It’s been said many times that we are our own worst critics. It’s easy, and even normal, to feel let down or disappointed by some of the events in our lives or by the mistakes we make. Everyone goes through that at times. The problem arises when the self-criticism doesn’t go away, becomes harsh, and affects our quality of life.
Having low self-esteem and low regard for ourselves is a real problem. No one deserves to walk through life tortured by their own poor self image! Help is out there. Professionals like counselors, psychologists, and doctors are always ready and willing to help patients. There are also things you can do on your own that will help.
When to Turn to a Professional
There are times when people face issues we just can’t handle alone.
- Negative Body Image. Body image issues can be handled in a variety of ways. Sometimes, a psychiatrist or a counselor can help to resolve feelings of inadequacy or the aftermath of having been bullied or teased, but sometimes a patient knows that making a cosmetic change will improve their quality of life. Some such procedures can include Rhinoplasty and Professional Breast Augmentation Surgery. These procedures should only be handled by licensed medical professionals.
- Thoughts of Self-Harm. If the burden has become so heavy that self-harm seems like the only solution, it’s time to consult a professional counselor, psychiatrist, or psychologist. Call crisis hotlines and 911 for immediate help.
10 Things You Can Do For Yourself
You can be your own best friend during this journey. Sure, some of these things can be suggested by other people, but it’s you who needs to see what a difference these strategies can make in your life.
- Forgive Yourself. Whatever you think you did wrong or whatever someone else has told you did wrong, forgive yourself. We all deserve to be forgiven and to move on from our real or imagined mistakes. No one is perfect. Accepting yourself where you are in your life is the first step toward letting yourself be human, flaws and all.
- Let Go of Negative Feelings and Emotions. Don’t carry guilt and anger with you anymore. Let it go. Give yourself permission to stop listening to self-criticism or the demeaning things others have said to you.
- Indulge in Self Care. That’s right, indulge! You need to allow yourself to feel good, cared for, and loved, especially by yourself. Buy yourself a special present or treat. Reward yourself for meeting a goal or for no reason at all.
- Surround Yourself with Things You Love. Make your home or room your safe space. Whatever you love, whether it’s candles or flowers, keep plenty around to cheer yourself up.
- Stop Listening to Toxic People. That can be difficult depending on who the person is. If it is a close relative, it may be easier said than done to cut that person out of your life, but you can stop letting their criticisms and judgments define you.
- Set Some Goals. You can feel great satisfaction from setting some small goals and showing yourself you can do them. Start small then set larger goals as you grow.
- Keep a Journal. Writing in a journal every day is a great way to keep track of how you are feeling and what you are thinking about. Some people even use mood trackers. Over time, you can use your writings to identify patterns of negative thinking and work on changing them.
- Take Up a New Hobby or Activity. Aside from personal growth, taking up a new hobby could help you find more people like you to socialize with who can have a positive influence on you.
- Do Something to Help Someone Else. One of the most satisfying things to do in life is to help someone get something they need. Volunteering at a shelter or even donating clothing can help you see that you do make a difference in someone else’s life.
- Show Compassion for Yourself. Give yourself a pass! Let your self-talk be positive and reassuring. For example, if you wouldn’t scold someone else for a mistake, then don’t do it to yourself. Be kind and forgiving to yourself.
Make These Changes Part of Your Life
These suggestions aren’t intended to be just quick fixes. If you continue to work on them every day, you will be able to start feeling better about yourself and your relationships with others.
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Susan Said… WHAT?! is your guide to a life filled with style. From must-have beauty essentials, fashion and accessories, to gorgeous gardens, stunning interiors, plus ideas for parties and events. Susan Conforte McNeill is an author, entrepreneur, and co-founder of the Delaware-based literacy organization Success Won’t Wait! Susan Said…WHAT?! was named one of the Top 50 Beauty Blogs in the World by RebateZone.com.