For me, the answer to this question is a resounding YES! I actually talk to myself constantly. As a woman with an anxiety disorder it is imperative that I keep in constant communication with myself, as odd as it may sound. Self talk has helped me overcome hundreds to anxious situations and has kept me a little bit more sane during the day.
There is one particular “self talk situation” that comes to mind. This summer during our monsoon season, I was heading downtown, and I knew there was a chance for rain, but it was relatively clear by my house. As soon as I took off down the road, the heavens opened up and it was, literally, as if I was going through a car wash! I couldn’t see anything out of my windows and the spray from my wheels was streaming UP over my car! I drove about 15 miles an hour and refused to go any faster. There was no way I was going to turn around because I had told my friends I would meet them and I didn’t want to be a flake. So I kept pushing onward.
My heart settled in my throat so it was nearly impossible to swallow. My knuckles were pale as I gripped the wheel. Cold sweat had even formed on my brow. Then I started getting hot. A panic attack was coming! I didn’t want to have one while I was behind the wheel so I started talking out loud to myself.
I remember sitting at a red light and congratulating myself for doing such a great job driving. I pretty much channeled my father and went into driving instructor mode. I kept telling myself how great I was doing and how proud I was of myself. Also, I kept reassuring myself that we were almost there. I think if anyone else was in the car, they would have been laughing hysterically!
My point with this musing was that I was able to avoid the panic attack by speaking positively to myself, even though I felt the opposite. Hearing my own voice was like I had a little cheerleader next to be cheering me onward! I think we need to be our own cheerleaders. We spend a lot of time tearing ourselves down when we are in the middle of an anxious situation, but what would happen if we flipped those thoughts and decided to be kind to ourselves. Talk to ourselves gently and with encouragement. How would that make our anxiety feel? Could we get through it easier? You don’t have to always say it out loud but even just hearing your inner self cheering for you can make a huge difference.
I challenge you to try Self Talking to yourself when you are stressed, anxious, depressed, or overwhelmed. See where it will lead you. I bet you will find yourself in a place you didn’t expect.
**This post was started because of a fabulous conversation with CrumpledPaperCranes! So I wanted to share it with all of you!