Seated on a park bench and basking in a warm October sun, I closed my eyes and let my other senses enjoy the swirl of urban activity going on around me. An unleashed dog, sniffing around my feet challenged my resolve to keep my eyes shut, but I persisted. Suddenly, a woman’s voice filled the silence. She was loud, articulate, and expressive. She asked questions and then provided the answers. In the midst of her oratory, she would burst into song. Once again, I withstood the temptation to open my eyes. Instead, I tried to visualize her appearance. My effort was interrupted by the harsh voice of an elderly man. The woman’s speech annoyed him and he demanded that she “Shut Up!” That only made her more determined.
Eventually the man tired of complaining and all that remained was the woman’s self-talk. As I listened, I considered the conversations that I have with myself on a regular basis. I realized that the biggest difference between me and the woman is that I don’t usually vocalize what I'm thinking. I hear voices that encourage or discourage, approve or disapprove, and I quietly react to those voices consciously or subconsciously all day long.
The voices that we hear affect our wellbeing. Taking time to listen to our own inner conversations is a good practice. It helps us understand how such talk affects us, and can provide an opportunity for making it more positive. Consider all that you have to be grateful for. Appreciate the present moment and the opportunity that it provides to do good and realize your potential. Do this frequently and your inner-conversation will be positively affected. And, next time you hear someone loudly conversing with themself, appreciate how much you have in common!
M. J. White is the creator of “LEAN Wellness”, which transforms work environments with a radically different bottom-up approach that inspires continuous improvement in health and wellbeing. To learn more, visit the website at: www.wellstreet.us or email M. J. directly at: email@example.com.