Archive for April, 2011
Tonight I was discussing the value of self-talk with one of my patients. She asked for more information.
Self-talk can be very effective for weight loss, for pain management and for anxiety or depression. Several books give you detailed instructions on how to do this. All of us have these thoughts, “That was stupid” or “You never were very organized,” or “You are always late.” These thoughts have been implanted in our brain by family members, “friends,” colleagues or even enemies. Sometimes we have an overwhelming number of these thoughts that do most of the talking in our brain. When we are overwhelmed, this can lead to eating, depression, anxiety or difficulty with managing pain or other problems.
My research indicates that you can use positive, healthy self-talk to regulate your food choices, to deal with depression, and for pain relief. Different authors give very specific techniques to help you do this. Some of these techniques use meditation or relaxation or other techniques but all of them recommend developing specific self-talk statements to answer these negative self-talk statements. You can develop self-talk statements, write them down, say them aloud and silently and they will emerge to replace the negative, down-putting statements. Develop statements like, “I’m an experienced adult and get things done. Like everyone I sometimes make mistakes but still succeed in achieving my goals,” “I focus on the important tasks to be done and often defer trivial tasks until later,” “I am organized and budget my time carefully; to be more courteous I can arrive at appointments slightly ahead of schedule.”
While my research focus is on weight management, these self-talk statements can be applied to anxiety, depression or pain management. Look at these books for specific guidance. Brian Alman, “The Voice” 2011; Shad Helmstetter, “Self-Talk for Weight Loss,” 1994; and Joseph Luciani, “Self-Coaching,” 2007. They can be purchased inexpensively from Amazon. Com.
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