“Happy talk, keep talking happy talk. Talk about things you’d like to do.”

This line from the Rogers & Hammerstein musical “South Pacific” always made me smile. Not so much the boy-girl thing, but definitely the positive outlook that “happy talk” about things I wanted to do (dreams) could make life unfold the way I wanted.

Idealistic thinking of a young child? Perhaps.

But I’ve been doing that my whole life and especially over the past year as the COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted BEST and our precious brain injury community. As our BEST team remained hopeful, positive, and focused on the future we brainstormed, strategized, and “happy talked” our way through challenges, disappointment, and change.

Often, though, we are prone to negative self-talk. You know the comments I mean, especially if you’re a woman. We can be self-critical and with each negative comment we chip away at our confidence, increase our stress levels, and compromise our overall well-being.

On the other hand, if you use positive language instead you’ll lower your blood pressure, midigate the effects of anxiety and depression, improve your immune system, strengthen your cardiovascular system, experience less stress, and enjoy greater overall satisfaction with your life.

While referring to positive self-talk as “happy talk” may seem amusing it will seriously change your life. The benefits have been proven over and over again in study after study.

Here are three examples of negative self-talk and how we can turn it around to be more “happy talk”.

Example #1

Negative: I’ll disappoint everyone if I change my mind.

Positive: I have the power to change my mind. Others will understand.

Example #2

Negative: I’m overweight and out of shape and have been for years. Why bother exercising?

Positive: I am capable and strong, and I want to get healthier for myself.

Example #3

Negative: I’ve never done this before and I just know I’ll suck at it.

Positive: This is a wonderful opportunity for me to learn from others and grow.

Other positive statements, or Happy Talk, include

Attempting to do this takes courage. I am proud of myself for trying.

Even though it wasn’t the outcome I hoped for, I learned a lot about myself.

I might still have a way to go, but I am proud of how far I have already come.

I am capable and strong, I can get through this.

Tomorrow is a chance to try again and to build on the lessons I learned today.

To make this work I will give it everything I’ve got.

I can’t control what other people think, say or do. I can only control me.

This is an opportunity for me to try something new.

I can learn from this situation and grow as a person.

So, for today, our Mindfulness Monday exercise is about how you can enjoy the benefits of positive self-talk; your own brand of happy talk.

Step 1 – Think about a quality that you are proud of or an aspect of your personality you like. Or choose a statement from the above list.

Step 2 – Write it down.

Step 3 – Read often throughout the day.

Other articles you might find interesting:

One Word Makes All The Difference

Today I Am Grateful

BEST Mantras To Increase Your Happiness And Health

Gloria's career as an independent nonprofit consultant, trainer, and writer spans over 30 years giving her lots to talk about. She has a deep passion for sustainability, both environmentally and organizationally. Enjoy her perspectives on community, development, and tales from her virtual world travels.


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