May 30, 2022
MCHD observes Mental Health Awareness Month
MOBILE, Ala. — The Mobile County Health Department’s Health Equity Office is recognizing May as Mental Health Awareness Month. This week’s article – submitted by Program Administrative Support Specialist Sherita Anderson – has a theme of “Positive Self-Talk.”
Self-talk is thought to be a mix of conscious and unconscious beliefs and biases that we hold about ourselves and the world. Sigmund Freud first created the idea that we have both conscious and unconscious levels of thought, which unconscious cognitive processes influencing our behavior in ways we do not realize.
Positive self-talk is the flip of negative self-talk. It is more about showing yourself self-compassion and understanding for who you are and what you have been through. In honor of May as Mental Health Awareness Month, we should use positive self-talk as an internal narrative and switch ideas to “I can do better next time” or “I choose to learn from my mistakes, not be held back by them.”
Research suggests that positive self-talk is important for several reasons such as helping overcome body dysmorphia to sports performance, mediating anxiety, and depression, to more effective learning. Positive self-talk can make a world of difference. Three additional benefits include:
• Helps to reduce stress
• Helps to boost confidence and resilience
• Helps build better relationships
Below are examples of how to turn negative self-talk into positive self-talk:
Negative self-talk Positive self-talk
That is too difficult. It sounds challenging.
I cannot do it. I will give it my best shot.
I always mess things up. If I mess up, I will learn from it.
I have always been this way. I am open to change.
I will fail. I want to succeed.
If negative self-talk affects a person’s mental health, they should consider seeking help. Negative self-talk and repetitive thoughts could be signs of an underlying condition such as anxiety, depression, or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). A doctor may advise a person about support groups or health professionals who can help them address their self-talk.
This media product was supported by funds made available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Center for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support, under 1 NH75OT000104-01-00. The content of this media product is that of the authors and does not necessarily stand for the official position of or endorsement by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.