"Most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself rather than talking to yourself."
This quote is from David Martyn Lloyd-Jones, who wrote a book entitled, "Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure". It's nice to distinguish spiritual (mental, self-inflicted) from what we might call "physical" depression, i.e., that which is caused by chemical imbalance or physical causes.
Being aware of your self-talk and monitoring it, and then changing it, i.e., taking control of it, is crucial to emotional intelligence. If you are talking to yourself in demeaning, degrading, pessimistic, discouraging, hateful ways, you can STOP doing this and START doing something different.
You are not a helpless victim at the hands of your thoughts. Most of our self-talk - those thoughts rambling around in our heads all day long, whether we're conscious of them or not -- originate from our parents. Also anyone else who was influential enough to us, or around us long enough. Could be a long-term marriage partner, for instance, but mostly from parents. We internalize how our parents taught us to feel about ourselves.
You had no choice when you were a little kid. Now that you're an adult, you have a choice!
Monitor for a week the things you say to yourself. Write them down and take a good look at them. If they were coming from someoneelse how long would you choose to stay in the room with that person?
Then, start talking to yourself, not listening to yourself.
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