Today, I wanted to write about the power of self-talk. Some of you might find it funny or weird to talk to yourself, but it actually works. I talked about this coping mechanism a bit in the “anxiety" section of this site, but I thought I would elaborate a bit more.
I find a lot of times when I’m struggling with an anxiety issue, before I call anyone for instant reassurance, I just say out loud what I am worried about. An example: “my phone fell on the floor and now I’m worried that there are germs on it” when this thought is racing in your head, it may seem like the end of the world and that you need to run for the sanitizer. However, if you say your worry out loud, a lot of times it will help you realize that you are thinking a rationally and it’s not a big issue at all.
When I first started experiencing signs of anxiety and OCD several years ago, I remember one time I was home alone and the fly landed on my head. Yeah, a fly. Right away my thoughts started racing, where had that fly beam before it landed on my head? Should I wash my hair? Before I acted on these questions, I phoned my dad. It was a pretty funny conversation. “Dad, a fly landed on my head”, “a fly?”, “Ya, am I going to get sick? Should I wash my hair?” Right when I asked that, my dad and I both laughed because I realized it was such a simple thing that was not an issue at all.
I find that talking my anxieties out loud really helps me conquer them. Doing it too many times though may cause you to obsess over it, but try it once. If I state my anxiety out loud and then also stated out loud the facts, then that will shut down the anxiety. It helps eliminate the racing thoughts of panic. Let’s try it with the “dropping the phone” example: “I am worried that there are germs on the floor and now they’re on the phone. I am going to touch the phone and the germs are going to make me sick.” Now, start rationalizing those thoughts out loud”.” Dirt does not equal and germs. You have an immune system for a reason. There is nothing harmful on the floor. Your phone is dry.” And eventually it will sink into your head that their concern is not an issue at all.
It’s all about reasoning with yourself. So, instead of running to someone, for them to conquer your anxious thoughts for you, challenge yourself! Self-talk works.