Your inner voice can help you get through tough times with your mental health intact or it can gnaw away at your peace of mind and take you down from the inside.
In short, your inner voice can be a blessing or a bitch.
That’s why today I want to talk to your about harnessing the power of your inner voice for better mental health.
What Do You Mean, My Inner Voice?
You know, the one that monologues inside your head.
Your inner voice is the one providing running commentary to you on what you do, how you do it, what people think of your and so on.
Chances are this inner voice is so familiar to you that you hardly realise it’s there.
It almost feels like it’s just a facet of you, a part that is making sense of your life as you go.
Where Does My Inner Voice Come From? (And Why Should I Care?!)
Your inner voice is a mish-mash of all the voices of people who took care of you.
Usually that’s mainly authority figures, like parents, teachers and other people who have been in charge of you.
It may also contain elements of siblings, peers and other people in your early life.
As a part of growing up, you will have internalised these voices.
Your internal voice is made up of the kinds of things that have been said to you, including tones of voice, particular words, expectations and accompanying attitudes.
This happens within all of us, and it is a process that is designed to help you prepare for and manage various everyday situations.
What Do Inner Voices Sound Like?
That depends on what has been said to you and about you.
If, when you made a mistake, you were accustomed to hearing empathic, supportive, encouraging remarks such as:
“It’s ok, you didn’t mean to, it’s fixable and you were trying your best. How can I help you make this better?”
Then probably when you make a mistake now, you repeat similarly warm and reassuring things to yourself, in your head.
This kind of inner voice can help you keep steady in a crisis, develop confidence to try again despite your recent failure, and allow you to remain emotionally buoyant resilient in the face of setbacks.
Super useful, huh?
If your childhood mistakes were met with angry, disappointed, shaming comments, chances are your own inner voice repeats these negative messages to you now, in adulthood, when you make a mistake:
“You should have been more careful! You always do this! Why are you always screwing up?! Useless!”
Unfortunately when you say these kinds of things to yourself, it tends to make the situations feels and seem much worse than it is.
I think you will agree that this is a much LESS useful inner voice.
A negative inner voice knocks you down from the inside
A negative inner voice is like a football supporter who boos his own team!
Negative inner voices: catastrophise when you need assurance; condemn you when you need empathy; undermine you when you need to be built up and insult you when what you need tolerance and acceptance of your very normal, human weaknesses.
If My Bitchy Inner Voice Was Set Up in Childhood, What Can I do About it now?
Changing the nature of your inner voice can be important.
But it’s not easy. You may well need help. And it will take time.
But it’s worth doing.
You deserve to have an inner voice that cheers you on from inside your head, not one that effectively boos, hisses and throws cabbages at you from the side-lines and makes everything feel worse!
Therapy – a Great Way To Change The Script of Your Inner Voice
Counselling and psychotherapy offer one very effective way to get support with defeating your inner bully and learning to speaking lovingly and encouragingly to yourself.
If that’s something you are interested in finding out more about, please do get in touch now to arrange a free 60 minute chat.
The initial chat is free and it’s not a therapy session per se.
It’s an opportunity for you to tell me a bit about what’s going on for you, ask my questions about how I work, what happens when you go to therapy, and anything else you want to know.
You can tell me a little about what’s going on for you, ask me any questions and get a sense of whether I’m someone you feel you could really talk to.