Is Negative Self-Talk Ruining Your Happiness?

Since we tend to have the same thoughts repeatedly, you need to make a conscious effort to change your thoughts and ditch negative self-talk in order to be happier.

You can be happier today by simply changing your thoughts. It’s estimated that 40 percent of our happiness depends on our outlook on life.  Your circumstances account for only 10 percent of your happiness, while 50 percent is genetically predetermined.

This is something I’ve been working on, and it’s a bit harder than I thought it would be. You have to learn to catch negative self-talk in the moment and then shift your focus to positive thoughts.

Negative Self-Talk Examples

Here are seven negative self-talk examples that you should avoid to be happier.

It takes a conscious effort to change your thoughts in order to be happier. Do these negative self-talk examples sound familiar to you?

1. Why does this always happen to me?

You may know that it’s important to ask yourself questions, but the quality of your questions makes all the difference. Questions that make you feel like a victim can lead to unhappiness.

Ask yourself questions that will make you feel like you’re in control, like, “How can I stop this from happening to me again?

2. If only I could ___, I would be happier.

If only I could lose 20 pounds, if only I could earn more money, if only I could travel. The list goes on and on. Most times, attaining goals doesn’t make us as happy as we thought it would.

Instead of waiting to someday to be happy, practice happiness habits today, such as volunteering.

3. I’m just this way.

There’s a thin line between self-acceptance and laziness. You’re not doing yourself any good by concluding that you’ll always be overweight since you love junk food. That’s something you can change.

Don’t justify things you can change. Instead, ask yourself questions like, “How can I reduce my cravings for junk food?

4. If only I was as beautiful as her.

With social media, it’s much harder for us not to compare ourselves to others. I usually have such thoughts every now and then, and I’ve found that focusing on my life and improving myself every day helps.

Don’t beat yourself up for comparing your life to others’. Research actually suggests that comparative thinking may be irresistible and automatic, so you’re better off comparing yourself with those who are worse off.

5. I’m such an idiot.

While many of us need to write down positive affirmations, negative ones seem to come to us naturally. Reminding yourself that you don’t have to be perfect goes a long way in helping reduce the effects of negative self-talk.

You should also change your self-talk from “Im such an idiot,” to, “What can I learn from this, and how can I avoid it in future?”

6. I will never forgive them.

Holding grudges only harms one person – you! To be happier, you need to be willing to forgive people, and let go of the grudges you’re holding.

If you’re going to reflect on the past, shift your focus to situations where things went your way.

7. What will they think?

This question probably stops people from following their hearts more than anything else. We all want our fellow humans to think highly of us, but focusing on what others think usually leads to misery.

The truth is, people don’t care as much as we think they do, and what you think of yourself is more important than what they think of you.

Sometimes, we can’t overcome negative self-talk on our own. If your habitual thoughts feel like too much to handle, seek the advice of a counselor or therapist.

Which habitual thoughts do you want to avoid to be happier? Do you have any favorite tricks to stop negative self-talk?

Images via Getty


Anna R
Anna R15 days ago


Kathy K
Kathy K17 days ago

Oh wow. #5 is definitely mine and that's a great idea to use as an antidote. Thanks.

Sharonaway R
Sharon R18 days ago

Thank you.

danii p
danii p18 days ago

Thank you for sharing.

danii p
danii p18 days ago

Thank you for sharing.

danii p
danii p18 days ago

Thank you for sharing.

Lesa D
Lesa D19 days ago

thank you Brian...

Deborab S
Deborab S19 days ago

Thank you

Carol S
Carol S19 days ago

Nope! Stay positive and treat yourself kindly :)

Elisabeth T
Elisabeth T19 days ago

Good information, thank you