We all have a running monologue inside our heads. Sometimes, it’s a simple stream of consciousness, like a narrator speaking about our actions as we engage in them. At other times, it’s a critical analysis of our every doing. Too often, the inner voice can be a source of anguish, as we listen to our inner monologue tearing us down, evidencing our self-conscious feelings and a sense of self-worth that could use a few stitches to be whole.
If this sounds familiar to you, know this: you are not alone, and it does not have to be this way.
The first step toward making the change
The first step to changing the script of your inner monolog is not changing it, but listening to it consciously and without any judgment whatsoever. Let it happen, but be keenly aware of what the voice is saying. Note what your inner voice says to you. Is it hypercritical? Gloomy and reminiscent of Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh? Is it angry? Is it unrealistic? Write down any running themes you notice when you practice awareness with your inner voice.
Awareness becoming its own affirmation
As you begin to practice mindfulness with your inner voice, you become—in a way—separated from yourself, able to observe yourself in an objective light, possibly for the first time. This can enable you to see the flaws that may hide within your inner monologue. Just noticing this from your new objective standpoint can be enough to cause a shift in how your inner voice speaks. As you objectively recognize skewed logic and hyper-criticism, you may find that the inner monologue becomes less dismal and more sensible.
Better management of emotions through mindfulness
Another benefit that arises from being mindful of the inner voice and what it says is gaining the ability to better manage your emotions without attempting to stifle them. When you take an objective approach to your emotions and allow them to happen without judging yourself for feeling them, you will find a renewed perspective on your emotional experience, outside of the subjectivity of being caught up inside the emotions as they happen. If you can view your emotional experience as something that happens to you rather than being what you are, it can naturally lead to better management of emotions, thus opening the door to discovery of your authentic self.