Talk to yourself as you would to a young child

The other morning I woke up feeling crappy. I felt tired, a little queasy, and a lot overwhelmed. We’re right in the middle of what I like to call ‘birthday season’ for our kids (three birthdays within six weeks), and I felt overwhelmed with party preparations and the usual ‘to do’ list I carry into each day.

Anyway, I could tell my stress was high and my brain was foggy. I knew I had to take action to feel better in the morning so I had some hope of getting through the day as productively and positively as possible.

After ruling out going back to bed (as tempting as that was) I chose to do something a little out of left field: I chose to talk to myself as I would to a young child. That’s right, I spoke to myself out loud in an empty house!

Talking out loud can work really well, and it goes like this: use a soothing tone to constantly repeat calming phrases to yourself until you start to calm down. Imagine you’re talking to a frightened child and your sole task is to make them feel calmer, safer and OK.

You can talk to yourself for as long as it takes (or until people start giving you odd glances, I guess!). I talked calmly to myself for 30 minutes that day.

What did I say to myself?

I just kept repeating two soothing phrases: All is well. There is no problem.

All is well. There is no problem.

All is well. There is no problem.

All is well. There is no problem.

These words work particularly well for me because I tend to get hyped up over imaginary dramas (you can read more about my two bad habits that drive me crazy here), but you can choose any phrases you like.

At the end of the day, it’s really the same thing as using affirmations, only you’re saying them constantly out loud to yourself as you go about your day.

Louise Hay is the affirmation guru. Check out her work here and here – or come up with your own words. Whatever works for you. The main thing is to keep repeating the words in the same tone you’d use for a frightened child until you feel better. Because after all, we’ve all got a frightened child inside of us, haven’t we? It’s important to let her know she’s OK.

Do you talk to yourself to calm down? Do you do it out loud or in your head?

So many of us talk to ourselves meanly and negatively, virtually non-stop. This kinder, calmer approach is a great way to break that vicious cycle.

Let me know how you go.

Natalie Bartley