Recently, the Madefor Team had a conversation with Ethan Kross, author of national bestseller, Chatter. He taught us how to channel our inner chatter (or negative thoughts) into positive outcomes. Our live session received such positive feedback that we decided to create a FREE 5-day Text Challenge to help you better navigate chatter.
What is chatter? Have you ever gone through a grocery list in your head or repeated a person's name silently to yourself when meeting them for the first time? Most likely yes - this is you using your inner voice. Sometimes this voice helps us and other times hurts us. When our silent conversation turns negative, that is our inner critic at work and what Ethan refers to as "chatter."
Chatter can tank our health, sink our moods, and strain our social connections. Below, you will find five Challenges designed to help you manage and understand your inner chatter. .
Ready to get started? Check out a few success stories we heard from Chatter Challenge participants then scroll down to try our 5-day Chatter Challenge. You got this!
“This Challenge gave me ideas on how to help a few people on my team that seem to be stuck in a negative chatter wheel. Thank you!”
“Thank you for the continued guidance. Sharing is helping me!”
Day 1: Create Order
Feeling like you are losing control is common when you experience chatter. One way to alleviate this is by intentionally creating "physical order" in your environment to cultivate a sense of "mental order." The first Challenge is to identify a space in your home where you spend the most time and tidy it up. Send a picture to a close friend of the finished space and challenge them to do the same! Watch this clip from Ethan to learn more about how to create order.
Day 2: Practice Distanced Self-Talk
Chatter creates tunnel vision which can prevent us from seeing the bigger picture. One trick to gain perspective is to talk to yourself like you would your best friend. Refer to yourself by name or in the second-person “you” when working through a difficult experience. An example is to say to yourself, "You can do this, Ethan."
Learn more about Distanced Self-Talk from Ethan Kross and write down on a piece of paper or in your journal an example on how you "talked back" to your chatter today.
Day 3: Cultivate an Experience of Awe
When we experience awe, we experience something called “the shrinking of the self,'' which makes our own concerns feel small in comparison to our current experience. It's that feeling of vastness you get when you see something like the Grand Canyon for the first time. The good news is you don’t need to drive to the Grand Canyon to cultivate this emotion!
When the chatter kicks up today, get out and experience awe by marveling at something around you. Try watching the sunrise or staring up at a starry night sky. Focus on the feeling of vastness and what amazes you about the experience. What did you do? How did it impact your perspective? Write it down in a journal or notebook.
Day 4: Practice Mental Time Travel
Exciting news - time travel does exist! In fact, mental time travel is a very useful way to shift your emotional state. When you notice chatter taking over today, take a pause and think about how you'll feel a month, a year, or even longer from now. Will this moment be as upsetting in the future?
So, when your neighbor inevitably launches those fireworks into the sky at midnight on the 4th of July and wakes you, your kids, or your pets - keep this tool in mind! Want to learn more about Mental Time Travel? Listen here.
Day 5: Create a Board of Advisors
Your last Challenge! Learn to create your very own Board of Advisors. We often turn to ANY close friend or family member to vent to as we work through a problem, but what if we chose a small group of people who are uniquely equipped to provide pointed support and advice around a particular area or situation instead? Think about how much more helpful that interaction would be for you.
Who are the best two people in your life to support you when you face a work situation? Or a family issue? Or provide relationship support? Watch this clip from Ethan Kross with tips on how to build a personal Board of Advisors. Write down who you picked to help you through a challenge you are facing today and why - then reach out. You got this!
Great job! You completed the Madefor 5-day Chatter Challenge. There is no doubt you will continue to experience chatter. However, our hope is that you now have internal tools at your fingertips to help control it better. We've only scratched the surface of tools that exist to help during this Challenge (Ethan outlines 26 in his book!). Bottom line, the more you get into action to manage it, the better your life will be.
Interested in learning more of the science behind how to manage your chatter? Pat Dossett (Madefor Co-founder), Dr. Andrew Huberman (Madefor Advisor and Neuroscientist), and Ethan Kross had a conversation around channeling your inner thoughts. Click this link to watch the recorded session.