Have you ever had a judgmental voice in your head saying things like, “You’re a wuss” “Why can’t you just be like everyone else?” “Lazy, you can’t even exercise three times a week!” “You’re not good enough to succeed in placing live betting odds on 22Bet.” “What makes you think he likes you? He wouldn’t even look at someone like you!”
That’s the voice of our many-faced inner critic. It’s familiar to many of us, and it surreptitiously, and sometimes out loud, comments and devalues our lives.
Would you let someone treat your friend like that? Your mother or your child? Probably not. That said, a large number of people allow themselves to be treated that way.
Where the Inner Critic Comes From and What He Does
It comes on the scene when we internalize the idea that there is an ideal to strive for, and without punishment/negative motivation we will begin to be lazy and stop going toward the goal.
But does the inner critic really help us move forward?
High levels of self-criticism are not only bad for our mood and well-being during the day, but also increase the risk of depression, sociophobia, PTSD, eating disorders, self-harming and suicidal behavior.
It’s not to say that your inner critic wants to hurt you. He is part of your psyche, and his goal is to help you accomplish some task. Another thing is that more often than not, his activity doesn’t bring any benefit and is even harmful.
What Can Be Done?
Try to analyze how your inner critic works. Answer the following questions for yourself:
- When does he raise his voice more often? What does he criticize you for?
- What words does he say?
- How does he want to influence you with those words?
- What does he sound like? Does it remind you of someone?
- How do you feel when you hear his voice?
- How do you treat yourself in difficult situations?
An Alternative to Self-criticism Is Self-compassion
Learning to empathize with yourself, to refuse to evaluate yourself, and to accept yourself is important for mental wellbeing.
To begin with, you must learn to pause in moments of distress, to pay attention to your suffering. Pain, fear, shame, and other negative emotions are all worthy of your sympathy and dont deserve criticism or judgment.
However, it isn’t enough to simply stop judging yourself. It’s important to actively support yourself not only with words, but also with actions that help you feel better.
A “Hug Yourself” Exercise
A gentle hug is a good way to calm and comfort yourself. You may feel strange and uncomfortable doing this practice at first, but your body will respond pleasantly to hugs, gentle touches, and caring. After a few minutes, you’ll feel yourself becoming calmer.
However, it’s important to put only warmth and care into this action, without allowing even a shadow of negativity or any double meanings.
Try to track: how does your body respond to this embrace? What do you feel?
Try hugging yourself daily in moments when you feel bad. Gradually, this technique will become a habit, and you will automatically turn to it whenever you need it.
Attention to Yourself
Awareness is also a component of compassion. Without paying attention to your condition in the here and now, it is difficult to notice your own suffering, but it is very easy to ignore it by switching to thoughts of the past or the future.
Focus of Attention Exercise
This technique helps one form the habit of attentive, centered attention.
Take an opportunity to spend ten minutes in silence. Sit down, relax, and close your eyes. Start noting and naming anything that comes into focus of your attention. It may be a sound, a smell, a physical sensation, a thought, an emotion. Allow your attention to shift between your present sensations, becoming aware of what you are feeling.
Developing self-compassion isn’t a quick path. Your inner critic will continue to be active and poke fun at you. It’s important to continue to treat yourself and him kindly, with consideration and sympathy.
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