By Lisa Manterfield
I’ve been spending more time than usual alone lately and it’s not good for my head. I’m beginning to talk to myself and some of those conversations aren’t good.
When I’m busy working, my brain and I get along just fine, but in the evenings, when I’m padding around the kitchen making dinner, doing dishes, or folding laundry, the conversations start.
You know the ones I mean. I pick up an issue that’s been bothering me, something someone said that stung, or some other injustice or conflict that’s gone unresolved. Then I set about solving the problem, confronting the offender, and getting into a big fight in my head. (Please tell me I’m not the only person that does this.)
Usually I gravitate towards the worst case scenario. I end up working myself into a lather over something that hasn’t happened, and may never happen.
Finally, I have to remind myself that my body can’t tell the difference between real conflict and imagined, and so it’s busy pumping all those stress hormones out into my blood stream, which isn’t doing my health any good. That’s usually enough to stop the arguments – at least for a while.
I used to do this a lot when I was busy beating myself up over infertility, trying to figure out why it happened – or more to the point, what I had done to make it happen to me. I’d think of all the choices I’d made along the way and imagine if I’d started earlier and had children with someone who wasn’t right for me, instead of waiting so long for Mr. Fab. Does any of this sound familiar?
Once you get that negative self-talk going, it’s easy to convince yourself of all kinds of things that aren’t true. And is that really going to help the healing process? Probably not. More likely it’s just going to create more stress and give you wrinkles.
So today, as you’re going about your business, listen to what you’re telling yourself. We all have plenty of real conflict in our lives; let’s not add to it by creating more in our heads.
Here’s a good article that explains more about the science of self-talk.