I am about to read Martin Seligman’s Learned Optimism, where I should learn a great deal about internal dialogue, a topic that I’ve been thinking a lot lately.
So far all of my knowledge is based on pieces of information I’ve picked up here and there, so it’s finally great to dig deeper at the source.
My interest to internal dialogue is the same as why we are so interested in stories. Internal dialogue is essentially continuation on the narration we tell ourselves. Therefore what we say to ourselves will influence greatly our futures. So I want understand more about to that, to be able to create more positive spirals in life.
At the moment I see the relationship between language, thoughts and actions interwoven: all have the potential to change each other, however since changes do happen I would be curious to know which habits are the most influential of them all. Is it the thinking? Or is it the way we speak? Or does indeed actions create more positive narrative by themselves.
Our effortless and automatic habits create most of what we see in our everyday life. That which we do, determine what we are going to get. Same goes to our internal dialogue: it is the dialogue between who I think I am and who I think I can be.
The power of the narrative is powerful, we constantly narrate our lives and events. Recognizing negative self-dialogue and finding something more mindful to say, I guess is a one thing we can do. However what kind of others tools there are to rewrite more positive self-dialogue there are? What can we do for others to help them to be more kind to themselves?
For some of these questions I am hoping to find answers.
Meanwhile what I do know, is that which we repeatedly do, let’s say each day: can become very integral part of us. It can be very small task each day: write a sentence or two. Think of five gratitudes or three positive things during today? Even small things as this over time will make a huge difference. I started to write “three positive things” through each day on 2010 and I keep doing that each day. Usually I find way more than three, however we all have to start somewhere.
Honestly I do not remember which magazine I picked up the advice from, however I remember it was a free ad magazine perhaps some kind of pharmaceutical ad where a doctor or something shared this advice and I did put it to action. Now over six years I’ve followed to action and what I’ve found really powerful is the way I can relive those positive memories from six years ago.
Although I use journal to write everything, what I do most enjoy doing to visit to the end of the day where I’ve summarized only the things I’ve found pleasant and life worth living. Small things can have huge impact!
Pop music is a good example of how big ideas can become huge. A song under three minutes a day can influence hugely to a person and to large crowds with its message. It takes only a few minutes to listen to a song, and repeated over days they go to our hearts and minds as well. Songs like stories cross our defenses and are thus able to influence our lives in a deepest ways.
We need more stories and songs of growth and acceptance, more of what can be done and what we can become!
All that starts with kindful internal dialogue: being mindful what is going on and saying it in the kind way instead.