While there are a million things you can do when it comes to self-care, the one thing that has the potential to change your life for the better immediately is changing the way you talk to yourself. For people who are intellectually-driven, especially sensitive people who process things deeply, this is especially important – if you spend that much time thinking and going over things in your mind, why should you tolerate an environment that is harsh, overly critical and just plain unkind? This is about the habitual, oft-repeated phrases as reactions to events in your daily life.
The best thing about re-programming your thoughts is the way it spills out into your conversations with others too. Soon, you will no longer let criticism or harsh words pepper your speech. Gentleness will come easy, towards yourself, and others.
Do you catch yourself thinking these phrases?
- What’s wrong with you/me?! The short answer: nothing. If you find yourself saying this because you’re repeatedly making a mistake, or did something bewildering, try to see it for what it really is, without having to label yourself as ‘wrong’. Mistakes don’t make you ‘wrong’. They’re simply lessons.
- Ugh, I am such a… Calling yourself names allows a certain event to define you, when it doesn’t. No one event in your life will ever come to define you, unless you allow it to!
- Why am I so…?
- This person is so much more/less …. than me.
- I should really…
There’s nothing inherently wrong with these phrases, just the place they come from, which is self-judgement. This year, I’ve been mindful about the way I speak to myself, and it has changed so much for me. I no longer get as upset with myself when I make mistakes or when things don’t go according to plan. I’m able to let go more easily because I no longer label things as liberally as I used to.
Words hold so much power; they shape our realities. By choosing not to speak harshly, we choose by default the opposite: love and kindness.