You Can’t Control The World, But You Can Control Your Internal Dialogue
If you watch the news, logon to social media or read the news, then everything seems awful all the time. The world around you seems to be in chaos, no wonder you are having such a hard time managing your stress to find inner peace.
There is one way you can do both.
Have you ever convinced yourself that all of the good in your life has happened by mere chance? Did you ever stop to think that perhaps you attract positive things when you think positively? It isn’t about chance, it’s about action. Your thoughts determine your actions, which shapes your life experience.
What is it? It’s the voice in your head, the one that narrates your life. It guides your actions, comments on the world around you, applies reasoning and logic or pushes you to overreact. Your internal dialogue influences the decisions you make, the opinions you form, what you believe, what you should do, how you should act, and so on.
This non-stop internal dialogue doesn’t just shape you; it shapes how you view the world. It runs on autopilot if you allow it to, but you can gain control over it. In fact, if you don’t learn how to control it you will struggle to relieve your stress levels and find inner peace.
Think about this. The muscle structure of your face allows you to smile when you feel happy. Just like the act of smiling alone can increase your happiness. Likewise, there is a link between feelings and thoughts.
If you feel down, it’s because you’ve been having negative thoughts. If you feel great, it’s because you’ve been having positive thoughts. This mostly unconscious internal dialogue is guiding you. Yet, if you switch to manual, you can take control and make your thoughts conscious.
Let me ask you this. Do you feel as though your emotions control you? Or, do you believe you have total control over them? You can probably point to both as being true. Sometimes it’s easier than other times. When your emotions are in the driver’s seat, it’s your opportunity to tap in to gain an insight into why you allow your feelings to dominate your life. When you gain this self-awareness and pay attention to what your internal dialogue is saying, you can change it.
Control Your Thoughts And Feelings
Accept that your feelings influence your thoughts, and this influences your behavior. It’s the only thing that you can control in this world and if you want to relieve stress and find inner peace, then you have to learn this control.
You cannot focus on negative or sad thoughts. This will only fuel the behavior you’re trying to avoid. More importantly, if you allow it to continue it can change your personality and shape your future in ways that you don’t wish it to be shaped.
By becoming aware of your internal dialogue and learning to correct it, you’re giving yourself a better chance to succeed. It’s something you will have to practice until it becomes your default setting. Think about it as new operating software, software so big you have to delete some things before you can install it. That’s what taking control of your internal dialogue is.
This isn’t to say you’re not allowed to experience typically negative emotions. Rather, it’s about learning how to process them in a healthy way and looking to the positives in every situation, so it doesn’t influence your internal dialogue.
When you feel your dialogue turning negative, start thinking the opposite and exaggerate that by ten.
Believe it or not, some people don’t have an inner voice! The video below from Youtube explains more on the science behind your inner voice.
Google and Youtube have kindly provided a transcript of the entire video. I’ve included that transcript below the video, so if you prefer to read, you can skim through the main points at your own pace.
VIDEO TRANSCRIPT: Let’s try a little experiment. In your head, I want you to yell the sentence “I like crickets” Don’t say it out loud! Just in your head. Good, now do the same thing, but this time instead of yelling, whisper “I like crickets” in your head. VO, closeup of top of head and wall.
Vanessa is saying sentence in her head. Now, was the actual volume of your inner voice different when you yelled versus when you whispered? It may seem like it, but… You can’t change the volume of the voice in your head, just the tone and pitch. That’s because you aren’t actually hearing that voice at all. Your inner voice can feel like you’re hearing yourself think, but it lives in a completely different part of the brain.
And it gets weirder. When you’re just going about your day, thinking about things, do you think in words and complete sentences? I do, but a lot of people don’t. Unless they’re reading or writing, a lot of people report thinking in pictures, actions, or images, rather than words and sentences. According to some scientists, there are three major types of thinkers.
There are verbal thinkers, like me, who think in words or whole sentences. Pattern thinkers think in patterns and connections, which may feel like thinking in actions and emotions. Then there are visual thinkers who think in pictures and images. Most people probably do a little bit of all three. But it means that not everyone has an inner monologue.
.. which blew my mind a little bit… That term probably came from a visual thinker. Anyway, no matter how you think, a vast majority of people report thinking in whole sentences when reading or writing. One study looked at how similar reading dialogue is to hearing it.
They had participants in an fMRI scanner read different sentences in their heads. Some sentences were things like… The man said, “I like crickets.” Which includes dialogue. But other sentences were formated like… Either the first sentence changes or the new one is written The man said that he likes crickets. Which means the same thing, but does not include dialogue.
The study found that when sentence contain dialogue, parts of the auditory cortex are activated. You’re actually hearing what the characters are saying. Even when you’re just replaying or imagining a conversation in your head, some parts of the auditory cortex activate. This is different from being a verbal thinker. An inner monologue does NOT activate the auditory cortex, but an inner dialogue does.
And it turns out, what your inner reading voice sounds like is not universal. Some people read in their heads all in one voice: their own. Other people read in a different voice, with an identifiable gender, pitch, or tone different from their own. This other voice may be consistent when reading, or it may change based on what you’re reading. Some people read in multiple voices.
Some people don’t hear a voice when reading at all. So, without being able to see or hear what’s going on in someone else’s mind, we tend to assume that our experiences are universal, so a lot of this research wasn’t done until recently. We’re just starting to learn more about the variation in how our minds work, and how we experience the world. And that’s something to think very loudly about..
Feel positive, influence your internal dialogue with positive affirmations, and build your own world.
Check these out….