Inner Talk - The Power of Thoughts

By Val Silver

power of thoughts

Inner talk is natural. We all talk to ourselves throughout the day. Our minds are busy talking to us, answering back, and having pretend conversations with someone else.  What supports us or causes angst  isn't the self-talk, but what we say and how we say it. Positive, constructive self-talk boosts our confidence, and helps us remember things,  rehearse potential conversations, and problem-solve. It only becomes a problem when we talk to ourselves in critical, harsh ways that tear us down and cause painful emotions.

Your inner talk and the beliefs they echo have great power over your health and every aspect of your life. They have the power to make you feel happy or sad,  to define your past and to shape your future. They influence your health, how you feel physically and your risk of disease or getting well. 

Did you know...?

  • You may hear with your two ears, but it is the inner talk and the power of thoughts between those two ears that has the most impact on your feelings and all aspects of your life. 
  • You talk to yourself all the time, even when you are not consciously aware of it. What you say to yourself has found its way into your head from a lifetime of subconscious programming and exposure to others. Even though you may believe all your thoughts are your own, the truth is that many thoughts and beliefs are passed down through your genetic makeup, your ancestry, authority figures and the media.
  • Self talk takes many forms and may even sound like different voices.  Listen closely; you may notice voices inside your head that sound authoritative, childish, abusive, tender, and/or awesomely divine.
  • The words you speak to yourself may be negative, positive or neutral.
  • What you tell yourself is often a mixture of truth and fallacy. They include judgments and beliefs about yourself and the world that you believe and accept as absolute truth, but often are not. They reflect your perspectives and are the filters you view the world with.
  • Some of your beliefs are so ingrained in your subconscious programming that you do not even know they are in your minds, or why. For instance, did you know that tall men are often viewed as more competent than short men? 

How Inner Talk Affects Your Life

Back in my college days, I got to see first-hand just how conditioned we are by certain beliefs and how they influence our decisions and self-esteem. As a psychology class experiment, I conducted a survey of fellow students using photos of of woman to see which ones were viewed as happier and more successful. The results were clear - the attractive women hands down received the most votes. No surprise there, but what did surprise those surveyed was that they were comparing photos of the same women. The only difference was how they looked before and after a makeover.  

Here are some other examples of common conditioned subconscious programming you may find influencing you and others:

  • Do you find yourself lending more credence to what a man says, or someone with a deeper voice?
  • Do you think a doctor automatically knows more about healthy living than a layman? 
  • Do you ever hear yourself say that there is safety in numbers? 
  • Or that it is better to be thin? 
  • How about expensive things are better? 
  • Do you tell yourself you have to be nice or play small? 

Can you see why you may not always want to believe what you think?

Your thoughts, emotions and actions influence each other in a continuous cycle. 

thoughts emotions actions chart

Inner Talk and Your Health

When it comes to health and life choices, your belief systems, and the inner talk that springs from them, have more power than you may think. 

For example, the power of thoughts to create spontaneous healing or on the flip side to cause negative side effects with sham treatments is such a bane to researchers that they have to allow for positive placebos and negative nocebos during clinical trials. They know when the subconscious mind believes something, it makes it happen, even when it defies logic.  Beliefs about healing and health care are so powerful that even color influences research results. Blue pills mean downers, right? 

Your inner talk has the ability to directly affect your health. New research supports what James Allen wrote in his book, As a Man Thinketh, over 100 years ago. Your body obeys your mind.  Disease, health and circumstances often have their roots in your subconscious belief systems. Body cells respond to your thought environment, as do moods and energy. Diet may help, but it is not as powerful an influence as your mind. 

Your true thoughts and beliefs affect your health indirectly as well.

An example of the power of your thoughts

You tell yourself, "I am so tired (fact), I have too much work to do (opinion). It would be nice if hubby helped (opinion)". You feel overwhelmed and angry. Your body responds with tummy butterflies and tight shoulders (emotions and feelings). You react by snapping at hubby, and cleaning in a fury (actions). The action you do not see is your body churning out health damaging stress hormones. The next round of thoughts is likely to be even more negative. And so, since results mirror your what you believe, the downward spirals continue. 

Note that, for the most part, your subconscious programming is running this show. You may not be consciously choosing it at all, even though your conscious mind may lends its support.

The good news is, this same flow applies to positive self talk, creating upward spirals. It is also within your control to use your conscious mind to interrupt the flow of stinking thinking and turn it around. 

Mastering the Power of Thought and Inner Talk

The key to mastering your mindset and inner talk, and ultimately your emotions, actions and results is to take control of what you hear between your two ears, instead of letting it control you. 

Although there will always be an undercurrent of programming operating beyond your awareness, there is plenty for you to observe and influence. 

  • Listen closely when you are talking to yourself. Choose to believe what you think when it is supportive of your highest interests and challenge the rest. Do you really believe that your troubles are everyone else's fault, or there's nothing you can do to feel better? 
  • Tell yourself the truth, even if you do not believe it or like it. Fake it until you do believe it. Eventually your subconscious will get on board. You can actually interrupt the flow shown in the graphic above at any point, but thought is probably the easiest. If you write down your thoughts and read them back to yourself (maybe pretend they belong to someone else), you may get a better idea if they are thoughts that are helping or hindering, or if they are rational or nonsensical.
  • When your inner talk eludes you, look at the emotions and feelings you are experiencing, your actions, and the results you are getting.  How are you feeling - happy, sad, angry, passive? What are you doing or not doing? Your emotions and actions will provide strong clues about your belief systems and how you are unconsciously talking to yourself. 

You can spend a lot of time analyzing your inner talk, but what really matters is the impact those thoughts have on your life. Realize that talking to yourself is really talking to your Self. Your spirit and your subconscious mind listen and respond accordingly. 

What you believe, and therefore tell yourself, guides you to make wise decisions, or those based on fear and old subconscious programs. They can cause you to either continue habits and behaviors that keep you on the road to poor health, or they can help you create a healthier, happier life. 

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