Have you ever heard the saying, “You are your own worst critic.” ? Most people are much harder on themselves than others and than they perceive others would be. Try some of these tips to stop this thought pattern.

1) Validate Yourself. Try to use nonjudgmental self-statements such as,  “I am allowed to feel this way” or “Everyone feels like this sometimes.”  It should be noted that there is a difference between these validating statements and actually liking the emotion you are feeling. With these statements you are attempting to eliminate the tendency to add even more negative feelings to the ones you are already having.

2) Accept Reality. When something negative happens to you do you ever hear yourself saying, “It’s not fair!” or “It shouldn’t be this way!” ? These statements do little to help a negative situation and again just add more fuel to the fire and make you feel worse. Remember, accepting reality doesn’t mean you have to like it, just that you are acknowledging it. Most of these situations involve the actions of others and are therefore things over which you have no control (i.e. your boyfriend ending your relationship or your grandmother passing away.) Being able to accept situations that make you feel bad will not change the reality or make all the pain go away, however, it can help reduce the amount of pain you feel.

3) Connect With Positive Feelings. Find a place that you can feel comfortable and relax. Try to focus on just your breathing, trying to shut out all other thoughts. As you do this, think positive thoughts such as the feeling you get when your dog comes to greet you or when you see someone you care about. Recall positive experiences you have had in your past. As you do this, start to say nice things to yourself. Some examples are, “I am kind” “I am healthy” “I am good.” Use ones that work for you.