Over the years I’ve learnt to quieten or ignore the negative chatter in my head. When it’s really bad I do activities that distract me from it, like gardening, a walk in the countryside or something creative like art or sewing. And, when life and my brain feels chaotic I get organised. I make a list of things I must do that day, or create a meal planner to remove any elements of stress for that week. Makes it sound easy, doesn’t it? Well, it wasn’t easy for a long time. I’ve had to work hard to get into a more positive frame of mind and, at times, the negativity can creep back in. That’s when I redouble my efforts to quieten it again. And if it’s spiralling down I get help. I might speak to my husband or brothers, or meet up with a friend to air some of my bothersome thoughts. If it is still persistent I get some counselling sessions booked.
I’ve just finished listening to Dr Ethan Kross, author of Chatter, on the Dr Chatterjee podcast, Feel Better Live More and I heard him talking about some of the scientifically proven methods for taking back control of inner chatter. Many of them reflected the tools I find useful, but there were others I hadn’t considered which I will be trying. For example, using distanced self-talk i.e. using my name to coach myself through a problem – “Come on Hannah, you can do this. Don’t let anyone tell you different, not even your brain”.
Are you aware of your inner chatter? Do you like what you hear? If the answer is no, here are some easy ways you can learn about the free tools and tricks which could help you reframe negativity into a more positive mindset. Dr Kross rightly says that different tools work for different people, so experiment and see what works for you.
- Download the Chatter toolbox from Dr Kross. It’s a quick, free and simple way to pick up some tips
- Want to go more in-depth? Listen to his interview with Dr Chatterjee. It’s an hour and forty minutes long, but I found it fascinating and listened in the bath (over two sittings!). I was delighted to hear him talk about the power of nature (about 1.28 in) which I know helped to pull me from illness and despair back into good health and a positive mindset.
- Still want more? Buy his book. I haven’t ordered a copy yet, so can’t vouch for it. I’ll update with a quick review once I’ve read it.
Do email me or connect on social media, if you have any advice on how you deal with your inner chatter. I’d love to know your own hints and tips. Or perhaps it’s a work in progress? Share your intention to improve and that might just make sure you follow through on your plans.
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