Stop Being Your Own Worst Critic and Start Using Positive Self-Talk

November 8, 2016
Christian Rehab Network
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Smiling woman

“Uh, I can’t believe I lost my car keys. Again.”

“Why can’t I lose these last 10 pounds?”

“All of my friends are married and I'm still single. Of course.”

Does any of this sound like the running commentary that you tell yourself? Do you do a really great job of reminding yourself of every mistake, perceived inadequacy and missed opportunity? If this sounds all too familiar, you are not doing yourself any favors. And, you are actually chipping away at your self-esteem, one negative thought at a time.

So why is building up your confidence so important? Using positive self-talk is good for your mental health –  and it is even more critical for those on a path to addiction recovery. By maintaining a more positive self-image, you’ll be less likely to return to a life of drug and alcohol abuse.

Want to start boosting your self-esteem? Here are a few tips to stop your inner critic.

(1) Don’t put a label on yourself. Putting a label on yourself (like “Lazy” of “Fat”) is self-defeating and it doesn’t articulate who you are as a person. The next time you find yourself trying to define yourself negatively, make a mental list of your positive traits instead.

(2) Take a self-appreciation break every day. While you may not be able to completely banish negative self-talk, you can fight it using a positive approach. Carve five minutes out of your daily schedule to think about three things that make you proud of yourself. And, it can just be little things like cooking a healthy meal the night before.

(3) Ask yourself if you would talk that way to a friend. It’s unfortunate that sometimes we as human beings are comfortable emotionally abusing ourselves but would never treat anyone else that same way. The next time you start berating yourself, ask yourself if you would judge a friend or family member like that.

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