4 Ways To Develop Healthy Self-Talk

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This wall art can be purchased at the I Am Awakened etsy shop. At the time of this post, it was listed at $5.50.

This post is a continuation of last week’s Overcoming Self-Criticism. While I shared my story of working towards overcoming this nasty habit of being unkind to myself, I wanted to give some concrete ways of healthy self-talk.

So here’s a list of 5 things I have done in the past that has helped me with positive self-talk:

  1. Writing a “happy” list. I have written about things I am grateful for, or a list of my favorite things. I like to write down favorite memories, moments in nature, my favorite foods, etc. Sometimes remembering what you love and what makes you happy can help you to feel that happiness again.
  2. Reminding myself that it’s okay. It’s okay to feel. It’s okay to experience. I can move on from where I am. This particularly helps when I feeling stressed about being stressed, or angry about being angry. 🙂
  3. Using a creative outlet. Now, when I say this, I don’t mean that long novel you’re editing, or the piece of art that you can’t quite get right. I mean something fun. I’ve made collages, or played with acrylic paint. Sometimes I make up a silly song. I think the combination of creativity and play allows me to be more accepting of myself.
  4. Forgetting Myself. This one can seem counter-intuitive, but it does work. When I take time to try and make sure those around me feel loved, I tend to forget my doubts about being lovable myself. There are many different ways you can do this, including volunteer service, reaching out to coworkers or family members. (Of course, please don’t neglect your personal needs in the process.) This can be a great way of overcoming self-criticism.
  5. Write A Self-Love List -Seriously. Write down all of the things you love about yourself. What are your talents? Your interests? Your accomplishments? Personality traits? Sometimes this can be a little hard when you are feeling down -believe me, I know. So, you can start by asking friends, family and loved ones things they like about you. Or try writing things down when you are in a good mood. Then refer to this list when it gets really tough to be nice to yourself. I’ve made a list like this, and it has helped me to pull of many a rut.

These are some of the items in my toolbelt that I use when I am having a “hate Dana” moment. I hope that they will  be able to help you on your journey towards a healthy self-relationship. 🙂

 

Overcoming Self-Criticism

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You can instantly download this awesome wall-art from the Studio Printables etsy shop. At the time of this post, it was listed at $3.

To be honest, when I first listened to the challenge for Day 6, my first thought was “Ugh.” I don’t like sharing vulnerability. Then, I decided that maybe this challenge will be really good for me. 🙂

So, today I decided to talk about verbal abuse –towards one self. I’ve been on Pinterest long enough to know that I’m not the only woman out there who struggles with being self-critical. You don’t have to search for long to find posts reminding us that we’re special, that we’re enough, and that we’re filled with glitter and sunshine. 🙂 And yet, even though I know I’m not alone in self-criticism, it can seem really isolating. So often, it can seem like I’m the only one who spends way too much time saying unkind things to myself.

Sometimes it can seem like I’m just being honest –that I’m just speaking the cold, hard truth to myself. Most of the time, however, that’s not the case. While self-improvement is a good thing, and working to overcome weakness is also a good thing, self-destruction is not. I think a lot of what makes this key distinction between the two is the tone, or the attitude in which we talk to ourselves. Self-critiquing can be effective when paired with compassion, patience, and a belief that we can change. But when it becomes a downward spiral filled with shame, and hopelessness, it veers into the territory of self-hatred.

I believe strongly that we all have worth beyond measure, and the capacity to grow exponentially. I think that when done right, we can objectively look at ourselves, determine how we want to change our lives, and reach those goals. But I really think this needs to be done with kindness towards ourselves, not harshness.

beyou
This wall art can be bought at the Rhys And Ryn etsy shop. At the time of this post, it was listed at $9.

But how does this apply to me? Well, let me tell you… I have struggled so much over the years with social situations, simply because of how unkind I am to myself. Time after time, I have come to the event, my heart pounding, worrying that I everyone will hate me, that I will say something stupid, and that somehow, I will have ruined everyone’s day. And then, after each time the evening has ended, I have been ready to cry, convinced that I have ruined other’s perception of me, that I was beyond awkward, and that I have ruined future chances for friendship. Most of the time, this isn’t even true. Most of the time, I just came off a little shy. While I do still struggle with this on occasion, it has -thankfully -gotten much better.

This past time losing weight, I decided to take a different route than my usual. I took small, reasonable steps, and most importantly, I worked on being kind to myself. Instead of looking at photo-shopped models that I wanted to aspire to be like, I looked at pictures of my highest weight, and said kind things to that girl. I then cheered myself on when the mirror indicated I was losing weight. I cheered myself on for getting stronger. I cheered myself on for cheering myself on! And this optimism, this embracing of myself helped me to want to reach out more, and in a very real way, it helped me to reach my goal of losing weight in away verbal self-abuse never could.

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This wall-art can be downloaded at the Kathy Panton Art etsy shop. At the time of this post, it was listed at $1.

 

I’d love to be able to say that I’m 100% over perfectionism, and self-criticism, but I’m not. What I can say is that I have come a long way in this regards. I can feel the difference. Through this process I have become a lot more compassionate towards others. I’ve found that it helps me to think more objectively about myself, and about stressful situations.

Now, again, I don’t advocate running from challenges, or for a lackadaisical approach to life. I simply think that we should show the same love to ourselves that we do to other people. After all, we’re stuck with ourselves. We might as well make it a beautiful relationship.

Well, that was me getting vulnerable. I hope I’m able to reach out and help someone today. 🙂