7. Recognizing Unhelpful Inner Dialogue

Negative and unhelpful thoughts running through your head can be like a heavy backpack, making the journey slower, more difficult, and draining. If you experience unhelpful or critical inner dialogue, that's OK!   Yes, really.  it's normal.

Today’s session will help recognize unhelpful thought patterns without judgment so that in the next session you can build counters and redirects that will help you restructure those negative beliefs and thoughts.

Journal Prompt

Did you relate to any of the thinking patterns like catastrophizing, black and white thinking, filtering, or ‘should’-ing? Write down any patterns, dialogue, or habits that you feel are unhelpful to your relationship with yourself. If you want to go beyond labeling, free-write about any unhelpful thought pattern in your journal.

Recognizing Unhelpful Inner Dialogue Summary

Negative thought about self leads to self-criticism, leads to another negative thought about self, leads to self-deprecation, leads to black and white thinking leads to…you get it. Have you been down this road before? 

Having an unhelpful inner dialogue is completely human, but that doesn’t mean it’s something you need to deal with forever. Common thought patterns for survivors include black and white thinking, ‘should’, catastrophizing, and filtering. When we practice accepting these thoughts we begin to take back control of our internal dialogue, stopping the cycle of unhelpful criticism. While you may want to immediately ‘fix’ these thoughts, taking time to recognize and accept them is a crucial step that will better prepare you for countering and redirecting them.

In the next section, we will focus on countering unhelpful thoughts. While it may be tempting to skip out on this session's journal prompt, know that it’s part of a process that will help you build resilience and support your self-love journey.

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