Does the little voice in the back of your head have a hard time piping down? It might cause you to second-guess your instincts, or question whether or not your outfit is flattering, or have you wondering whether or not you really offended your boss with a silly joke. Sure, it’s good to look at yourself with a critical eye from time to time, but all of the time? It’s simply not healthy.
The good news is that there are many ways for you to improve the way that you talk to yourself about yourself. It all comes down to the power of positive thinking. Here are five positive thinking strategies to use to silence your inner critic once and for all.
You’re most susceptible to believing your inner critic when you’re stressed out or anxious. This high-strung mindset makes it difficult to think rationally in general — imagine how hard you are on yourself when stress seeps in. Fortunately, there are countless ways to blow off steam, and you are sure to find a winning combination for you. If you like to sweat, for example, you could try out a cycling or boxing class. You could also try something more relaxing, like yoga or meditation. No matter what you find, you’re sure to make a positive impact on your life and on your self-critiques.
Change your tone
You’re certainly used to hearing your own inner monologue by now — it has been playing your entire life. Most repetitive sounds can be tuned out, but the same doesn’t go for the critical messages that you send to yourself. Since it’s borderline impossible to have complete control over what you think and when you think it, try and get a handle on the tone of the messages that you send yourself. It’s your duty to realize when the thoughts that pass through your brain are exaggerated or otherwise untrue. We’re often very hard on ourselves, and our inner monologues exacerbate the issue. Change the tone of your thoughts and you’ll be able to change your attitude, too.
Wallow in your successes
When you make a mistake, it’s easy to get blinded by it. You can replay it in your mind, mulling over all of the different ways it could have started or finished. This is an unhealthy habit to let yourself fall into. A great way to counteract your negative inner monologue is to remember all of the things you’ve done right in your life. Keep a journal or simple list that highlights the successes you’ve had in your life. Reading about your happy marriage or recent job promotion or the purchase of your new condo will make you realize that you’re doing way better than what you give yourself credit for.
Look at it from someone else’s eyes
We’re quicker to empathize and encourage our friends than we are ourselves. Next time you’re feeling low, try not to cut yourself down like you would normally. Look at your situation from a friendly perspective instead — what would you say to a buddy? Things like, “It’s really not that big of a deal,” or “You did the best you could” go a long way with your loved ones. They’ll go a long way with you, too!
Be the change
It’s a weeknight and you get home late from work. The only things in your kitchen are a frozen TV dinner and the raw ingredients that you could use to make a healthy, from-scratch meal. You know that the former is easier, but you’ll beat yourself up about it later. Which do you grab for?
It’s times like these where your inner monologue’s negativity can help you make a positive change. Perhaps there’s a shred of truth within its sentiments, although they could be framed in a less hurtful way. For example, if you aspire to eat more healthily — and your brain won’t let you forget every nutritional mistake you make — you should use your feelings to push you in the right direction. The same goes for a subpar work presentation, for example: next time, you can give yourself even more time to prepare so that you crush it. Even in your negative thoughts, there is positivity to be found. Use it to inspire you in the future, and you’ll find that your self-reflection takes on a happier tone.