugs, alcohol, sugar, cigarettes
- Damaged personal relationships
- Financial problems
- Job loss or career stagnation
- Social anxiety
- Feelings of worthlessness
Replacing Negative Self-Talk with Positive Using Hypnotherapy
Hypnotherapy is a relaxing, natural, and safe, brief-term form of therapy that involves an interactive process to redirect the attention of both the conscious and subconscious mind where negative self-talk occurs and causes damage to self-esteem and self-image.
Hypnotherapy for negative self-talk can uncover the causes, symptoms, triggers, and negative effects, creating awareness and understanding that leads to forgiving yourself and opening up to positive changes in how you talk to and treat yourself. You can experience greater self-worth and self-acceptance provided you cooperate. You must really want to make the changes, must believe that positive change are possible, and you must use the tools and techniques provided.
The first step is to gain an understanding of how negative self-talk shows up in your life and where it interferes with achieving your goals. Through conscious cognitive inquiry and dialogue I determine whether you have the appropriate motivation and acceptance. Next I induce in you deep relaxation and inward focus. This calms your emotions and allows access to your subconscious mind, where all your negativity is stored. Then I present a variety of hypnotic suggestions, visualizations, and other techniques to nourish and support development of positive attitudes, feelings, beliefs, and actions necessary to promote positive self-talk.
From a digital recording of the hypnosis portion of each session, I provide you with hypnotic reinforcement in the form of either an audio MP3 file or CD for use in between sessions. The clients who get the quickest and best results are those who use these reinforcements regularly.
Hypnotherapeutic Treatment Plan To Stop Negative Self-Talk
The treatment plan for low self-esteem must be customized to fit each individual client’s particular case. There is no “one plan fits all.” The general approach I take to each case, however, is outlined below.
- Identify components of negative self-talk
- Self-talk language patterns
- Negative effects
- Set initial goals
- Develop a hypnotherapeutic strategy utilizing specific tools and techniques
- Induce negative self-talk hypnosis
- Track progress
- Set new goals
- Revise strategy
- Implement revised strategy
- Repeat steps 5 through 9 as needed
Hypnosis Tools and Techniques to Stop Negative Self-Talk
The following list includes some of the tools and techniques I use to replace negative self-talk with positive self-talk.
- Deep Diaphragmatic Focused Breathing
- Progressive Relaxation
- Post-Hypnotic Suggestion
- Resource State Creation
- Self-Esteem Visualization
- Confidence Building
- Suggestions for Positive Self-Image
- Elimination of Limiting Beliefs
- Negative Trigger Desensitization
- Interactive Self-Esteem Building
- Guided Imagery to Positive Future
- Inner Child Work
- Positive Memory Revival
- Positive Trigger Association
- Negative Self-Talk Redirection
- Positive Suggestions for Self-Empowerment
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