Now, more than ever, we need more kindness. Everyone can probably agree that kindness is good. However, the kindness that I am writing about is self-kindness. While working with patients on a daily basis, I hear people putting themselves down, such as commenting on gaining a few pounds during quarantine, which is not helpful to a patient’s mindset. It’s normal for our bodies to change during new and stressful times. Additionally, too often we reply to compliments with a dig (negative response) about ourselves. As noted in my prior posts, emotions (and mindset) are one of the leading causes of back pain and other conditions.
We would never say these negative comments about/to our friends, so we should practice stomping out negative thoughts and comments about ourselves. We should treat ourselves like we would treat our best friend. Think about the constant internal conversations you are having with yourself. Are your internal conversations uplifting and supportive, or are these conversations destructive and unhelpful? Take a few days and pay attention to your inner voice. Be mindful to make sure that your inner voice is bringing you love, support, and kindness!
How To Fix It
Consider the following self-help techniques to strengthen your confidence and emotional health:
- The next time you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts, focus on something that you love about yourself. For example, are you beating yourself down for taking too long to finish a project? To remedy this, be proud of yourself for tackling something difficult. Are you mad at the body you see in the mirror? If so, thank your body for all the important processes it does to keep you healthy. Although this takes time and practice, the best way to squash negative thoughts is with positivity and gratitude.
- Secondly, practice learning how to healthfully accept a compliment. The next time someone gives you a compliment, say thank you and return a compliment! Whenever someone compliments you, remember that they are being genuine. When was the last time you complimented someone’s outfit without meaning it?
- Finally, when you do something wrong, focus on forgiving yourself, and then move on. If you find yourself thinking negative thoughts or speaking negative words about yourself, acknowledge that thought, then move on.
Everyone gets down on themselves at some point in life. Negative thoughts are not real; our brain makes them up and we accept them as truth. When negativity creeps in, recognize it and dismiss it. To learn more about your emotional state, and the potential impact it may having on your body, take my Emotional Assessment.