Caring self-talk and supporting self-worth and assertiveness can help alleviate depression and anxiety. As adults, we tend to repeat the negative things that were said to us in childhood, and it’s our responsibility to give ourselves the healthy things we needed from caring parents. Here are eight steps to change the foundation of depression and anxiety:
Step 1: Write down the negative thoughts you have about yourself, others, and your circumstances. Becoming aware of negative self-talk is the first step in counteracting its demoralizing effects.
Step 2: Write down statements that are self-caring, nurturing, reassuring, supportive and validating. Identify the opposite of negative self-talk to boost your mood and reduce anxiety.
Step 3: Write down the negative things your parents said or communicated to you when you were growing up. By identifying what you thought your parents felt about you by what they said or did, you can begin to understand how it affected you.
Step 4: Write down things you needed or wanted parents to say to you as a child. By identifying what you wanted to hear from your parents, you can begin to give those things to yourself.
Step 5: Write down what you would do if you saw another child being treated the way you were treated in #3. Become aware of how you would respond to negative behavior towards a child, and use that awareness to stand up for yourself.
Step 6: Imagine how your life would be different today if you had all the positive things from healthy parents as a child. Formulating a vision for a healthy future can help you create a stable mood and sense of well-being.
Step 7: Be for yourself all the things you needed your parents to be for you: encouraging, nurturing, loving, caring, supportive, and reassuring. Ultimately, you are responsible for caring for yourself, and that means choosing healthy people to be in your life and standing up for yourself when you’re mistreated.
Step 8: Be assertive and say things like: I don’t like your tone, I deserve more respect than that, I deserve a raise in salary, I feel annoyed when…etc. Take care of the little boy or girl inside you that was mistreated, and be for yourself now what you needed then.
Depression from negative self-talk is a form of self-abuse and self-abandonment. By practicing caring self-talk and nurturing self-worth and assertiveness, you can build a foundation of hope, optimism, and self-confidence that leads to a stable mood and inner peace. It’s never too late to give yourself the love you needed as a child, and by doing so, you can change the course of your life for the better.
Written by Daniel Keeran