Each of us is affected differently by wellness and health. This is the narrative of one particular individual.
As a mental health blogger, I receive emails from readers of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds, including people who most of us would consider to be quite successful who are struggling to overcome the negative self-talk that is holding them back.
Nobody I’ve ever known hasn’t struggled with low self-esteem at some point in their lives. According to a popular proverb, we are typically our own harshest critics. This can be seen in all aspects of our lives, not just our jobs.
The nagging negative voice can truly harm us if left uncontrolled, yet few of us know how to combat it. Here are some options for changing the radio station if the song “I’m the worst” keeps repeating in your brain.
1. Name The Critical, Harsh Voice In Your Thoughts
My acquaintance told me that they named the negative voice in their head Brian in an attempt to counterbalance the way their grief affected their thinking.
Why, Brian? They informed me that it is an anagram of the term “brain.” Clever, yes, but also a timely reminder that we are merely the ones listening to our ideas, not our thoughts themselves.
As a result, whatever you label that critical voice, make sure it discourages you from connecting with it or giving it too much weight. Consider yourself the filter, deciding which ideas to keep and which to eliminate.
It is critical to keep negative, self-defeating thoughts at bay.
Thoughts are uncontrolled, but you can try to maintain a healthy distance from them. Recognize when a self-deprecating idea enters your mind, such as “I’m not good enough, smart enough, or worthy enough.”
“Thank you for your input, Brian,” you could say.
Then, by asking questions and flipping them, you can confirm that it isn’t always true:
- Do you truly fail as a result of that mistake, or are you just flawed like everyone else?
- Was your boss’s outburst really the product of her bad day, or of your inadequacy?
- Could it be that your friend is simply too busy to answer to your text, or that he dislikes you?
- If you take the time to look for it, there is always another point of view available.
Thoughts are just that, and it’s easy to forget that when we take them at face value.
2. Make Use Of A Guided Meditation Exercise
Confession: After going through a lot of adversity in my life, my sense of self-worth plummeted. I reflected on what had happened and allowed my anguish to construct a picture of myself as unworthy of protection, care, or agency.
At the advice of a friend, I decided to pursue meditation as a trauma rehabilitation approach. Although I was skeptical at first, I was pleasantly delighted by how much it aided me. I used the app Simple Habit to work through Catherine Cook’s “Heal Cottone’s From Trauma” series, and I discovered affirmations I didn’t even know I needed.
Cook-Cottone, for example, advises going through the healing process “at the speed of trust.” Because I’d always been upset with myself and wondered why I couldn’t just “get over” my earlier trauma, this paradigm inspired me to be more patient with myself. A violation of trust is frequently the cause of trauma, and rehabilitation is dependent on trust.
After becoming more aware of the damaging assumptions I had learned about myself from my traumatic experiences, I was able to change the self-defeating mental script that my brain enjoyed repeating.
But I shouldn’t be shocked; regular meditation offers numerous benefits for both physical and emotional well-being. With so many apps to choose from, getting started is easier than ever.
3. Develop Your Capacity For Reflection
When I’m feeling down on myself about anything, I try to imagine what I’d say to a friend who was going through the same thing.
If we can take a step back and exercise self-compassion, we can keep perspective. Can you imagine someone you care about standing in your shoes? What acts or phrases would you employ to assist them?
However, not everyone is naturally gifted in this area. When I’m having difficulty with this, I like to use the Wysa app. A group of psychologists and designers collaborated to build the interactive chatbot, which works as a life coach on your pocket. It uses artificial intelligence to help you overcome self-defeating ideas and actions while implementing various self-care and behavioral treatment tactics.
Wysa, for example, teaches you to spot cognitive distortions, or the lies our brain tells us all the time.
Perhaps you’re making too many assumptions, blaming yourself when it’s not required, or making too many broad generalizations. Wysa can assist you in seeing patterns like these, determining when they are inaccurate or useless, and developing new perspectives on an issue or event.
If you need a little help putting things in perspective, a chatbot like Wysa could be a great tool.
4. Make A Diary Right Now
Keeping a journal is a wonderful tool for personal expression. Journaling is not only cathartic, but it is also an excellent tool for developing self-awareness. We typically fail to question negative beliefs because we don’t always recognize them; nevertheless, everyday writing can substantially benefit in this process.
Making a simple, two-column journal has been a beneficial habit for me. I keep track of any complaints I have of myself in the first column throughout the day.
When I get a minute, I look at the thoughts I’ve accumulated in that column and rewrite them in the second column — this time, I look for a more empowering or positive approach to reframe what I wrote.
For example, if I put in the left column, “I made a foolish error at work,” I would rework it as, “I learned a better way to do something at work, so now I can improve.”
I might edit “I dislike how awful my skin appears” as “I didn’t like how my skin looked today, but my clothes was fantastic.”
It may sound corny, but self-esteem requires rehearsal and practice. Finding a private location to try on a new attitude, such as a notebook, might help us learn to adjust our perspective.
5. Look Into Hiring A Therapist
It’s critical to understand that if your negative thoughts persist and have an influence on your quality of life and functioning, it could be an indication of something more serious.
If you see these ideas accompanying illnesses such as sadness, anxiety, low motivation, weariness, hopelessness, and others, it’s always a good idea to see a therapist or psychologist to ensure you’re getting the best care available.
It’s not as simple as thinking positive thoughts and keeping a journal when it comes to mental health disorders like depression and anxiety. Having a sounding board from an unbiased outsider’s perspective can sometimes completely change your outlook. If you are unsure whether you can afford therapy, this resource can assist you in determining the best alternative for you.
When we try something new, we can all feel a little stupid, especially if it doesn’t come naturally to us. But that doesn’t guarantee it will remain that way indefinitely. When it comes to self-esteem, keep in mind that it takes time to develop. But, with some practice, I hope you’ll discover that your mental health and fitness are always worthwhile investments.