I was reminded today about the importance of self-talk. I don’t mean positive, self-motivating talk. I mean how do you really listen, hear, connect and communicate with yourself? Do you have a tender and unconditionally loving voice, just as you would with a friend? Or do you immediately jump in and tell yourself to cheer up, get back up and go?
I learned how to talk lovingly to myself during my masters at The University of Santa Monica. But the mastery of this self-talk happened when I became a mother and reached its pinnacle when I became a mother of a tantrum toddler.
What I learned from my toddler was when I attempted to 1) fix the feelings, 2) fix the situation, 3) make the feelings go away, it only made the tantrum worse. The easiest way to stop the tantrum was to say back in the same tone as my child, “I hear you! You are angry! You are sad! I get it! I understand!” Instantly the screaming would stop along with tears and flailing arms and legs.
Incredible. We just want to be heard. We just want to be seen. We just want to be understood.
So, as an adult, when I feel angry, sad, overwhelmed, confused, or simply out of sorts, I stop and say back to myself, “I hear you! You feel (fill in the blank) and you want (fill in the blank)”. Most of the time, the feeling subsides and I can move forward with processing the feelings and the solutions.
I’ve seen clients release stomach bloating, colds, headaches, neediness and procrastination from t taking a few moments to really hear what their inner self is attempting to tell them and understand themselves.