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Self-Talk with Care!

Internationally famous ocular surgeon Dr. James Gills is the only person to complete six double ironman triathlons. When asked how he did it, he said, “I’ve learned to talk to myself instead of listening to myself. If I listen to myself, I hear all the doubts, fears and complaints of why I can’t finish the race. If I talk to myself, I can feed myself with the words I need to keep moving forward.”

Such is the power of positive self-talk, conversations in our minds. Self-talk can shape your beliefs and influence your emotions and behavior. The key is to stay away from negative self-talk like “I can’t” and turn it positive to “I can.” It’s basically coaching yourself.

Negative thinking affects how we look at life. It causes stress. If you find yourself thinking negatively, stop and think how you can tell yourself the same message in a positive way. For example, instead of telling yourself that you are constantly late and disorganized, say if I start setting alarms on my phone and getting up earlier, I could really change things. Find something positive in the difficulties of each day.

Research shows that self-talk can not only help with performance and endurance, but it can have many health benefits besides reducing stress, such as increased vitality, greater life satisfaction, improved immune function, reduced pain and better cardiovascular health.

Studies also show positive self-talk can improve your outlook on life, while coping with hardships and challenges and solving problems. It increases your motivation, self-confidence and resilience.

It takes time, practice and patience to train yourself to think and talk to yourself positively, but it is well worth the effort.

Have a great and productive day!

Prof. Carl Boniface

Vocabulary builder:

Outlook (n) = viewpoint, view, attitude, position, stance, point of view, expectation, prospect

Coping (v) = managing, handling, surviving, deal with, hack it, get by, (ant) failing, crumbling

Hardships (n) =difficulties, adversities, privations, lacks, poverties, wants, needs, sufferings, lack of money, (ant) comforts

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