Why You Should Be Your Own Best FriendPosted: 16th of April 2015 by
Imagine if you had a friend who followed you around criticising your every move, telling you that you are stupid, useless, ugly, or whatever other negative statements you care to think of. Chances are they wouldn’t be your friend for very long. So, why is it that so many of us spend so much time telling ourselves these exact same things? Constantly putting yourself down with negative thoughts can have a detrimental impact on your mental well-being, and leave you feeling worthless and depressed. Instead of bullying yourself with negative thoughts you should try to ditch your inner bully and try to be your own best friend instead?
Beating yourself up can become a habit, which means you need to work to break it and instead train your mind to think more positively about yourself. However, with a little practice it can become second nature to be kinder to yourself which will, in turn, help you to avoid things like depression and feelings of worthlessness.
The key is to practice self-compassion. This is different from self-esteem as it is all about giving yourself a break, and being kind to yourself. In fact, recent research shows that having self-compassion can even be better for you than self-esteem, which can be easily undermined when things go wrong.
The first step is to treat yourself like your own best friend. When you hear your inner voice criticising you think instead about what you would say to a close friend in the same situation. Chances are you would be supportive, telling them that everything is Ok and that they are fine, rather than tearing them down further. If it helps you can imagine that you have a guardian angel and try to think about what this spiritual person would say to you. Instead of saying you are lazy or useless, try to pick yourself up, tell yourself not to be so hard on yourself, and give yourself a break.
You might even try reassuring yourself by stroking your own arm in a reassuring manner while telling yourself that everything will be OK. Such soothing gestures can help lower your stress and build positive messages rather than bringing yourself down.
Treating yourself like you are your own best friend is a good tip for life in general and such self-compassion has been shown to help your mental well-being. Understanding that you are only human and not judging yourself too harshly is part of the process.
You might also like to try to be mindful of what messages you are sending yourself. Rather than judging, take a moment to just relax and breathe deeply. Just feel your breath going in and out and imagine that your stresses are being blown away every time you exhale, to be replaced with kindness every time you breathe in. This will also help to reduce your stress and keep you calm and balanced.
By staying aware of how you talk to yourself ad opting to be compassionate rather than critical you can lower your stress levels significantly and be better prepared to overcome any obstacles.
Remember, you should always try to be kind to yourself as if you were your own best friend.
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