Happiness Upgrade Podcast

S1 E9: Get an instant lift in happiness by talking to yourself

May 09, 2022 Gabrielle Lichterman Season 1 Episode 9
Happiness Upgrade Podcast
S1 E9: Get an instant lift in happiness by talking to yourself
Show Notes Transcript

Giving yourself a Happiness Upgrade is as easy as reminding yourself of the values or traits you love about yourself, such as your compassion or sense of humor. Here’s why research shows this is so effective at boosting your mood instantly. Plus, use my 7 suggestions to incorporate positive self-talk into your week. 

Check out the book that inspired this podcast, THE HAPPINESS UPGRADE: ONE SMALL STEP UP TO A HAPPIER LIFE (available at Amazon) at HappinessUpgradePress.com. 

Learn more about the Happiness Upgrade Podcast at HappinessUpgradePress.com.

Follow @HappinessUpgrade on TikTok, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Have you ever caught yourself engaging in negative self-talk, for example, calling yourself “stupid” when you made a mistake? Remember how it made you feel even worse instantly? 

Well, positive self-talk has the power to impact your mood, too. It makes you feel better—also instantly. In this episode, you’ll learn the fascinating reason why.  

Plus, I share 7 easy ways to incorporate positive self-talk into your week.

Hello and welcome to the Happiness Upgrade Podcast. I’m your host, Gabrielle Lichterman.

Like most of us, you’ve probably on occasion said negative things to yourself. For example, maybe you’ve called yourself “stupid” when you made an error. Or you scolded yourself for not doing better on a task. Unfortunately, this kind of negative self-talk immediately makes you feel even worse.

We all know this is behavior we should try our best to avoid. After all, who wants to feel lousy? 

But, did you know that you can also talk to yourself in a way that makes you feel better? It’s true. 

Turns out, taking just a few moments to reflect on values you love about yourself, such as your honesty, or personality traits you admire in yourself, such as your sense of humor, spurs a surge in good feelings that kick in immediately. And this is backed by science. 

In a 2016 study published in the journal Psychological Science, a team of researchers from a number of universities, including UCLA and Carnegie Mellon, made an important discovery. 

Using functional magnetic resonance imaging to scan the brain of volunteers, they found that thinking of values and traits you admire about yourself activates a certain region of the brain—the left ventral striatum (STRY ate em). And that spurs a rewarding sensation similar to when you eat a delicious cupcake or enjoy a romantic kiss. In other words, it feels good! 

This means that simply using the right words when you think about yourself or talk to yourself triggers detectable changes in the brain. And you can use this surprising effect to feel better anywhere, anytime. 

That’s why I’d like to share simple ways you can use positive self-talk to give yourself a Happiness Upgrade this week. Here are my 7 suggestions: 

1. Post a note on your alarm clock, bathroom mirror, phone or anywhere else you tend to look first in the morning. Write on this note a list of values or traits you love about yourself. It’s a great way to start your day feeling brighter.

2. Take a picture of this same note, then use it as your wallpaper for an electronic device you use daily. This way, you’ll see it again and again. Don’t use electronic devices? Then, post a second note on a mug you use, a plant you water or somewhere else you’re sure to see it during your day.

3. Set an alarm on your phone or watch to go off a certain time. When the alarm sounds, tell yourself three things you admire about yourself. This way, you can remember to inject a little positivity into your day.

4. Try to think of unusual or unique aspects of yourself that you usually don’t give yourself credit for. Some examples: Maybe when you’re driving, you’re the kind of person who always lets other drivers get in ahead of you when they’re signaling to change lanes since you know a lot of other folks sadly would speed up and block them instead. 

5. Congratulate yourself for working on aspects that you want to make better. For instance, maybe you’re trying to be more patient. Or perhaps you’re naturally shy and are attempting to make more social connections despite your shyness.

6. Make a pact with a loved one, such as a close friend, sibling, child, parent or partner, to take a positive self-talk break together. Then, share with them the values or traits that you’re most proud of yourself for having, and listen as they share theirs.

7. At the end of the day, think back to moments when you felt you did something you could be proud of. For instance, maybe you gave a waitress a bigger tip because you could tell she was having a tough day. Perhaps, you thanked a member of the military for their service when you passed by them on the street. Or, maybe you simply managed to successfully stay calm when someone was ticking you off. Whatever small or large thing you did that day, tell yourself that you appreciate how well you did.

These are my 7 suggestions for ways you can use positive self-talk to give yourself a Happiness Upgrade. I hope you find them helpful.

Thank you for joining me for another episode of the Happiness Upgrade Podcast. I hope the mood-boosting tips you heard today help you give yourself a Happiness Upgrade. 

To learn a simple method that makes this tip and any other self-care tactics even more effective at boosting your mood, pick up the book The Happiness Upgrade: One Small Step Up to a Happier Life by me, your host, Gabrielle Lichterman, at Amazon. This book shows you how small actions, like the one you learned today, can halt a negative mood and lead to a rise in happiness.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to this podcast and share it with friends. There’s a new episode every Monday.

To learn more about the Happiness Upgrade Podcast, visit HappinessUpgrade.com. And follow me on TikTok, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by searching @happinessupgrade.

I hope your week is filled with happiness!