How much do you talk to yourself? Have you stopped to think about it? I bet you are doing it right now, am I right? You might be saying to yourself "I never do it", or maybe "I talk to myself lots". Either way, we do talk to ourselves continuously, it's just that often we don't know that we are doing it.
Science tells us that if your born prior to the 80's you have around 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts per day. After the 80's, you may have upwards of 90,000 thoughts each day. That's quite a bit going on inside our heads.
Science also tells us that if we continually talk to ourselves, chances are the self-talk will become negative. And negative self talk may lead to worry, worry may lead to anxiety, anxiety may lead to being depressed, and so it goes on down the spiral.
So how do you stop talking to yourself and thinking so much? There are a couple of simple techniques to use, however it requires you to know that you are talking/thinking too much. If you don't know or aren't aware that you are doing it, take it that you are and utilise one of these techniques;
- Examine things - look carefully at an item and study it in great detail. Look at every part of the item and focus all of your attention on what you are looking at.
- Feel the vibe - if you are driving, feel the vibration from the road coming up through the steering wheel or listen intently to the words/song on the radio.
- Look forward to good things coming up - worry is always about something that hasn't happened or has happened and we are worried about the consequences of it.
- Flick that thought - wear a rubber band or hair tie on your wrist and flick it every so often to disrupt your thoughts and bring you back to reality.
- Blink your eyes - forcefully blink your eyelids once and as you do so, say to yourself (inside your head) "Stop" or "No".
All of these techniques are designed to disrupt our patterns of thought, to interrupt the neural pathways that have strengthened as we have focussed on what is troubling us for too long.
It takes 60 to 80 days to break a pattern (habit) so keep working at it. There is no quick method for this stuff, you are trying to overcome something that has become ingrained in your behaviour.
Stop thinking so much, stop talking to yourself, stop worrying so much. You will thank yourself for doing so.