Don’t Let Mental Illness Bully You! Tips for Self-Compassion

Mental illness is a bully that can turn your thoughts and feelings against you. This can make daily life difficult to deal with because you might find yourself constantly second-guessing everything you think, feel, or do. If you find it easy to be self-critical but hard to be self-compassionate, you’re not alone. This is a common struggle, and it’s one that deepens depression and anxiety.

Try these tips for increasing self-compassion:

  • Catch your harsh self-talk. Our self-criticisms often run constantly in the background, unchecked. When we aren’t fully aware of how we talk to ourselves, it’s hard to change the dialogue. While it might be painful at first, start listening to yourself. Take note of the things you say about yourself.
  • Name and allow your emotions. How do you feel as a result of negative self-talk? Make a point of giving your emotions a name and allowing yourself to feel them. Don’t judge yourself for having them but instead remind yourself that these are normal human feelings that we’re all allowed to feel.
  • Shift. Now you can respond to your harsh self-talk. Shift your attention to a positive quality or name a small positive action you took recently. You might say to yourself. “I’m having a hard time getting out of bed, but I’m not lazy. I’m dealing with a lot and yet just today I supported a friend by listening.”

Learning to be self-compassionate is a gradual process, so stick with it. You deserve your own gentleness and patience.

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APA Reference
Peterson, T. (2022, April 26). Don’t Let Mental Illness Bully You! Tips for Self-Compassion, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 25 from

Last Updated: September 6, 2023

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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