Turning Up the Volume on Positive Thinking

If you are overwhelmed by the unkind voices in your own head, I have a suggestion. If you have ever done anything that is an act of self-care, you can love yourself - even if you don’t think you do. By this I mean anything: bought yourself a top, fed yourself, brushed your teeth. If you are able to look at something you have achieved or created – ever – and be proud, you have the ability to do that again. You are not broken. Even if you are happy, even if you are currently struggling, even if you are in the dark hole right now, everyone needs to learn how to train the kind voice in their head. The kind voice is in there, but other voices can be much louder. We need to tune our brains and adjust the volumes of these voices. We cannot be expected to never have negative thoughts, that would be impossible and arguably unsafe, but we can train ourselves to listen to the thoughts that are kind. I think that the way to do this is like anything else: practise.

Next time you have any remotely positive thought about yourself – “this food I’ve made myself is delicious” or “I look nice today” or “I knew I was thirsty and so I gave my body water” – make the kind voice in your head shout it. Maybe even say it out loud to a mirror, maybe write it down, maybe make a list of the positives. In these moments, when you hear the kind voice in your head, you have managed to hear it over the cruel ones. The volume is a little higher on the kind ones. Take these moments and train yourself. Turn the volume up even louder. In this way, perhaps, the next time the cruel voices are taking over, your kind voice will be stronger. She will be stronger because she has been training.

Whenever you notice anything that is good about yourself say it to yourself. Or write it down. Or bellow it in your own head. It is very hard to argue with the cruel voices in your head when they decide to start talking, so what if you prepare your arguments, what if you plan ahead? You can say “no that’s not true – I have worth, I have given myself worth before”. Judgement can be toxic, but sometimes we need to judge, we need to make a judgment: have I been treating myself kindly, have I been feeding my own unhappiness, have I been listening to the kind voices or the cruel ones? Take a step back.

You need to establish a good relationship with the kind voice in your head – she exists – the one that feeds you and dresses you and cleans you and allows you to be kind to other people. This voice is on your side. This voice wants you to live. This voice wants you to thrive. Make friends with this voice. You would never talk to your friend or loved one the way you let the cruel voice speak to you. Turn yourself into the kind voice, talk to yourself as if you are talking to your best friend or to your sister or to your son or daughter.

You have so much more wisdom than you realise, you have the ability to love and support others, this means that you have the ability to love and support yourself. But it is hard. So, practise and make that kind voice so loud that the cruel voices, eventually, will only be able to whisper, and will shrink away in awe.