Choosing a positive and present mantra like ‘I am creative‘ or “I am relaxed” not only reinforces positive good intentions, but it also keeps us mindful of who we are in the present moment. You might feel like that your anxiety has peaked and feel far from calm’ right now. However, the more we speak to ourselves in that positive manner and not dwell on the negative emotions, the less likely we will be to fuel the negative thoughts.
“I once worked as a full-time OT” and “I was a long distance runner” were thoughts ever-present in my mind throughout my recovery. With hindsight, I see that in fixating on who I was in the past, I couldn’t live in the present or move forward. I was actually setting myself up for failure. I needed to refocus my thoughts. But that’s easier said than done right!
Those negative thoughts will always be present, but they’re less likely to dominate if we acknowledge their presence. Opting to choose to give our attention to the positive thoughts will only empower us.
For example, today I feel scared and fearful about what’s happening in the world. But I also know that telling myself that “I am scared” or “I will get sick”, is in fact catastrophising things. In doing this, I am already forecasting a dismal outcome and fuelling my fear. Instead if I flip that automatic thought to “I am healthy” or “I am calm”, I’m choosing to tune into positive self-talk which will likely shape my behaviour and actions.
Perhaps, choose a ‘I am….” mantra today that hopefully will positively influence your day. It may be the opposite of how you feel but perhaps in focussing on that optimal and positive outcome we are not dwelling on the negative emotions we feel engulfed by. Remember, we can’t control what’s going on around us but can have a big influence on our self-talk.