Everybody has a critic deep inside them. It just comes out more for some than others. It can take away the joy and anticipation of feeling like you are doing great work in your recovery when you feel like a still-small-voice in your head will not stop saying negative things. A critical inner voice can be helpful when it comes to making wise decisions (or not) but when it goes too far, it may cause depression, anxiety, fear, and other issues which are less than helpful. Learn some tips and tools for curbing the inner critic.
Naming emotions and feelings is important, but so is the critical voice in your head. The voice may be calling you out for something that is totally untrue, or cloaked in a modicum of truth, but overshoots. When we criticize ourselves, we tend to be harder on what we’ve done than others might be, and less forgiving. When you can name what is happening, you are more able to stop it from continuing and say whatever the thought may be, you can notice it and move on without acknowledging it as full truth.
Know Your Triggers
Just like in addiction recovery with cravings and triggers, your mind and emotions need the same treatment. Your critical inner voice can be so wounding, it may keep you from feeling healthy and drive you towards relapse. Once you identify what is triggering the negative thoughts, you can tackle it head on and take ownership of it once and for all. Self-compassion is necessary to battle back against triggers that kick up those negative voices.
When those voices start to nickel and dime everything you ever did or thought you ever had, just say no by putting a higher power in charge. Meditation, prayer, and mindfulness can be helpful when you are trying to fight against negative, critical self thoughts. When you quiet your mind with meditation or prayer, it can be healing in that moment. Not only can you quell the thoughts, but you can learn to let them go without accepting their truth.
It may feel tiring day after day to deal with this inside voice, but it does get better. With some helpful tips, you can be more resilient against the negative self talk and feel better in recovery. It does not happen overnight and it is a constant journey of discovery. The key is to never give up and keep focused on the bigger picture of recovery and your vision for the future.
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