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17 Ways to Boost Positive Self-Talk When You Feel Down and Full of Self-Judgment

Our self-talk is so important – it is the constant narrator that colors in our day, our mood, our feelings, our outlook.

Self-talk is a driving force in our self-image. How we talk to ourselves becomes the way that we talk about ourselves and ultimately becomes the way we see ourselves (and by default, how others see us).

Well, damn! Clearly, it is important to assess the way we talk to ourselves and the way we view ourselves. When you look in the mirror, do you love what you see, or do you pick something to judge or tear apart?

Hey – we’re all guilty of judging ourselves. And we’re all allowed to feel down and have bad days – that’s simply part of life and to deny the negative would be to diminish the positive.

But positive thinking is oh-so-important to a healthy mindstate, and it’s also the number one ingredient for empowering (instead of defeating) self-talk.

How we talk to ourselves becomes the way that we talk about ourselves and ultimately becomes the way we see ourselves (and by default, how others see us).

However . . . you are an incredible individual with unique qualities, impressive accomplishments, and so many things to be grateful for.

How do I know this from the other side of the screen? Because that’s true for everyone. Which is why we should also be nice to and accepting of each other. But I’ll save that rant for another article. 😉

For now, let’s be nice to – and accepting of – ourselves, shall we? It all begins with positive thinking and self-talk.


Here’s How to Rewrite the Script With Positive Thinking and Self-Talk So You Can Celebrate [Instead of Judge] Yourself:


1. Put Your Self-Talk in Check

It all starts here! Notice negative, judgmental thoughts that arise and find positive, empowering thoughts to replace them. If you keep up with this first point, it will not take long to notice a big difference in how you feel – pinky promise.

Positive thinking is the ‘secret sauce’ to this important practice.

This Is the Power of Positive Thinking, Broken Down Into 5 Big Benefits

2. List This Week’s Accomplishments

Write a list of what you’ve accomplished this week – and get specific! And get as macro or micro as you’d like. Close that big sales deal? You go girl! [Or guy!] Finally get to the grocery store? Celebrate that too.


The end. But seriously – take three deep, full inhales through your nose and three audible H-A haaaaa exhales out of your mouth. I dare you not to feel better after this! (And if you don’t, go for another round of three breaths).

4. Make Plans

My 99-year-old great grandmother used to say, “Half the fun is looking forward to something.” Schedule something fun to look forward to with a positive, uplifting friend or family member. Bonus points for scheduling a date with yourself!

5. Step Away From Social Media

Ugh! Enough said, right?! While social media has it’s pros, we all know the cons – one of which being the dreaded comparison game / timesuck that can weigh us down and remove us from the present. It can also lend to us feeling down and/or judgmental of ourselves.

If you care to, you can do a little social media experiment. Continue your typical social media habits for a day or so and take inventory of your mindset and self-talk after. Then, take the same amount of time off of social media and notice the shift in your thinking and self-talk.

Odds are, your self-talk will undergo a massive, positive shift. Bonus points for applying the other 16 tips from this article during your time away from social media.

Insta Anxiety? Complete This Social Media Cleanse In 4 Painless Steps

6. Don’t Hold Back

If you need to cry, cry! If you need to scream, do it! Typically this is frowned upon at work or in public so if you need to excuse yourself to the bathroom or your car, go for it. Whatever makes you feel safe and comfortable enough to not hold back.

It’s ok to not always be ok. And often, the road to feeling ok again is by acknowledging and working through whatever emotions are coming up.


7. Mirror Affirmation

My personal favorite! And a not-so-secret weapon I often use and recommend for others, including in my personal growth workbook Learn Grow Shift!

The exercise is simple: Stand in front of your mirror and repeat a positive affirmation (“I am worthy” is a great place to start if you’re feeling a bit down or judgy). Other suggestions: “I love you ______ [your name] and I am so proud of all your accomplishments,” or “I am safe and grounded,” or “I am in the flow and all is well.”

Mirror affirmations can be a huge tool in your positive thinking and empowering self-talk.

Looking for more mirror affirmation inspo? Check out this oldie but goodie viral YouTube video of a young girl who’s got it all figured out

8. Treat Yourself!

What makes you feel good? Treat yourself to that. Whether it’s a relaxing bubble bath, a massage, manicure or an oatmilk latte (my latest obsession) – go do that and enjoy every moment.

You deserve it! (Hint: believing that you deserve it is key. Not surprisingly, this ties into your positive thinking and self-talk).

9. Gratitude Journal!

Write down five things (big or small) that you are grateful for. Now make this a regular practice because gratitude has an IMMENSE impact on your long-term mental wellbeing.

Focusing on gratitude also helps us pivot away from judging ourselves and instead encourage celebrating ourselves and all the good in our lives. Gratitude is KEY for positive thinking!

This Simple Yet Life-Altering Exercise Will Help You Find Gratitude Every Day

10. Reach Out for Support

I saw a meme the other day that said, “Check on your strong friends. They need it most.” Why? Because they’re the ones that we assume are ok and therefore often fail to check on.

Don’t be the ‘strong friend’ who’s silently miserable on the inside. If you are feeling down, reach out and ask for help, support, or just someone to listen.

11. Send a Friend a Positive Note

The power of doing something nice for someone else helps us feel better in turn. It will also make your friend feel good, and might even initiate an ongoing ‘volley’ of positive check-ins between you two (see #10).

12. Grab Your Headphones

Blast your favorite song or put a feel-good playlist on random shuffle. Music has an incredible power to soothe, inspire, motivate, and amp up!

Put this theory to the test on your yoga mat! This Might Be Your New Favorite Yoga Playlist


Science has proven that the physical act of smiling sends a signal to your brain that you are happy, so your brain in turn releases endorphins and serotonin (feel-good brain chemicals that combat stress and anxiety).

Happiness makes positive thinking and empowering self-talk that much easier!

14. Find an Animal!

Whether it’s your dog or a random passerby’s on the street, find an animal and enjoy their calming, grounding energy. It’s much harder to not think positive when an animal is nearby!

15. Organize, Purge and Cleanse

You may have heard the belief that our dwelling spaces are a reflection of our minds. If your home (or desk) is feeling dirty, cluttered, or unorganized, now is the time to organize, purge and cleanse! Make a donate pile, make a give to friends pile and a trash pile and get to it!

Want more guidance on organizing and minimizing? I wrote an article on that too! Get Rid of These 25 Things to Declutter Your Life

16. Posture Check-In

When I’m stressed out or upset, I notice that my entire body changes and my posture goes to shit. I hunch and round so far forward you’d think I was trying to win first place in a turtle impersonation contest. Ugh!

Poor posture closes off our heart center while good posture radiates confidence and just like smiling (see #13), it sends the signal to your brain that you are confident, empowered and in control. As a result, positive thinking comes more naturally.

Is your posture almost as bad as mine? I reviewed a Posture Product that I fell in love with and you can check that out here if you’re interested.

17. PAUSE and Get Grounded

So often, we get so wrapped up in scrolling through social media, checking our email, replying to texts and the 999,997 other constant outside stimuli throughout our day that we become distracted but also detached and removed from the present moment.

Just like #3 invites you to BREATHE, this final point is intentionally last because no matter why you’re feeling down or full of self-judgment, finding presence will always help us pause, get grounded, and assess our feelings from a calm and rational place.

Here, we can either find the root cause of these feelings or simply let them go. Being present and grounded is KEY for positive thinking and empowering self-talk.

Start by literally getting grounded: sitting or standing, plant both of your feet on the ground or floor. Feel all four corners of your feet connecting to the earth beneath and feel it rising up to support you.

Allow this to remind you that you are always supported and even when it doesn’t feel like it, you are in the flow and all is well.

Positive Thinking and Self-Talk Are Key On Your Road to Replacing Judgment With Empowerment

You ARE in the flow and all is truly well. We all have good days and bad days, good moods and yuck moods. We also all possess the ability to move through the not-so-great feelings that inevitably arise from time to time.

The most important step is simply acknowledging – and believing – that you are capable of shifting the way you feel and releasing the impulse to judge or criticize yourself.

Let that shit go. It’s not serving anyone to tear yourself apart. Focus on the good and you’ll feel good more frequently. It’s all about positive thinking and empowering self-talk.

Cheers to celebrating – not judging – ourselves. You got this!

Psst! Did you love the main message of this article, which is all about personal empowerment and self-care so we can grow and thrive? I wrote an entire 30-day workbook on this exact thing, and it’s called Learn. Grow. Shift. You can check that out here.

This article has been read 1K+ times. Feelin’ the love!


wonderful comments!

Ashton August

Ashton is the founder and Content Director of and YA Classes (we plant a food-producing tree for every class a member completes!). As a motivational author and speaker, distinguished yoga instructor and wellness entrepreneur, she believes that cultivating empowering self-talk and a healthy mindset opens the door to living an abundantly fulfilling life! Ashton lives in sunny Tucson, Arizona with her husband and their two rescue dogs.

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