We all have an inner voice that loves to engage in negative self-talk. It’s common to hear that voice say hurtful things such as: I look terrible, I’m not good enough, I always mess this up.
Everything you say to yourself matters. Unfortunately, we all have negative things to say about ourselves at times which can lead to a lack of self-confidence, emotional distress and potentially lead to depression and other self-destructive behaviors. It’s important to squash the inner critic and change our mindset for our mental health. After all, if we’re not kind to ourselves how can we be kind to others?
Here are some tips on how to stop beating yourself up from therapist Alex Greenwald (MHC-LP) of Empower Your Mind Therapy:
- Speak to yourself as though you were speaking to a best friend. You would never call your best friend dumb or not good enough!
- Practice Loving Kindness – Take time out of your day to say one kind statement to yourself. “May I be happy,” “I am good enough,” “I’ve got this” – A simple mantra can reset your day in a positive tone.
- Allow yourself to do things you love at least once a day, such as taking a brisk walk or dancing to fun, upbeat music.
- Avoid comparing yourself to others. Everyone is different and comparing yourself to someone else or how they may have handled things are not productive.
- Flip the script. Challenge yourself to change the way you view the situation. Instead of saying, “I’m a terrible parent, I always yell” try “I will work on my patience. I’m doing my best”
- Try a gratitude journal. Write down three things you are grateful for or love about yourself every morning. This will set your day in happiness and confidence and will remind you of the important things in life.
- Use mindfulness to focus on the present moment and be nonjudgmental to yourself. Don’t focus on what you should have done or what you would have done. Move forward.
- Ask for support. Talking through an issue with a friend or partner might help you find a solution or a healthy way of dealing with your emotions. It may also strengthen your relationship, and the knowledge of having unconditional support can improve mental health.
- Engage with your inner critic and tell yourself these negative thoughts are not true. Replace the critic with a cheerleader and try to change your mindset in real time.
- Take a break! Sometimes not doing anything at all and giving yourself time to reset is exactly what you need to feel better about yourself or a certain situation.
Alex Greenwald (MHC-LP) is a therapist from Empower Your Mind Therapy – based in New York City – a telehealth services to young adults and teens with an emphasis on Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). Areas of focus include individualized and group therapy for: Anxiety, Borderline Personality, Depression, Eating Disorders, Life Transitions, Self-Harming, PTSD. Along with Alex’s professional training, her own history with emotional struggles allows her to establish powerful, empathic relationships with her clients. She provides honest, authentic feedback and is very goal-oriented and interactive. Areas of focus include: Trauma, Life Transitions, Bipolar Disorder, Relationships, Depression, Anxiety, Women’s Issues, LGBTQIA+ Issues, Stress.