It’s easy to get overwhelmed by negative thought patterns. When those negative thoughts are directed at yourself, they feed your depression and anxiety. You may feel like your mood is spiraling out of control. To help get yourself back on track, practice some self-compassion exercises.
Self-compassion is about being kinder to yourself. It takes practice, but it can boost your mood and confidence if you consistently work at it.
1. Turn Negative Thoughts Into Affirmations
Negative thoughts will come and go. You may find yourself automatically thinking thoughts like “I’m stupid” or “I hate myself.” Don’t judge yourself for these thoughts. Avoid telling yourself you’re a bad person for thinking them. Instead, replace the thought with an affirmation. If your thought was “I’m stupid,” turn it into “I am capable.” If your thought was “I hate myself,” say “I am lovable.” You might not feel these affirmations are true at first, but the more you say them, the more you’ll start to believe them.
2. Forgive Yourself For Mistakes
Do you harshly criticize yourself for mistakes? Ask yourself this question: Would you criticize a close friend or relative the way you criticize yourself? For some people, it’s easy to be more forgiving of others than it is to be of yourself. Let yourself have a “forgiveness pass.” Remind yourself that the world is full of imperfect people who make mistakes — and you’re one of them. It’s okay to be imperfect too.
3. Do Something Kind For Yourself
When someone does something kind for you, does it brighten your day? Start doing little things that make you happy. You might treat yourself to a cup of tea, take a bath with Epsom salts to relax, or enjoy a nice walk outside in the sun. It doesn’t have to be something big as long as you’re doing it to be kind to yourself.
Having self-compassion isn’t being selfish. It’s about learning to love yourself and building your confidence. It may be difficult at first, and it can take time to break old thought patterns. If you think you need help, contact us to find out about our counseling services.