A Guide to Self-Health: How to stop being Self-Blaming and Self-Critical
Maybe it’s a persistent nagging or a voice in your head warning you that you better do well in that interview and not screw it up, or maybe it’s a simple, but powerful, wave of guilt that lets you know that you once again didn’t measure up.
However it strikes, self-criticism is your worst enemy – it can lower your self esteem, and keep you constantly worried and on-edge about the future.
It’s important that we learn to be self-compassionate. The best way to dismantle self-blame and self-criticism is through therapy, but there are some self-help techniques you can try:
- Work on seeing yourself wholly – Both self-blame and self-criticism rely on reducing a person to a small number of character flaws that supposedly define him or her. Journaling can help you begin to see yourself with greater clarity, as can talking to close friends about how they see you, in all your complexity.
- Develop self-compassion – Be kind and understanding of yourself. Be aware of painful feelings without being overwhelmed by them or overly identifying with them. Replace self-critical messages with more positive and realistic ones. Example: I am a good person and proud of what I have accomplished.
- Mindfulness – Focusing attention on the present moment will help you accomplish this. Using meditation allows for an open and curious attitude about one’s current thoughts and a conscious awareness of the one’s feelings in the present moment. Watch videos that teach meditation for beginners and practice it.
In the end, it’s all about treating yourself the way you would ideally like to treat your own child, about getting off that train that says there are only right and wrong ways of running your life.
It’s about truly becoming your own best friend.