What Are You Saying to Yourself?

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Negative Self-talk


Learning Your Internal & External Dialogue is Vital to Living a Healthy Thought Life


A significant portion of our growth mindset system, pioneered by Brian and Carrie, educates our clients how to “learn their language” or internal & external dialogue. In our unique training rubric, individuals engage in a deconstruction period to efficiently break down their negative self-talk into categories to start creating disassociation.  Negative self-talk is both internal and external and disassociation enables persons to start reconstructing more positive dialogues. We reconstruct more positive dialogues by teaching individuals how to “count their wins” – regardless of significance.  The scientific implications of “learning your language” indicates it impacts your overall wellbeing, and that is why we focus on creating more positive language patterns. A recent study highlights these implications.

In early September 2020, The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine published an analysis of how negative vocabulary, or different ways to describe similar feelings, likely correlates with psychological distress and poorer physical health. Conversely, a larger positive emotion vocabulary correlates with better well-being and physical health. According to Nature Communications, “we know little about natural emotion word repertoires, and whether or how they are associated with emotional functioning.”

That is why The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine’s investigation is both significant and exciting. The investigation studied stream of consciousness essays by 1,567 college students and public blogs written by more than 35,000 individuals. Of note, stream-of-consciousness writing is usually regarded as a special form of interior monologue, according to ukessays.com.  Again, that is why we educate on how to “learn your language.”

Overall, the more negative emotion words used tended to display negative verbal markers associated with illness, being alone, increased depression and poor physical health. On the other hand, more positive emotion words trended towards increased well-being towards certain achievements, agreeableness, overall health, and lower rates of depression – among other mental states.

Expanding People’s Emotional Vocabulary


“There’s a lot of excitement right now about expanding people’s emotional vocabularies and teaching how to precisely articulate negative feelings,” said lead author Vera Vine, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychiatry at Pitt. “While we often hear the phrase, ‘name it to tame it’ when referring to negative emotions. I hope this paper can inspire clinical researchers who are developing emotion-labeling interventions for clinical practice, to study the potential pitfalls of encouraging over-labeling of negative emotions, and the potential utility of teaching positive words Vine said.”  During their study, Vine uncovered that students who used more names for sadness increased in sadness over the course of the experiment. The same findings correlated with words associated with fear and anger. None of us are immune to negative self-talk, as it is part of the human experience. Our philosophy at Connective Human is founded on Sawubona – to see people for who they really are – not their emotional vocabularies. It is vital for the growth of our collective consciousness to understand these nuances to create a more inclusive and tolerant society.

Negative Self-talk At Work

This directly correlates to our working environment as well. Too often our colleagues are plagued with negative self-talk that adversely influences their ability to perform at their best. To combat negative self-talk, we must become aware and understand the “internal drivers” or unconscious narratives that influence our thought life.  The operative word is awareness, as that is the first step in creating a healthier internal dialogue. Through awareness, individuals break out their negative language patterns into sub-categories. Identifying these patterns initiates a deconstruction and dissociation process towards non-serving language. This can be unsettling or uncomfortable in the beginning, but we teach how to reconstruct a more constructive dialogue through “counting wins” or being grateful for the smallest of occurrences in one’s life.

Final Thoughts


As humans, we have a unbelievable opportunity to create a more healthy thought life through easy, daily practices such as learning our language, counting our wins, reviewing our daily direction and creating a mind map or vision for our future.

We hope this blog finds you well and speaks to your heart.

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Beau Blouin

Growth Mindset Coach

Beau Blouin honorably served nine years in the United States Marine Corps. During his time in the Marines, he deployed twice to Iraq and Afghanistan. After seeing combat in Afghanistan, he decided to take his leadership and growth mindset training back to states to create two social enterprises. 

Beau Blouin

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