effects of negative self-talk

The Toxic Effects Of Negative Self-talk In Your Life.

We’re all human, and unfortunately, that means that negative self-talk is a big part of that. Not intentionally of course. This internal dialogue, which often manifests as self-criticism, self-doubt, and self-deprecation, can be a significant barrier to your personal growth and happiness. Understanding the toxic effects of negative self-talk and learning how to change those thoughts is the first step to living a happier, healthier life.

What is negative self-talk?

Negative self-talk is the internal dialogue that you engage in that is usually critical, pessimistic, and self-defeating. It manifests as the voice in your head that undermines your confidence, questions your abilities, and amplifies your fears and insecurities. A study has shown that up to 80% of self-talk is negative. I never noticed how much negative self-talk I had in a single day until I started focusing on it. This usually includes thoughts like “I’m not good enough,” “I always mess things up,” or “I don’t look good.”

These negative statements can be deeply ingrained, stemming from past experiences, or internalized beliefs. Over time, negative self-talk can become a habitual way of thinking, significantly impacting your mental health and wellness. The good news is, you can change this by just focusing your thoughts in different ways.

The effects of negative self-talk in your life.

While you might think that the thoughts you have have no impact on your life, they can be toxic to your mental and physical health. Your subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between real and not, and by having these thoughts over and over, you strengthen the image your subconscious has about yourself. Here are just a few side effects of having negative self-talk.

Leads to anxiety and depression.

Consistent negative self-talk can lead to increased levels of anxiety and depression. When you constantly have negative things to say to or about yourself, it can lead to a heightened state of stress and an overwhelming sense of hopelessness. We get so easily consumed by our thoughts that it’s hard to break free from the cycle. If you aren’t actively focused on noting these negative statements, it’s going to be hard to stop yourself from having them in the first place.

anxiety and depression

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Impacts cognitive function.

Negative self-talk can impair cognitive functioning, making it difficult to concentrate, make decisions, and think clearly. This mental fog can hinder your ability to perform well in various aspects of life, from work to personal relationships. You can get so consumed by negative thoughts that it becomes hard to do anything else. If we have 60 – 80 thousand thoughts per day, and up to 80% of those thoughts are negative, that’s a lot of negative thoughts in a single day.

Increased stress levels.

With so many negative thoughts going through your mind, it’s no surprise that increased stress levels are a significant effect of negative self-talk. The stress caused by these thoughts can trigger the body’s stress response, leading to physical symptoms like headaches, muscle tension, and fatigue. Chronic stress can also weaken the immune system, making you more susceptible to illness. Being in a constant state of fight or flight can lead to adrenal fatigue as well, which has a whole list of negative effects of its own.

Can disturb your sleep patterns.

As we all know, sleep is one of the most important things you need to have a healthy, happy body. Negative self-talk can significantly impact your sleep quality, causing problems like insomnia and restless sleep. When your mind is preoccupied with negative thoughts and worries, it becomes challenging to relax and wind down at the end of the day. While this might not sound like a major negative effect, if the restlessness stays consistent, it can cause severe chronic problems in the long run.

negative self-talk

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How to take control of negative self-talk.

There’s always something you can do to take control of your life and more importantly your thoughts. Being mindful is the biggest weapon we have in life and if you focus your thoughts on the right things in life. There are a few simple things you can do to make sure your thoughts and self-talk stay positive and consistent.

  • Be aware of your thoughts: The first step to taking control of your negative thoughts is to notice them when they do come to mind. Understanding when and why these thoughts arise can help you address the underlying issues and turn them into positive statements.
  • Challenge the negative thoughts: You need to ask yourself if these thoughts are based on facts or just feelings. When you start challenging these negative thoughts, you take away their power.
  • Make use of positive affirmations: The best way to fight off the negative is with the positive. Write down a few positive affirmations that are focused on the areas your negative self-talk is most present.
  • Use mindfulness and meditation: Practice mindfulness to stay present and reduce overthinking and meditation techniques to calm your mind and focus on positive thoughts.
  • Reach out for help: Whether you’re relying on a friend, or seeking professional help, being able to open up about the negative self-talk you might be experiencing can help you deal with the matter more clearly.
  • Limit negative influences: If you’re looking to change your mindset from negative to positive, limiting the amount of negative influence in your life is a great place to start. Surround yourself with positive, supporting people.


Negative self-talk can have detrimental effects on your mental and physical health. By becoming aware of the thoughts and self-talk you have and taking proactive steps to challenge and reframe your thoughts, you can break free from their grip and create a more positive and empowering mindset. Remember, the way you talk to yourself matters, and you have the power to change the narrative for a happier, healthier life.

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