If you live with depression, you may be familiar with your inner critic who often speaks louder and much more negatively than your inner mentor. Here are some tips for how to quiet your inner critic, stop negative self-talk, and find peace.
Who Is the Inner Critic?
Your inner critic is the negative voice in your head that tells you things like, “You’re not good enough, “You’ll never be happy,” and “You don’t deserve love.”
This critical inner dialogue isn’t constructive; it’s destructive. Yet, we often internalize what our inner critic says as the absolute truth. It’s not the truth. It’s just a story, and you don’t have to listen to it. You can quiet your inner critic and find peace.
The ABCs of Quieting Your Inner Critic and Finding Peace
“A” is for acknowledgment. The first step in quieting your inner critic is to acknowledge that you are not your thoughts. Learn to separate yourself from negative thoughts. Rather than identifying with them and embodying them, become an impartial observer of them.
“B” is for breathe. Victor Frankl said:
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
Try breathing deeply for one minute when the negative self-talk starts. This will help calm and center you and widen the space between the negative dialogue and how you respond to it.
“C” is for compassion. When your inner critic speaks loudly, treat yourself with kindness. Don’t allow yourself to fall in to the familiar pattern of self-judgment, taking those harsh words to heart. Instead, do something that makes you feel better. Go for a walk outside. Hug your child. Be loving and gentle with yourself.
Quiet the Inner Critic and Listen to Your Inner Mentor
Ruminating on negative feelings is not productive. Try refocusing your energy on positivity. Take a few minutes to remind yourself of all the things that are good in your life. Remind yourself of your strengths.
To find peace, learn to quiet the inner critic and let your inner mentor speak louder.