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Taking Your Own Advice Helps Your Anxiety and Depression

September 1, 2018 Martha Lueck

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Even if giving advice comes naturally to you, taking your own advice might be harder for you. If you struggle with anxiety and/or depression, you might doubt your wisdom and question whether any of your advice would benefit you. But taking your advice can actually help you overcome anxiety and depression. Read this article to learn how taking your own advice can help you through depression and anxiety.

Giving Good Advice Is Easier than Taking Your Own Advice

A few weeks ago, I talked to a friend about some of my frustrations about the present and anxiety over the future. During the middle of the conversation, my friend asked me a very interesting question: What advice would you give a stranger in your situation?

This question really made me think. If I do not know this person, how would I know what to say? I could only think of generic advice, such as to give everything all of your efforts and love yourself, and everything will be okay. I would not naturally say the same things to myself because I live with myself every day. I see more of my own flaws and defeats than anyone else does ("Anxiety and Overthinking Everything"). So while I find it easy to give advice that would help others, I do not necessarily feel that it would have the same effect on me.

Taking Your Own Advice with Corrective Thinking

Thinking back to the conversation, I realize that I was too harsh on myself ("Are You Hard on Yourself? How to Stop Self-Critical Anxiety"). To get the full benefits from any advice, I think we have to open up to the possibility that we truly possess more positive qualities and strengths than we give ourselves credit for ("How to Identify Your Good Qualities When You Feel Worthless"). Here are some things to think about to correct our thoughts about ourselves:

  • Think about the last compliment you received. Why were you given this compliment? Write down any positive thoughts you have.
  • Think about the last time you made a good decision. What was it? How did it affect yourself and those around you?
  • Write down some words of encouragement you received from a good friend. How did they help you?
  • Every day for the next month, think about three of your best qualities. At the end of the month, write down whether your view on life or your self-perception has changed.

Taking Your Own Advice Using a Positive Mindset

When our positive thoughts about ourselves become clear, we can begin to trust in our advice. Therefore, it becomes easier to take it. Here are some ways to fully benefit from your advice:

  • Think about a time when someone else gave you advice that helped. Can this advice help you now?
  • Write about some pieces of advice you gave that helped someone else. How does this make you feel?
  • Take one piece of your own advice. Use it every day for a week. Then, write a reflection about how it affects your self-perception and your overall life.
  • Track your mood every day for the next month. Note whether your mood changes positively or negatively on the days when you use your own advice.

APA Reference
Lueck, M. (2018, September 1). Taking Your Own Advice Helps Your Anxiety and Depression, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, June 26 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/toughtimes/2018/9/taking-your-own-advice-helps-your-anxiety-and-depression



Author: Martha Lueck

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Pam
says:
September, 5 2018 at 2:30 pm
This is something I'm bad at!! Telling my good advice to myself!!! Ive saved this link and I'm going to read it when I'm being mean to myself!!!!!!! Thank you xxx
September, 16 2018 at 11:08 pm
Hi Pam,

I'm so glad this article helped you! I hope you start to see improvement with self-compassion. I know it's hard, but you got this!

-Martha
Lizanne Corbit
says:
September, 4 2018 at 6:09 pm
I love this!! Taking your own advice can be such a powerful thing. I think it's such a key point about trusting yourself -- this is huge. It can be hard to trust others, but often times we don't even realize we're struggling with trusting ourselves.
September, 16 2018 at 11:12 pm
Hi Lizanne,

I'm so glad you see the power in taking your own advice! You're right that "we don't even realize we're struggling with trusting ourselves." That's very insightful.

-Martha

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