Developing a kind inner voice isn’t always easy. Especially when you’re used to your inner voice being your biggest critic. The things we say to ourselves are things that we would never say to a stranger or best friend because we hold ourselves to such a high standard. Listening to this inner voice constantly critique your every move can cause a host of issues like anxiety or depression. If you’re experiencing a power struggle between yourself and your inner critic, here are 4 ways you can practice kindness towards yourself.
1. Forgive Yourself
We’re all just doing the best we can with the knowledge that we have. This means that sometimes we may experience loss, heartbreak, or disappointment and later down the road kick ourselves for having not known any better. However, life is about learning lessons. Forgiving yourself isn’t about making excuses for yourself, it’s about showing compassion for yourself and recognizing that even you make mistakes sometimes. Take the losses and turn them into lifelong lessons.
2. Stop Comparing Yourself
In the digital age it’s so easy to compare yourself to friends, family, and even strangers online you’ll likely never meet. Remember that social media is carefully curated to showcase the best of the best in someone’s life. Do you share photos of yourself crying yourself to sleep or eating cold takeout over the sink? No! So, don’t feel bad when you’re having a rough day and someone is sharing a photo of them from the Maldives. The best remedy is to just unfollow the people that trigger your desire to compare your lifestyle to theirs.
3. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is a big buzzword right now. Everyone is into it. So, you might be confused as to what it is. It’s not just some New Age mumbo-jumbo. Mindfulness has serious and scientific evidence that it can benefit you when you’re experiencing a negative self-talk spiral. Observing your thoughts rather than categorizing them as “good” or “bad” can help to prevent you from falling into a shame spiral. Just remember, these thoughts will pass.
4. Talk to Yourself like You Would Your Friends
If you spoke to your friends in the same manner that you speak to yourself would those people still be your friends? Probably not. So why do you think it’s okay to talk to yourself like that? If you’re still struggling to disengage from the negative self-talk, try writing the thoughts down and create an argument. You’ll be quick to discover that many of your negative thoughts have little to no evidence.
Practicing compassion and kindness towards yourself will benefit all areas of your life. If you’re still struggling with your negative self-talk, don’t beat yourself up. Give us a call and we can help you work out a way to develop more positive self-talk. You don’t have to fight these thoughts alone. We can help.