We all have those days where it seems like you can’t do anything right. You spill coffee on your white shirt, you’re late to an important meeting, and you forgot your lunch in the fridge at home. As a result, you start to internally berate yourself. “I’m so dumb” or “I can’t do anything right.” If you find yourself stuck in this endless loop of beating yourself up, see how these 4 things work for you.
1. Thought Stopping
It might sound silly but literally stopping a negative thought is one of the simplest ways to get out of this habit. By imagining a stop sign or verbally say, “stop” when the thoughts come can act as a gentle reminder that you’re trying to change. This creates a new habit in exchange for your self-criticism.
2. Thought Replacing
Once you’ve successfully stopped a thought you need to replace it. Instead of saying something like “I can never do anything right” replace that with “I’m committed to learning and bettering myself.” You’re deserving of compassion, even from yourself.
3. Be Realistic
In the age of instant everything, it’s hard to remain realistic about trying to change bad habits. You’re not going to be free from your self-criticism right away. Additionally, you’ll likely want to spend some time analyzing some of your habits and daily activities. Just be sure that you’re doing so in a balanced way and staying focused on the present. You can’t change the fact that you never exercised enough in the past but you can focus on doing one active activity today.
4. Do Something You Enjoy
The problem with self-critical thoughts is that it’s easy to get stuck in them. In fact, they can be so bad you almost feel paralyzed by them. So get up and do something you enjoy! Do something that makes you feel good. Doing something you like boosts your confidence and makes you feel good.
Everyone is a little self-critical at times, which isn’t always a bad thing. Being a little critical allows us to improve ourselves. However, it becomes a problem when we become overly critical and allow that criticism to control our lives and our happiness. Self-criticism can result in anxiety, depression, and a loss of interest in things you once enjoyed. If you’re struggling with your critical thoughts, counseling might be able to help. By offering an outside view of your thoughts, you can gain better clarity. If you’re curious about how counseling can help you, contact us today to schedule an appointment.